Kongsvinger is a town and a municipality, almost the southernmost in the Inland county. The municipality borders Eidskog in the south, Sør-Odal in the west, Grue in the north and Sweden in the east. Most of the area in Kongsvinger is forest, but there is also a lot of agriculture and hundreds of lakes and watercourses. The town of Kongsvinger had 12,088 inhabitants as of 2020.

Kongsvinger town is located on both sides of the Glomma, with Kongsvinger fortress as a landmark on a hill in the northern part of the town. Kongsvinger is the regional center for the Glåmdal region, also called the Kongsvinger region, which consists of Odalen, Vinger, Eidskog and Solør. The municipal slogan is «Kongsvinger - active regional center in growth».


Before 1814
The village of Vinger by Glommakneet has been an important place since the Viking Age, and several finds from the Stone Age have been made in the area around Vingersjøen. The road through Eidskog to Sweden, Eskoleia, is already mentioned in the sagas. It crosses the Glomma right where the river turns abruptly to the west. For a long time there was a church, probably a stave church, on the east side of Glomma. Vinger Church is first mentioned in the saga of Håkon Håkonsson, in the account of the battle between the king and the Ribbungs in 1227. The Union King Erik of Pomerania visited Norway in 1405 and then chose the Wingerske Kongevei.

Tråstad fortification, then called Vingersund fortification, was built in 1658 to protect the ferry crossing over the river. There are also maps that indicate that a fortification was built a little higher up at about the same time where the current church was later built. The main defense was moved to the top of Tråstadberget in 1673 with the construction of Vinger skanse, also called Gyldenborg after Ulrik Fredrik Gyldenløve.

In 1681–1684, the actual work on the fortress facility Kongsvinger fortress began. As King Christian V caused this, the prefix Kongs- in front of Wings Fortress was added. In this connection, the Camp (the camp as in a military camp) arose, with its workers (called crews). These built their houses according to a right-angled street plan, designed by General Johan Caspar de Cicignon. The town's birth can then be added to 1682, even though it would be 172 years before Kongsvinger became a market town. At the end of the 18th century, the camp was given a temporary post office, six years later it became permanent.

The area around the fortress, Øvrebyen, is today dominated by wooden houses. This was built from the early 18th century to the late 19th century. Vinger church, built in the 17th century, but with crucifixes from the 14th century, is located in the district Øvrebyen, by the town's old square, now called Kirketorget. The church was rebuilt several times, in 1854 it got its rare dome tower for Norway. Kongsvinger-marken, a horse and cattle field, received a royal letter in the 1780s and is still arranged with three days in May and September each year.

When Norway entered into a union with Sweden in 1814, Kongsvinger's role in the border defense was played out. Instead, the city became an important stopover for travelers between the two countries. The fortress nevertheless remained in operation, as the Glomma was seen as an important line of defense if one of the countries were to be invaded by a third party. In 1823, however, the fortress was evacuated, and only a few employees remained. As a result, large parts of the city's financial base, which was to supply goods and services to the fortress, fell away.

A French-like unpretentious peasant population, who read more newspapers than other farmers in Norway. Vinje also wrote about the beautiful farms on the northern shore of Lake Vingersjøen, with manors and upper-class company with guests from both Norwegian and Swedish social and political elites. In fact, there was no other city than Oslo that had as many royal visits as Kongsvinger in the period from 1814 to 1865.

In 1854, a group of citizens under the leadership of Postmaster Ole J. Tommelstad succeeded in persuading the Storting to grant Kongsvinger market town rights. The following year, the city was separated from Vinger municipality as its own city municipality. In 1856, a wooden bridge was built over the Glomma at Kongsvinger.

The railway development in Norway reached Kongsvinger in 1862 on its way from Oslo to Stockholm. The line, and thus Kongsvinger station, was built south of Glomma, while Kongsvinger had always been limited to the north of the river. Around the station, new buildings called Stasjonsbyen grew up, which was located in Vinger municipality outside the town of Kongsvinger.

