The City of Fredrikstad was founded in 1567 and is currently Norway's seventh largest city. Fredrikstad has strong roots in industries such as brickworks, sawmills, and international trade.
Historically, military presence has also played a central role in the city's history- from the construction of the first provisional fortifications in the 1640s. The permanent Fredrikstad fortress was built in the 1660s and functioned as an operational fortification until 1903. Military presence in the city lasted until 2002 when the Norwegian Armed Forces closed down the garrison in the Old Town. Fredrikstad's development from a fortress town, to brick factory, plank, and shipbuilding town, to today's diverse business, cultural, and working life testifies to the city's ability to change and adapt when needed. Today, Fredrikstad has Northern Europe's best-preserved fortress and can offer cultural events, historical insights, and idyllic experiences.
Fredrikstad has a rich cultural life within a number of disciplines, with particular strength in performing arts and literature. The city hosts more than 14 cultural festivals annually, including music, literature, documentary filmmaking, photography, and more.
Fredrikstad has seen an increse in participation in shared experiences around literature and writing. It is popular to participate in reading groups, meetings with authors, debates, events focused on different topics, and festivals such as Ord i Grenseland. Both Fredrikstad Library and the House of Literature in Fredrikstad are important arens to access literature, philosophy, social debate, and the art of writing.
The local literature festival Ord i Grenseland introduced the idea for Fredrikstad to become an ICORN member and initiated the process. The ICORN Membership Agreement between the City of Fredrikstad and ICORN was signed on February 19th, 2021.
Fredrikstad Public Library is responsible for hosting ICORN residents and coordinating their activities in close collaboration with other administrative units in the city. The Library also provides an office for its ICORN resident.
Fredrikstad City of Refuge welcomed its first ICORN resident Leila Rasoul Ghahremanimaralloo in March 2022.