Kalmar Castle

Kalmar Castle



Location: Kalmar, Småland Map

Constructed: 12th- 16th century

Phone: 46 480 451490

Giftshop: 46 480 451491
Fax: 46 480 451499

Official site


The Letter of Union (July 20th, 1397)


Description of Kalmar Castle

Construction of Kalmar Castle was started here on the orders of Magnus III of Sweden Ladulås in 1280's.  Initially Kalmar Castle consisted only of a single tower at the defensive position over medieval harbour. The castle of Kalmar is famous for Kalmar Union  that was held on July 20th, 1397 under leadership of Queen Margaret I of Denmark. Later it was increased in size and complexity during reign of Vasa kings Erik XIV and Johan III the castle was build as a Renaissance Palace for Swedish kings. Norway, Sweden and Denmark were unified with this historic document.


History of Kalmar Castle

During the 12th century a defensive tower was built on the shores of the Kalmar Strait with a small harbor. At the end of the thirteenth century King Magnus Ladulås had already built a new fortress with a wall, rounded corner towers and two square booths surrounding the original tower. Located near the medieval port of Kalmar, since its initial construction in the twelfth century as a fortified tower played a crucial role in the history of Sweden.

One of the most important political events in Scandinavia took place at Kalmar Castle in 1397, when the Kalmar Union was formed - a union of Denmark, Norway and Sweden - organized by Queen Margaret I of Denmark. During the rebellion of Sweden against Denmark in 1520, the fortress was commanded by Anna Eriksdotter (Bielke), who upon the death of his spouse, Johan Månsson Dag och Natt, in the midst of the rebellion, took control of their fiefs and defended Kalmar against Denmark.

Kalmar fortress was improved during the sixteenth century under the leadership of King Gustav I and his sons then kings Eric XIV and John III, who converted the medieval fortress into a castle of a Renaissance architectural style. The castle of Kalmar suffered serious damage during the Kalmar War from 1611 to 1613 and was severely damaged by a fire in 1642. Repairs were started, but from the end of the 17th century the castle fell into disrepair.