Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Kalmar Castle

Road Trip 2018, Part 22 (19th July)

After Kalmar Cathedral and Kalmar Museum in the morning, and lunch at the museum café, we went back to our hotel to put our feet up for a bit - but later in the afternoon drove into the city again, to also visit Kalmar Castle.

On the site where the castle now stands, a defense tower was built around 1180. In the 13th century, more towers and a ring wall were added. At the time, the fortress was the most advanced of its kind in Sweden and held a strategically important location. In the 1500s, under King Gustav I and his sons King Erik XIV and King Johan III, the medieval fortress was turned into a renaissance castle. In the 1600s, that castle was badly damaged by war and fire. Repairs were begun, but not completed; and the castle was left to fall into disrepair for some time. However, between 1856 and 1941 it was again restored, and is now one of Sweden’s best preserved renaissance castles, including earthworks, moat, bridge and drawbridge. It’s a museum, and open to the public.


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First view, from close to where we parked the car.

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A goose may look at a castle…

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… and so may tourists.

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I’m not convinced we found the closest parking spot…

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… but we got round to the entrance eventually.

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Models of the castle from different time periods in the past, on display in the museum:

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Replicas of festive attire worn by members of the royal family in the 1550s-1590s.

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Wish I knew the story behind the hobbit-size suit of armour, but I’m afraid I don’t!

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I’m not sure I’d really appreciate stuffed birds as decorations on the dinner table…

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If you got bored by the dinner conversation, there’d be a lot to look at though!

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All of the castle’s history was not just about military defense and royal show and glamour. In a rather more gruesome exhibition,  we are reminded that for a period of time, the castle also served as prison:

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Including a far-too-realistic peek into a dungeon…

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Some sunny exteriors to finish off our visit, I think!

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Through My Lens


Our World Tuesday







Monday, November 12, 2018

Kalmar – Museum, Old Shipwreck and City Wall

Road Trip 2018, Part 21 (19th July)

From the Kalmar Cathedral (link to an earlier post), we walked along another few blocks of wooden buildings, down to the Kalmar County Museum near the harbour.

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One of the Museum’s permanent exhibitions is about the 17th century warship Kronan, which served as the flagship of the Swedish Navy in the Baltic Sea in the 1670s. When built, she was one of the largest seagoing vessels in the world. However, after only four years of service, the ship foundered in rough weather at the Battle of Öland on 1 June 1676 and sank quickly, taking about 800 men and more than 100 guns with her, along with other valuable military equipment, weapons, personal items, and large quantities of silver and gold coins. Most of the guns were salvaged in the 1680s; but after that the wreck fell into obscurity, and it wasn’t until 1980 that its exact position was rediscovered. Since then the wreck site has been excavated by divers and more than 30,000 artifacts recovered; many of which have been conserved and put on permanent public display at the Kalmar County Museum.

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Minature models of the ship

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Life-size reconstructions of the interior

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… and scary displays to help us imagine the terrors of the shipwreck!

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Carved wooden figures salvaged from the ship

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Ship’s bell

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Various artifacts

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Before leaving the museum, we had lunch at their café overlooking the harbour.

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Museum building in the background.

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Going back to the car, we chose the walkpath on top of the old city wall again.

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Through My Lens

Our World Tuesday


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