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Panorama picture from Halden Municipality in Norway




THE SVINESUND BRIDGE

This is a vital link between Norway and Sweden. This elegant span, with its handsome profile stretching 67 meters above the Ringdalsfjord, is Northern Europe's highest bridge. The Svinesund bridge was opened with much pomp on 15 June 1946 by the Norwegian king and the Swedish crown prince. During the summer months, 15.000 vehicles cross the Svinesund bridge each day.

Svinesund is mentioned many times in the Norse sagas of Snorre Sturlason. The old author of the sagas was fascinated by the land between Svinesund and the Göta River - the former Ranarike district - that was so hotly contested by Norwegian and Swedish kings until the Norwegian king St. Olav brought it under his domain. With its location along an age-old international and royal highway, Svinesund was a well known ferry crossing.

The Norwegian king Sigurd the Crusader (Sigurd I. Magnusson) crossed here when he rode all in a single day the way from Konghelle in Sweden to Store Dal near Skjeberg in Norway - a distance of well over 200 km - and took Borghild, the farmer's daughter there, as his mistress. Later the Danish kings passed through here on the rare occasions when they visited Norway. During the period of union with Sweden, the Swedish Bernadotte kings also crossed here with large wagons pulled by big teams of horses To this day Svinesund remains the most important road leading into Norway.

At Old Svinesund there are a former postal station and customs building for the ferry crossing to Sweden, and is located at the water's edge right next to the Svinesund bridge. At one time this post office was the largest in the whole country, handling all mail going in and out of Norway. The beautiful, white painted building that stands there today was built in 1830, but some parts of it date back to the 18th century.