This Royal Castle was one of the most important strongholds in the Kingdom.
Time after time, during the whole of the Middle Ages and up to the 17th Century, it was the scene of battles and sieges and of destruction and reconstruction. Swedes and Danes have by turn held the Castle and kings and princes held court in its halls.
The original castle was erected within a ring-wall during the 12th Century.
Between 1572 and 1592 the architect Pahr was employed by King Johan III to transform the old stronghold into a magnificent renaissance castle.Round towers were placed at each corner of this monumental quadrilateral building and a firther towe on each of its 4 walls.
The west side, being on the edge of a rock face, was in a protected position and it was here that the magnificent state apartments, with large windows on both floors were placed.
The castle suffered severe damage in the KALMAR WAR 1611 - 1613 and the heir to the throne who was later to become King Karl X Gustav, engaged the most prominent architect of his day, Tessin the elder, to reconstruct it into a restrained and uniform palace in keeping with classic baroque ideals.
These plans were only in part fulfilled. Building work continued into the reign of Karl XI but at a progressively slower pace, until in the middle of Karl XIII's Russian campaign it was finally discontinued.
Only the Guard remained there, although regular services were held in the castle chapel until 1772.
The castle fell into an increasingly rapid rate of decay and the buildings in the north wall were used to house a clothing factory and a dyers workshop.
On October 14th 1806, a violent fire broke out in these buildings.
It spread quickly in the hard north-easterly wind and the castle was turned into a ruin......but it still impressive to go and have a look there, walk around and wonder......
They had an excavating between 1964-1974. 1974 they started to rebuild this castle with an old method from this time. 1984 was the museum founded and Carl XVI Gustaf was there and cut the rope. This palace has museum, café and shop. During the summer you can come here and see how people lived, worked and many things like that. Dont bring your dogs with you here, they arent allowed at all. They must stay in the parking spot.
The best way to see the Island.. no, better, to feel it wonders, is to get in your car and hit the road in a big island tour. By keeping the coast road, you will find how exciting one simple trip can get. On your right side, the Baltic Sea will cover a very rocky shore, along of which spots are being settled for you to stop and have a picnic, drink your coffee and dream of an never ending Oland day...
And if the nature didn't took your breath away, then get on your way, move on and watch the fields where flocks and herds, camels (i am not joking!) and deer are feeding. Stop then at the ruins of old castles, visit the Lange Erik Lighthouse from Olands Norra Udde and the reservation parks with the oldest trees on the island. Damn, there are so much more to see in only one small island...
When you travel as I did from the north of Öland along the coast you will meet these beautiful creatures. You have to respect them and drive slowly so you dont scare them. But they are very nice to look at on the western coast. The good thing is that doesnt cost anything.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL DISCOVERY OF THE VIKING ISLAND OF ÖLAND.
These tours were specifically designed for bicycle, hostiry and nature lovers! This Swedish Baltic island is characterized by a sunny microclimate and a unique, mostly flat, landscape.
There are seaside cliffs and deep forests, vast inhabited steppes of the ALVARET and the southern part is in the UNESCO HERITAGE LIST.
Bur Öland is primarily knowned for its most impressive archaeological sites.....exceptionally well preserved by its unique climate and geology!
It is a refuge for migrating birds, has rare flower species and some unique species of animals. So....get ready for one of these guided tours and you will have acces to places where cars will never be able to come...
Guaruanteed are: the best trails, the best sites, best hotels, multi lingual guiding.....no heavy backpacks to carry: it will just be an exciting adventure with lots of smils and good friends....
1. ÖLAND FROM SOUTH TO NORTH: 7 days,
2. ÖLANDS FANTASTIC ALVARET: 4 days, 5
3. 1-2-3 day ADVENTURE: YOUR WAY...
customize your own tour...
RESERVATIONS & INFORMATIONS:
The Nature & Archaeoligical Cycing Company (NACC)
email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
NATURE AND HISTORY AROUND THE BALTIC.
When you come to Öland, just before crossing the bridge, if you are not swiming or coming by boat or plane... well who knows... you will find the town Kalmar on the mainland. This Is a very nice town for some shopping or eating out. There is also a castle and a few museums worth taking a look at in Kalmar...
Eketorpsborg is a reconstruction of a fortress from the iron and Middle age At that time the fortress was used to protect people living in the area during war times. There is also a museum inside the fortress displayingthe most important finds from the excavations of the area.
At the very southern tip of the island you will find Ottenby and the 40 meter high light house Långe Jan. Climb the 197 steps and have a wonderful view of this bird and seal paradise. Here is one of the most famous bird observatories in Sweden. A visit to Naturrum which has a nice permanent exibition around birds and wild life is also worth wile.
The fire is blazing in the glassworks ovens as it has done for Centureis and, boy, is that fabulous to see!
Several of the world's most famous glassworks lie within a short distance of each other in the area between NYBRO and Växjö, Orrefors, Kosta, Boda and Lindshammar, to list a few....
Visitors are welcome year round to shop in the crystal shops and see how the masters form the mass into an artwork.
