Saturday, 25 August 2018

Gråborg, Öland

Road Trip 2018, Part 10


The entrance to Gråborg, the ruins of the largest of 15 ancient strongholds on Öland. (The name can be translated The Grey Castle.) These strongholds were built between AD 300-700. Some were also restored and used in the Middle Ages. (See further info on the signs below - click on images to enlarge.)




Aerial photo from Wikipedia

The wall around the fort was around 4 meters high. The area is elliptical in shape, ~  210 x 160 meters.



Me on the inside of the gateway.


This was on the outside of the great wall, I think. There are lots of these kinds of stepladders next to gates on the island, as there are also sometimes cows or sheep grazing in the fields. (I feel very insecure climbing those steps when there is nothing to hold on to at the top, though! This one I did not try.)


Close to the stronghold there is also this 12th century ruin known as St Knut’s Chapel; supporting the theory that the stronghold was also in use in the Middle Ages.

St Knut or Canute IV (c. 1042 – 10 July 1086), later known as Canute the Holy, was a Danish king living in the 11th century; sanctified after his death.



The car park was on the other side of that barn you see in the background. When we got back there, we were met by this car which wasn’t there when we arrived:


Just struck me as rather a stark contrast to the old rural landscape around us…


  1. I really like that gateway. I am glad you showed the photo that showed the gate house built over it.

    1. Yes - I was glad they had put up the signs as well, because it really isn't very easy for the average tourist to form images in one's head just based on the heaps of stones that are left on the surface here... ;)

  2. It is so good that some parts were restored, and it is being taken care of. It is really fascinating! I wonder if this was the church of Canute, or where he was posthumously made a saint, or maybe just the church for the people that were there. I love the Wikipedia photo, it really shows the scale. The gold car looks like a classic from maybe the 60's.

    1. Ginny, Canute was king of Denmark in the 1080s and was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church 15 years after his death. The churches in Scandinavia in medieval times were Roman Catholic and commonly named after saints.

  3. I, too, like the first photo of the gateway. There is something about gateways, windows and doors that has always fascinated me. As for the stepladder photo I was rather amused by the fact that the gate also has a latch for opening but there is no fence, so it's easy just to walk round the gate anyway.

    1. Graham, I think if you look closely and enlarge you may detect the wires of an electric fence to the left, and also a chain on the gate, which I seem to recall was locked by a padlock on the other side. (Easier to see the wires in the original photo - reduced image quality here.)


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