Askim is a city and a former municipality in the province of
Østfold in Viken county in Eastern Norway. The municipality was
established on 1 January 1838. In 2020, the municipality was
incorporated into the new large municipality Indre Østfold. The
municipality borders in the west and north to Spydeberg, in the
northeast to Trøgstad and southeast to Eidsberg and in the south to
Skiptvet. Askim received city status on 1 January 1996, the city
center has 14,592 inhabitants as of 1 January 2020.
Kulturfestivalen Every August, the Kraftfestivalen gathers participants from far and wide, a tradition on that occasion is the opening concert in the old turbine hall in the Kraftverket at Kykkelsrud. Until its closure in 1992, Viking-Askim was the cornerstone company in the small community, which has since largely developed the service industries. Glava is now the cornerstone company in Askim. Glomma forms a natural municipal boundary in the west, and waterfalls have been used for power production. Askim therefore has three large power plants within its borders (Solbergfoss, Kykkelsrud and Vamma). The newspaper Smaalenenes Avis is published in the city and also covers the surrounding municipalities.
The name Askim is composed of the tree name Ask and the word Heim. Before approx. 1400 was the village of Eid. This word meant, among other things, the land along a river that is not navigable by boat, so that people had to walk. Through Askim, people pulled boats between Øyeren and Glomma below Vammafossen.
Many burial mounds and grave finds testify that
people have lived in Askim for thousands of years. In 2003, a
collection of no less than 17 pit tufts from Mesolithic times was
found on Sandholmen in Askim municipality, a small seaweed on the
east bank of the Glomma between Solbergfoss and Øyeren.
Remains of a settlement castle from the time of the migration have been found in Romsåsen by Kykkelsrud. It is believed that Olav the Holy Christianized the inhabitants of Askim after founding Sarpsborg in 1016. A stone church was built at the end of the 12th century, but this was demolished in 1877.
In wartime, the river Glomma served as a natural line of defense. During the many wars with the Swedes from the 15th century until 1814, Askim also got to know the ravages of the war. The Swedish king Karl XII crossed the Glomma at Onstadsund in May 1716 after giving up the siege of Akershus Fortress.
Askim was the scene of the last major battle between Norwegian and Swedish forces in 1814: the Battle of Langnes stronghold. This was also the last time thousands of men from Scandinavian countries faced each other with weapons in hand in the 19th century. The battle marked the end of the Napoleonic Wars in Scandinavia, and the beginning of the union era, when Norway and Sweden were united in a personnel union. Six Norwegian soldiers lost their lives, while 9 or 10 were wounded. Probably more than 100 Swedish soldiers were killed in the fighting.
There were also acts of war in Askim during World War II. German forces attacked Langnes, Fossum and Kykkelsrud on April 12, 1940. The German forces consisted of 1500 to 2000 men and field artillery. On the Norwegian side, 400 men stood supported by field batteries. For a while, the Norwegian forces managed to stop the Germans' advance, but the defense was finally broken on the morning of 13 April. Norwegian forces tried to counterattack at Hurrahølet, but were repulsed. 20 Norwegian soldiers and 12 civilians died during the clashes. The losses on the German side were not certain. Both 100 and 200 dead have been mentioned, while according to German sources the number was below 20.