With the discount card CRYSTAL PASSPORT you receive special offers and a wide range of benefits in the BLOWING ROOM, such as blowing glass at a reduced price...
Here you will see WORLD FAMOUS ART AND DESIGN.....
wHEN IN LAND in JUNE, you shouldn't miss the SOLLIDEN DAY which special day is held each year in June in front of the SOLLIDEN VILLA.
In the photograph you can see His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf with his daughter CROWNPRINCESS VICTORIA.
The Royal family also joins the activities on Solliden day and on this day the ÖLANDER OF THE YEAR is chosen by the King and the event is accompanied by speeches and live music.
A person that means a great deal to Öland is chosen by the inhabitants and the KING himself has already been chosen for the invaluable publicity he gives ÖLAND, its countryside and its culture.....
King & Queen take part in various events on Öland, including the Royal Rally, the Harvest Festival, the opening of exhibitions and the most popular festival of all VICTORIA DAY on JULY 14th...
SOLLIDEN has huge, most wonderful parks, a real joy to walk through and enjoy!
OPEN: PARK & EXHIBITIONS: 11am - 6pm
CAFé: 11AM - 6PM
This wonderful, fairytale castle is the ROYAL SUMMER RESIDENCE...
None other than VICTORIA, of German dynasty, gave orders to have SOLLIDEN built on the advice of her personal physician Axel Munthe.
At that moment she was crown princess, 40 years of age and periodically suffering of serious bronchial problems.
The idea came about during a sailing trip on the Kalmar Straits during the 1890s. It would be great for Victoria to have a place outside Borgholm. The sun and wind would be good for her health.
It is a villa built in Italian style, soberly elegant and correct, captivatingly situated on the crest of a ridge, with a wonderful view.
In 1906 the villa was completed and the castle still exudes a sense of timelessness.
The present king of Sweden inherited SOLLIDEN as a child in 1950 and has spent his summers there ever since.
to be continued in next tip.....
Ottenby Nature Reserve has a lot on offer for the tourists who are so lucky to have chosen the island of Öland for a holiday!
This UNESCO HERITAGE SITE is a paradise for birds.....there are many sheep : haymaking and grazing are essential for the rich FLORA & FAUNA.....
There is the OTTENBY WOOD (lund) which is the largest continuous deciduous woodland area on southern Öland and oak dominated!
In May & June the wood is alive with splendid birdsong...
In 1694 Karl XI had all the grazing animals fenced out to protect the wood's young oak plants. That is why most of the impressive adult aoks are now some 300 years of age!!
KUNGSGåRDEN: (The Royal FARM): in 1544 Gustavus I evicted alle villagers from Ottenby to make room for this KUNGSGåRDEN.
At the same time it was decided that all farmers on Southern Öland had to work at Kungsgården from time to time and..without pay! (a ROYAL gesture again??!!)
The farm, which is still owned by the State, nowadays has around 1000 cattle and 400 sheep.
These are kept partly to ensure that the land is used.
In the large cattle shed the tenant has one of Öland's largest and most modern dairy herd!
Of course there is a lovely restaurant near the LIGHTHOUSE and its name is FåGEL BLå restaurant: wonderful cake and lovely spiced tea I had there......
The whole southern part of ?LAND is in the UNESCO LIST OF HERITAGE SITES because it is so very special!
(NOTE: Sweden has 12 areas that have already been added to the list!)
The UPPSALA UNIVERITY'S ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH STATION is THE GATEWAY TO THE ALVAR PLAIN.
Here many activities take place and these are for the general public and for everyone (groups e.g.) who is interested in the environment.
Some other exciting places to visit here in the south of land:
DEGERHAMN MUSEUM OF LOCAL HISTORY
TORSLUNDA EXPERIMENTAL STATION
and more, much more......contact the Tourist Office.....
This is the Lighthouse in the most Southern part of the Island.
It can be climbed which is very worthwhile because of the view......
There is a lovely restaurant where you can have a drink and cakes or little snacks....
There are people who cycle to the lighthouses, but it is wonderful to drive from Långe Jan in the south to Långe Erik in the north of the island.....and cliomb both towers....
You will feel very satisfied and......touring the island you will notice how special a place it is....the Royal Family has a SUMMERHOUSE here where they spend their holidays because Öland has much more hours of sunshine than other parts of SWEDEN.....
This was Öland's first fortress in 300 A.D..
For years on end excavations have been going on here.
Everyone is very welcome at this historical place in the South of Öland.
There is a special brochure which will make it easy for you to find your own way through the fort, but...there are also guided tours and STAFF is always there to answer to your questions.
By visiting this special place you take part in and experience HISTORY....
You can journey back in time by following the signs....
You can choose either to enther through the MEDIEVAL GATE of through the IRON GATE (on the northern side of the fort.)
In the Western part of the fort there are reconstructions from the Iron Age and in the Eastern part from the Middle Ages.
The day you spend here will be a wonderful and exciting one.....history is what the present is built on, isn't it?
I can recommend this place to you, go and see for yourself!
There is of course a nice museum and an interesting exhibition, a lovely SHOP and a restaurant.