Drøbak Boat Harbor
Drøbak is a beautiful place to experience a hot summer day. Photo: Åsmund Lindal.

German introduction to Drøbak

The main square in Drøbak on May 17, the Norwegian National Day.

The town where the sun shines
never undergone

We present our small town with a smile, in which Drøbak is known for its fabulous sunsets. Here you can sit in a boat in the blue Oslofjord or enjoy a good meal on the terrace of a pleasant restaurant, raise your glass and soak up the colorful sky and sun as it sinks behind walled hills to the west. White sails inflated by the southerly wind and the smell of the salty sea air create this very special mood that you can experience on a beautiful summer evening in Drøbak. Perhaps a wooden boat glides past slowly on the fjord with its fresh catch of still napping mackerel.

Sunset in the inner Oslofjord near Drøbak.

Even in winter, Drøbak offers many experiences: The frosty fog veils and the drifting ice in the fjord, the framing snow-covered landscape, cargo and passenger ships that sail with lit lanterns, the reflections of the lighthouses and the floodlights in the floodlight. Yes, you are now in the home of the Santa Claus, his mind is floating over the city, the forest and the fjord. We indulge in a bit of nostalgia, humor and fairy tales.

Winter mood at Drøbak with the drifting ice in the Oslofjord in winter 2011.

Brief history of the city

Drøbak grew up in the 18th and 19th centuries due to the boom of sailing. Here the large ships loaded huge ice blocks and tree trunks for export, and returned with food, handicrafts and industrial products. In 1814, Drøbak became a customs post, and on August 20, 1842, it was granted city status as the first settlement of Akershus Province. The town then numbered about 1000 inhabitants.

Joy in bathing At the beginning of the 20th century in Drøbak. The artist Christian Krohg was one of the "Drøbak painters". Working here in a maritime scene together with his son and assistant Per.

The name Drøbak actually comes from the geographical location of the place: the landscape rises steeply from the fjord into the country, probably the name Drøbak is an abbreviation of "Drøye bakker" -stile elevations.

The small collection of wooden houses grows from year to year, and today we can rejoice that some ancient wooden houses from the 18th century are still in good condition. Today, the inner city is a protection zone with strict architectural regulations for the preservation of the characteristic settlement. Fishermen, sailors, craftsmen and merchants then built their houses according to contemporary opportunities and economic conditions. The small wooden houses on Fischerstrand (Fiskerstranda), where once poor people were housed, have now become coveted treasures. The history of Drøbaks is in some respects a small picture of Norwegian history; Today's prosperity must be viewed against the background of past poverty and neglect.

In 1962, the municipality of Drøbak was merged with the agricultural neighboring municipality of Frogn. Today, Drøbak is the capital of the Frogn municipality with about 15 inhabitants. Today you will find a large selection of restaurants, shops, public institutions and small businesses in Drøbak. Many of them are housed in the classic wooden buildings of which we are so proud.

A small selection of historical motifs from the diverse photo archive of the protective association Altes Drøbak.

The protection association Altes Drøbak is today a strong advocate of conservation and

Maintenance of the old houses and the environment of the city. At www.verneforeningen.no you can take a historical tour through Drøbak and view photos from now and then. You can choose between English, Norwegian, German and Italian.

Drøbak as a health resort and artist town

The capital of Norway had a strong boom throughout the 19th century. Many city dwellers wanted to get out of the city in the summer to enjoy the sea and the rural air. Fully loaded steamers with wealthy guests from Christiania (it was not until 1925 that the capital was renamed Oslo) were able to dock at Drøbak. Hotels, holiday apartments and shops experienced a new rise in the summer. This contact with the sea gave rise to new developments, this time with the beaches and outdoor life as an asset. Drøbak became a seaside resort with a spa and a "bathing park" very close to the center. And Drøbak is still a popular seaside resort with beaches, cliffs and diving facilities, all with free access.

For many well-known Norwegian artists and writers, Drøbak served as a source of inspiration and became their home. Here came the Nobel laureate Knut Hamsun, the poet Herman Wildenvey, painters such as Kristian Krogh, the brothers Bergslien, Hans Fredrik Gude and Edvard Diriks - the cousin of Edvard Munch. In our time, perhaps the artist Ferdinand Finne is best known. His adage "The road will be created while you walk" gets its full use when taking a short walk in Drøbak.

The city of the fortress

Oscarsborg offers young people experience, knowledge and lively history. The marina welcomes boaters in the summer season, also for overnight stays. Photo: Kjetil Sørby / Forsvarsbygg.

The history of Drøbak is inseparable from those of Oscarsborg Fortress. In the narrowest part of the Oslo Fjord, a fortress was built as early as 1643-1645. At the end of the 19th century, it was expanded on a large scale. When Norway left the Union with Sweden in 1905, Oscarsborg was probably the strongest military establishment in the country. The fact that large parts of the fortress were built by Swedish Moors is an entertaining way of thinking.

But for Norway, the fortress only became significant in 1940. When Hitler-Germany invaded Norway without a declaration of war on April 9, 1940, an improvised and poorly trained crew managed to defeat the German cruiser "Blücher" with old cannons and torpedoes.

sink. The intruders got to detect their own medicine. The cannons, Aaron and Joshua baptized, were manufactured by the company Krupp. They were fired on the orders of Colonel Birger Eriksen. He was honored for his heroic deeds only after the war.

The illuminated monument of Oscarsborg. There are also old fortifications on land, here a cannon guard from 1909.

