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.
First view, from close to where we parked the car.
A goose may look at a castle…
… and so may tourists.
I’m not convinced we found the closest parking spot…
… but we got round to the entrance eventually.
Models of the castle from different time periods in the past, on display in the museum:
Replicas of festive attire worn by members of the royal family in the 1550s-1590s.
Wish I knew the story behind the hobbit-size suit of armour, but I’m afraid I don’t!
I’m not sure I’d really appreciate stuffed birds as decorations on the dinner table…
If you got bored by the dinner conversation, there’d be a lot to look at though!
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:
Including a far-too-realistic peek into a dungeon…
Some sunny exteriors to finish off our visit, I think!