Örebro Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by Karl_Kaviar
  • Örebro Castle
    Örebro Castle
    by sim1
  • The castle
    The castle
    by Laura_Mexico

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    The 700-year history of Örebro Castle

    by Karl_Kaviar Written Apr 27, 2007

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    In the Middle Ages the castle was involved in warfare repeatedly, and up to 1568 it was besieged in all nine times. However, there was no question of any major alterations until the latter part of the 16th century.

    In 1560, King Gustav Vasa’s youngest son, Karl (later King Karl IX of Sweden) began an ambitious extension- and rebuilding programme of the castle. The old stone stronghold was transformed into a magnificent Renaissance castle.
    Even before the castle was finished, it was often used by both Karl IX and his son Gustav II Adolf. When the buiding work was finally completed in 1627, the state did not have any real use for it. The new monarchs preferred other residences, and slowly but surely Örebro Castle began to fall into disrepair.

    It was not until 1758 that it was finally decided to begin repairs on the much decayed and almost uninhabitable castle.
    Since an attack against the castle was no longer to be feared, all of the defences were removed. Instead, courtyards and terraces were laid out, and new stone bridges replaced the old wooden ones. Finally, the old caps on the towers were replaced with almost completely flat tin roofs. Inside, a beautiful apartment was fitted out which has ever since been the official residence of the County Governor of Örebro.

    In 1897-1900 the castle was again renovated. Historical romanticism held sway in Sweden and the architect strove to create a synthesis of all the epochs of the castle. Here would indeed be recreated a castle worthy of having been the residence of such great men in Swedish history as Engelbrekt, Gustav Vasa and Gustav II Adolf.
    Örebro Castle is one of several Vasa castles in Sweden. In a number of them the interiors have been better preserved, while Örebro was continually renovated to suit the times, which has been both good and bad. The successive rebuildings mean of course that there are few interiors preserved from bygone days, but on the other hand, Duke Karl’s old stone castle in the heart of Örebro is today a truly living and open castle.

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    The "svarvarehuset"

    by sim1 Updated Oct 21, 2003

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    This is the "Svarvarehuset" or the woodworker's house. You can go in here and see him at work, and also have and also browse around in the little shop where you can buy his work. Woodworking is not the only craft you can see here. You can also see blacksmith, painting and the silversmith and of course buy their work.

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    Mmmmm...... the bakery!

    by sim1 Updated Oct 21, 2003

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    Mmmmm, doesn't it look mouth-watering delicious!! And I can tell you it tastes just as good as it looks! The bakery is not only a 'must see' visit, but also a 'must taste'! The cookies I tasted were fantastic!!! Hahaha, I even would consider driving all the way back to Örebro to try out some more delicious cookies and cakes that they sell here :-)

    The bakery
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    The bakery

    by sim1 Updated Oct 21, 2003

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    Not that far from the phone booth, there is a little road on the left hand side. This is where you can find the bakery of Wadköping. It looks very picturesque from the outside, but mmmm, wait until you get inside! See my next tip for all the mouth-watering things you can buy here!

    The bakery in Wadk��ping
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    Why they did they move these houses?

    by sim1 Updated Oct 21, 2003

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    This is a close up picture of the Cajsa Warg Hus. When you take a closer look like this you can see how crooked it is. I love that though, it looks so picturesque!

    When I visited Wadköping the thing that questioned me most was why they moved all these houses to this area. But moving houses is nothing new. Old timbered houses have been moved ever since the middle Ages, but a project as big as Wadköping was something new.

    In a part of Örebro there was an almost untouched timber quarter with narrow streets and twisting alleys. But the houses fell in decay over time and had little or no sanitation. They area was not very attractive to live in, and with the need of Örebro to have new housing and shopping areas, they decided that everything old was to be knocked down.
    Luckily a campaign was started by the County Antiquarian, Bertil Waldén, to save at least some of the better old buildings. And that is how Waldköping started, a small quarter behind the city park on the banks of the River Svartån.

    Detail of the Cajsa Warg Hus
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    Old wooden houses

    by sim1 Updated Oct 21, 2003

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    Wadköping is quite new, and at the same time very old. The open air museum of Wadköping exists since 1965, but the buildings are much older. In the village of Wadköping you can see a collection of ancient buildings from Örebro and the surrounding countryside. There are many 18th-century wooden houses in the traditional red colour, which you can still see a lot around in Sweden. Besides the red houses there are also lovely bright 19th-century wooden houses. They all have been moved to this site in the City Park, together with two museum buildings – the King’s House (16th century) and Cajsa Warg’s House (17th century).

    ��rebro
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    Map of Wadköping

    by sim1 Updated Oct 21, 2003

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    This is a map of Wadköping that you can see at the entrance of the open air museum. On it you can see the location of the houses in the museum and a short description of them.
    Wadköping is situated on the banks of the River Svartån. It's not that hard to find, although it is somewhat outside of the city centre. But there are lots of signs pointing you in the right direction to find Wadköping easily.

    Map of Wadk��ping
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    In the middle of the city

    by sim1 Updated Oct 21, 2003

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    It was a beautiful day when I was in Örebro, and it was nice to walk around the castle in the sunshine. The location of the castle is a bit unusual though; it is in the middle of the city centre of Örebro. In the background on the right side of the picture (click on it to enlarge it) you can see the buildings of the city centre.
    If you follow the road signs to the city centre you can't miss finding the castle.

