Kalmar Castle is a legendary Swedish landmark whose history can be traced to as far as 800 years. It was originally built as protection against pirates and other enemies coming in from the sea. Tagged as “The Key to the Kingdom”, the castle played an essential part in Nordic politics. In 1397, it was the site of the signing of the Union of Kalmar wherein Sweden, Denmark, and Norway were united under one crown. In the 16th century, the fortress was transformed into a Renaissance Palace under the direction of the Wasa Kings Erik XIV and Johan III. Today, it stands as one of the best preserved renaissance castles in Europe. A visit to Kalmar is not complete without stopping by the castle.
For all those architecture buffs that are into castles, Kalmar Castle will not disappoint. The castle’s dungeon, secret passages, pepper pots, turrets, moat and drawbridge will surely transport one’s imagination to the times of knights and Vikings. Ancient warfare aficionados can reenact battles within and outside the walls, while those of a more romantic bent can imagine the daily life of past queens and princesses.
To complete the time travel experience, the castle regularly hosts dinners reminiscent of the 16th century. Authentic Renaissance style dishes are served. The plates and cutlery used are replicas of archeological finds originating from the said era. During the dinner, the matron of the house will guide participants throughout the meal on the time’s etiquette and customs and other historical information. This dinner is highly recommended as it satisfies both one’s curiosity and stomach. Kalmar Castle is also a very popular venue for weddings and wedding parties.
The well-preserved old world charm extends outside the Kalmar Castle into the city center. Cobblestone streets, stone buildings and ramparts are all over making walking or cycling around a very pleasant historical experience.