Other fortresses at the time

At the time when Varberg Fortress was being built, Christian IV had many other fortresses built or refurbished in his Danish-Norwegian kingdom.  Akershus, Bohus, Halmstad, Copenhagen, Kristianopel and Kristianstad are just a few examples. 

We don’t really know much about how the day-to-day work on the fortress construction itself was organised. We can see from the pay sheets that the working week usually lasted six days. Instructions from other similar Danish buildings that were built a little later, around 1660, provide us with a little more information. 

The working day started at five or six in the morning and usually lasted for twelve hours. After a few hours of work, the workers were given a morning break when they could eat the first meal of the day. In the middle of the day, they also had a long lunch break of two hours. 

Pay sheet from the construction of Kristianopel's fortifications in 1604.

Pay sheet from the construction of Kristianopel’s fortifications in 1604. 


Björn Westerbeek Dahl is a historian and has closely examined pay sheets and working conditions at some of Christian IV’s other Danish fortress buildings. In the video in the exhibition he talks about the work on, above all, the fortifications at Kristianopel and Copenhagen, which were built at about the same time as Varberg Fortress.