It has withstood fierce battles, drawn-out sieges, and a few fires, and changed shape architecturally since King Hakon V ordered it built in 1299, when Oslo was named capital of Norway. A fortress, or Festning, with thick earth-and-stone walls surrounds the castle, with protruding bastions designed to resist artillery bombardment. Those moats and reinforced ramparts, evoking a Mel Gibson epic, were added in the mid-1700s. For several centuries it was not only a fortress, but also the abode of the rulers of Norway. Now the government uses it for state occasions. From the well-manicured lawns there are panoramic views of Oslo and the Oslofjorden. In summer, concerts, dances, and even theatrical productions are staged here. Forty-minute English-language guided tours are offered Monday to Saturday at 11am and 1 and 3pm, and on Sunday at 1 and 3pm.