Historical and old photos of Halden, Viken
Evidence of early human settlements in this region of Norway have been found, particularly in the Svinesund area of the municipality where evidence of early settlements from the Nordic Bronze Age have been found. Named after a small farm Hallen (English: "rise" or "slope") first mentioned in 1629, "Halden", became the city of Frederikshald in 1665, named after Frederick III of Denmark. The Gud med oss (God be with us) coat-of-arms created in 1665 shows a knight standing on a mountain, yellow on a blue background, and was inspired by the bravery of the citizens of the city in the Dano-Swedish War (1658–1660).
Swedish forces unsuccessfully attempted to invade the town six times between 1658 and 1814. As a reference to the town's citizens burning their own houses to prevent them being taken on 4 July 1716 by the forces of King Charles XII of Sweden, Halden is one of only two cities in Norway's national anthem. In 1718, the Great Northern War ended when Charles XII was shot and killed at the Fredriksten fortress. The fortress had been erected in the 17th century as a replacement for the Bohus Fortress lost at the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658 when Bohuslän was ceded to Sweden. Halden has never been captured by force by any invading army, although it was occupied by Nazi forces in WWII.
In an 1835 census, Frederikshald was the seventh largest town or city in Norway, with 4,921 inhabitants. In 1838, Frederikshald became a city municipality (Norwegian: herred), and in 1928, the name was changed back to Halden. The 4 kilometres (2 mi) Tistedalen east of the Halden was part of the city from 1686 to 1967 until it was separated from Halden. At the same time, the area of Halden, Tistedalen, and the rural municipalities of Berg and Idd became the Halden municipality on 1 January 1967.