The Germans had gathered their key personnel and their most important resources on board. As the cruisers sank and nearly 900 men sank, the conquest of the capital was delayed. The Norwegian royal family, the government, parliament and the National Bank's gold reserves could be evacuated from Oslo in a timely manner. This also saved the cornerstone for the later Norwegian war effort from London.

The cruiser is still located at a depth of 90 m in the Oslo Fjord northeast of the small islands of Askholmen and serves as a war grave. The ship was a ticking environmental bomb until it was depleted of its fuel in 1994-1995. The anchors of the blücher have been hoisted and one now stands as a monument in the bathing park of Drøbak by the statue of Colonel Birger Eriksen.

The cruiser "Blücher" was hit on April 9, 1940 by the cannons of the Oscarsborg fortress. Painted by Reidar Finsrud.

The fortress of Oscarsborg no longer has a military significance today, but still a military commander. It has a huge defense museum and the guides on the grounds are an exciting experience. In the old command post, a new information center is being developed, Forsvaret Hus. Various aspects of modern Norwegian defense are presented here. An old tradition, the Oscarsborg relay race, is being taken up again this year. The start will take place on May 1, 2012 and will be held on May 1 in the coming years. An important and grand event for the whole region around the Oslofjord.

Hotels, restaurants and marinas also help to make Fortress Island something very special. Here you can, as a guest, dock with your own boat, enjoy yourself in the cafés and restaurants. The courtyard of the fortress serves cultural events and opera performances during the summer. A regular ferry connects Drøbak with Oscarsborg.

Das Drøbak Aquarium,
a center for marine biology

The aquarium was built by volunteers from the Drøbak Bootverein and contains a large number of fish, crustaceans and marine animals from the sea meadows of Drøbak. Here one tries to restore the surroundings of the sea and the fjord. The aquarium is currently the most visited attraction in the province of Akershus. Many schools organize class trips here and children and adults can experience a true-to-nature transmission of the environment. Today, the aquarium is operated in partnership with the Station for Marine Biology, a department of the University of Oslo.

The aquarium in Drøbak shows us the sea life of the fjord next door. The children are particularly enthralled by the touch tank and the living sea creatures.

Nightlife, adventure, shopping, accommodation and service

There are many places to go out in Drøbak and many fun shops to explore, most in the center or just a short walk away. Here you can choose whether you want to serve a pizza, a kebab or Asian dishes in a quick bite, or rather enjoy a traditional Norwegian meal or even a gourmet meal in a restaurant. Maybe just a cool beer or a glass of wine? There is no shortage of opportunities here.

• Overnight: If you want to stay overnight in Drøbak, turn to the traditional Reenskaug Hotel. But you can also book the Oscarsborg Hotel & SPA in the fabulous surroundings of Fortress Island.

• Galleries: Drøbak is known for its many galleries of the visual arts and the art competition. And in the Christmas house, Christmas Eve is celebrated all year round. The House of Press Cartoons offers social satires from our best cartoonists. There is a lot to smile about here.

• The Lutefisk Museum: Adjacent to the tourist information and the aquarium you will find the only Lutefisk Museum in the world. Information, photos and a humorous exhibition about a very special traditional Norwegian dish from the sea and about Aquavit, the drink that belongs to it (Norwegian potato schnapps).

• Das Kroketønna-Museum: Drøbak Bootverein exhibits a collection of ship engines and other maritime curiosities.

• Drøbak Church: Should you need a quiet, contemplative moment, please visit our venerable wooden church, built in 1776. It is open to the public on some days of the week in the summer and is located close to the bathing park.

• Harbor blues, concerts and cabaret: The Hafenblues Festival takes place every summer in July. Concerts with well-known artists and local bands are also organized in several places. Even cabaret is played in Drøbak! You can find this event and its rating in the event calendar of our website.

• Das Drøbak Kino is on the rise again after a new digital film projection was installed. Es lebe die 7. Kunst!

• Shopping & Service: Clothing, children's products, pharmacy, grocery and vegetable shops, bakery, flowers, garden center, wine shop (liquor store), shoe shops and shoemakers, glasses, medicines, photo shop, frame shop, kiosk, car repair shop, where you can find everything. At the same time library and post office.

• The capital of the city is full of life and there you will find various booths and stalls, especially with antiques and collectibles. Maybe you'll succeed in a coup.

• Drøbak City: A large shopping center with supermarkets and a large number of specialty shops is only 1,5 km from the city center.

• Golf: You can also play golf near Drøbak City. The Drøbak Golf Club invites you to "golf joy on a pleasant golf course".

In Drøbak you can expect a rich nightlife and business.

Fish and shrimp directly from the fishing boat

The small boat harbor of Drøbak with its leisure and fishing boats is a paradise for all who want to enjoy a life without stress. Here you can still buy very fresh shrimp and fish directly from the boat - Drøbak is the only town in the interior of the fjord with such an offer. There is always something going on in the harbor, but you will notice this especially in the summer. Remember that shrimp always taste best when eaten on the edge of the river! Find a seat on the harbor promenade.

From the pier and the beach, you can also try your luck at fishing. The seabed near Drøbak is one of the best fishing spots in the fjord. Fishing in the sea is free in Norway, but you must bring your own fishing route.

The tourist information

Tourist information is located on the "Sjøtorget", the Fischerplatz in the southern part of the harbor. Here you will find city plans and other information material as well as answers to your questions.

Wherever you come from Norway, Europe or elsewhere, we firmly believe that you will have a lot of fun with us. It is also very easy to get here, Drøbak is only 40 minutes by bus from Oslo.

Enjoy life, welcome to Drøbak!

German translation: Gabriel Ehrhardt, www.gabriels.no

The Santa Claus in Drøbak receives more than 20.000 letters from all over the world every year.