As part of the rearmament in the years before the dissolution of the union, the line of defense along the Glomma was restored. Kongsvinger Fortress was considered vulnerable if enemy artillery gained a foothold on Holtberget south of Glomma. New fortifications were therefore built on Vardåsen and Gullbekkåsen, two twin heights northwest of and higher than the old fortress. This became the twin forts Vardåsen and Gullbekkåsen fort, which were handed over to the Coastal Artillery in 1903. The construction of these forts stimulated the city's economy again. During the negotiations on the dissolution of the union, the Swedes demanded that all modern fortifications along the border be demolished, but eventually agreed that the facilities at Kongsvinger should be saved.


After 1905
In 1939, the German prize crew from the "City of Flint" were interned at the fortress, and thus the people of Kongsvinger became acquainted with the German armed forces long before others in the country, when German officers could move freely in the city in uniform. In April 1940, some of the most important battles in the country took place in Kongsvinger. Kongsvinger Fortress immediately capitulated, but Vardåsen quickly, under the leadership of the Swedish captain Gösta Benckert with Max Manus and "Shetlands-Larsen" in the company, fought for hours against German forces before retreating along the Glomma.

To prevent German advance, attempts were made to blow up the bridge, but the attempt failed. The bridge remained standing, albeit with a special profile. In 1949, a new suspension bridge, Kongsvinger bridge, was built next to the old bridge, as this, in addition to being damaged, had become too small.

At the fort at Gullbekkåsen, the Air Force's Station Kongsvinger (LST / K) was built with a radar station in 1955, in operational operation until 1964, when the Air Force's station Måkerø took over the Armed Forces' radar surveillance of southern Scandinavia. The station became Luftforsvarets Kontroll og Varslingsskole (LKVS) in 1964. The radar covered an area from Steinkjer in the north to Hamburg in the south, from Stockholm in the east to Bergen in the west. LKVS was moved to Måkerøy on 1 August 2002 and at the same time the Air Control Inspectorate (LKI) also disappeared. After this, the facilities at Gullbekkåsen were taken into use as a prison, even though the radar itself remained in operation. Vardåsen fort was left unused and dilapidated.

In 1963, a regional hospital was opened in Kongsvinger, which eventually had a wide selection of everything from the intensive care unit to orthopedics. The following year, in 1964, the urban municipality of Kongsvinger was merged with the rural municipalities of Brandval and Vinger into Kongsvinger municipality. In this connection, Kongsvinger was a county municipality (rural municipality) for a few months, before the city status was restored. The old divide between Kongsvinger and Vinger was thus erased.

Kongsvinger swimming facility opened in 1988, followed by Kongsvinger Ishall in 1992 and Kongsvingerhallen on 14 December 1997. In the meantime, national road 2 in 1991 had been laid in a new route outside the city center streets, including a new bridge over Glomma, Gjemselund bridge, a new bridge along the Glomma under the old, Riverbank bridge, and Wings tunnel under the train station.

The city's Catholic congregation got its own church, Sta. Clara Catholic Church, in 2001. This became the first new church in the city since 1697 and the first Catholic site before the Reformation.

In the city center, the shops gathered in shopping malls. In Midtbyen north of Glomma, Kongssenteret is the largest with 16,000 m² after completion in 2002. Parts of the pedestrian street in Sentrum Syd got glass roofs. Another change in the city center was that the old primary school Sentralskolen was closed in 2005 and a new school at Marikollen was opened. The buildings for Sentralskolen were then built into the new Sentrum upper secondary school, which is a merger of the old Sentrum upper secondary school and Kongsvinger technical vocational school. The library was also moved here. The new buildings opened in January 2009.

In the justice sector, new buildings were also built. The new Kongsvinger prison on Vardåsen opened in 2002, although the development was still going on for a few years. Next came Kongsvinger courthouse in 2006.