    ��rebro Castle is close to the city centrre
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    The jail

    by sim1 Updated Oct 21, 2003

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    The guided tour continues to the jail of Örebro Castle. This is also the spot where the exhibition about the history of Örebro is. It's not allowed to take pictures inside the castle, except for here at the jail, so this is the only picture of the interior that I have of Örebro castle. Not that I really minded in this case, as the interior wasn't so nice to see.
    The guided tour was more about the stories of the castle and the people living here, than showing the interior. Living in this jail for example wasn't the most fun part of it. You would be chained around your ankles, hands and also you neck and locked up in the little cell. The drinking water you would get
    would come straight out of the moat, and that wasn't the best water to drink. Like in a lot of castles, the moat was used like a sewer for the toilets.... arghhh... can't even imagine drinking water like that!
    The huge parties that were held when other royals visited, sounded a better place to be.... although.... were they? Hahaha, hearing all the details, maybe it wasn't so very pleasant at all. The dinners would be huge, and in total the meal would have 37 dishes. And you had to eat from each and every dish! Of course that is almost impossible to do, so they had a solution to that. After a few courses of the meal, they would throw up, so they would make more room in the stomach for the next dish. They actually had a little feather next to their plate to put in the back in the throat to make the vomiting more easily. arghh.... not sure if I like that idea, bweh!

    There were several stories like this about life in the castle and were fun to hear. Like the wedding night tradition of the king. But to hear about that one you have to go to the castle yourself and take the guided tour. Hahaha, VT would probably censor this tip when I write about that, lol :-)

    The jail in ��rebro castle
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    Separate entrance for the prince

    by sim1 Updated Oct 21, 2003

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    To make things more complicated, the prince should have a separate door as well. It's located on the other corner of the inner courtyard, and it's now the entrance to the tourist office. You can see two doors here as well, for the two royal children. The fun part is that the two doors lead to the same staircase. The doors suggest real 'separate' entrances, as you can't see from the outside that they lead to one and the same stairs.

    A separate door for the prince
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    King and Queen door

    by sim1 Updated Oct 20, 2003

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    The guided tour starts in the courtyard of the castle, and you can hear all about the building history of the castle. You can clearly see at points all the alterations that have been made to the castle over the centuries. A few fun details were pointed out, like the two sets of doors that are in opposite corners in the inner courtyard. The first set of doors is for the king and queen. In those days it was very important that the King should have its own entrance. So the solution was to give the king and the queen there own entrance door as you can see on the picture. Of course the door for the king should be much bigger than the one for the queen, so that makes it the door on the right side in the picture the 'king’s door'.
    The doors actually lead to different parts of the castle. The king and queen didn't like each other very much, so they lived in separate quarters of the castle.

    ��rebro Castle
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    The guided tour at Örebro Castle

    by sim1 Updated Oct 20, 2003

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    To get some idea how life in the castle is, it's a nice idea to take a guided tour. A word of warning though, the castle itself is not so spectacular to see on the inside. So don't get any hopes of seeing a nicely and interesting decorated castle. There isn't anything left of the old interior, only a few items (mainly paintings) you can still see. The inside of the castle is now made for practical use, like offices and conference rooms. So I thought that was quite disappointing. But the stories the guide tell are quite nice, so that made the tour worth while for me.

    The excursion takes about an hour and you hear all about how the life of the king in the castle was like. You hear stories about the big celebrations they used to have, and also about the rituals at the wedding night of the king. You can also hear about the ghost of Örebro, hahaha, as any real castle, this castle has its own ghost story as well.
    I went with the guided tour at the end of August and that meant that there was only a Swedish guided tour. But you do get a brochure with some English information on it. My Swedish isn't so good so I had a hard time understanding what the guide had to say. But she was very sweet and quickly translated the story in English, hahaha, what she actually wasn't supposed to do. But I am very grateful that she did :-)

    Guided Tours 2003

    June 16-August 17:
    11.00, 13.00, 15.00: Swedish
    12.00, 14.00, 16.00 English, German

    August 19-September 1:
    13.00 (Swedish, English information available)

    Rest of the year: Saturdays-Sundays 13.00 (Swedish)

    Entrance fee: Adults 45:-
    Children under 16 years free entrance

    ��rebro Castle
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    The history of Örebro and its castle

    by sim1 Updated Oct 20, 2003

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    I'll start my story about Örebro castle with a short version of its history.
    The building of castles in Sweden started with the strengthening of the king's power in the second part of the 13th century. Fortresses were built in the most important towns or (as is the case for Örebro) strategic points on important routes. The first time the fortress of Örebro was mentioned was in May 1364. Örebro has known quite a history, and has been besieged three times, in 1434, 1501 and 1521, but every time it withstood the assault. The strength of the fortification at Örebro lay in the combination of the thick high walls, plentiful water supply and impressive armaments.

    In the last decade of the 16th century, the town and the castle had a golden period of growth. This was due to Duke Karl, who later became King Karl IX. Duke Karl turned the fortifications into a castle.
    The present castle is the result of a comprehensive restoration from 1897-1900. The castle was 'upgraded' to give it 'a grander appearance, worthy of its rich past'.

    ��rebro Castle
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    The city of Örebro

    by sim1 Updated Oct 20, 2003

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    I've visited Örebro in the middle of August to do some shopping, but I also took the time to visit some tourist spots while I was there. All in all it was a great day!
    Örebro has 125,000 inhabitants, which makes it the seventh largest town in Sweden. It is also a university city, which gives it a bit of a lively feel to it and a nice atmosphere. Örebro is located about 200 km from Stockholm and 300 km to both Gothenburg and Oslo.
    Örebro has some interesting tourist attractions and the most famous is the castle, which dates back to the 13th century. The other one that I want to write about on this page is Wadköping, the old town.

    ��rebro Castle
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    Svampen

    by Leipzig Updated Sep 22, 2003

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    The most curious water tower I've ever seen. The water tower was built in 1958 and derived its name "Svampen" from its mushroom-like shape. It was built by the architect Sune Lindström. Did you know that a copy of the Svampen can be found in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh?

    the Svampen the Swampen
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