Tuesday, 20 November 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.


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:

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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!

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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!

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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:


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


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

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Through My Lens

Our World Tuesday


  1. This is beyond cool! I have never seen such a big moat! The goose is a Greylag. I think royalty used to eat pheasants, peacocks, and swans? The little red roofed house is adorable. Is it the gate house? I would rather live there than in the castle! The tiny suits of armor...well, back then people used to be shorter, ha ha! I am wondering if they were toys for little boys? Gosh, their clothes look so hot! But that was before global warming. Great pictures, I loved the tour!

    1. Ginny, the castle is on the coast, so the 'moat' is really just one side of it I think, making the castle a separate island, with a bridge connecting it to the mainland).

  2. no dungeons for me please. it is a beautiful castle and so glad they preserved it. my favorite of the way it used to look is the first one, love that tower. am I am with Ginny on the clothes, but not hot as much as YOWSA I would hate to wear them. soooo glad I did not live back thn.

    1. Sandra, those clothes make even the dresses worn at modern day Nobel Prize ceremonies etc look casual by comparison ;)

  3. wow such great history, even better than the interior has been made to look original.

  4. The place looks very defensive from the outside, and rather glamorous inside (apart from the dungeon, obviously, and the kitchen). As for stuffed birds on the dinner table - thanks, but no thanks :-)

    1. Meike, it's a very impressive building and I'm glad they made the efforts to restore it and make a museum of it. And I think we may actually need the reminders of the vast class differences of the past as well... Kind of gives one a perspective on the things we complain about in our own time!

  5. Old(ish) buildings like that are always fascinating in themselves but the location of this one fascinated me too and I went and had a good look at it's position. I assume that it was originally an island.

    1. Graham, I'm not sure if it was always an island, or perhaps a peninsula made into an island by adding a moat for defense purposes.

  6. Fantastic scenery! I love castles and am so glad you shared this one with us!


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