Slotts Castle, Kalmar - Sweden

Uploaded 23 Oct 2008 — 8 favorites
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© Simon Le
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

...Throughout the ages Kalmar Castle has been a focal point of dramatic historical events in northern Europe. With its location near the south coast the castle has been embroiled in a number of military skirmishes but is also noted for being the site of peaceful cooperation, significant both politically and economically to the nation. As a collection point for tax paid in kind the castle has also served as a larder visited by both king and royal court.

The Defence Tower

Kalmar Sound was in earlier times a thoroughfare for seafarers frequented in the transportation of people as well as livestock and trade goods. Along the southern coast of Småland where the sound is most narrow there were many natural harbours. These harbours can be described as rock formations surrounded by water; the term that is believed to refer to them, and from which the name of the sound is derived is “kalm”. Next to the harbour a significant centre of commerce developed as early as the 12th century.

According to the Islandic poet Snorre Sturlason, King Sigurd Jorsalafarare moored his fleet in Kalmar in the year 1123 and travelled inland to convert the population of Småland to Christianity, a crusade which became known as “Kalmare ledung.” The Christian faith had not yet been widely accepted in what was to become the Kingdom of Sweden. During the 12th century all of Sweden became Christianized and a monarchy with more distinct contours emerged. In various places throughout the Kingdom fortifications were constructed from which the central power administered the collection of taxes, a bailiff being the representative for the monarchy. Cities were built and developed into centres of commerce and this provided the King with tax revenue.

The latter part of the 12th century was a tumultuous period in the north. The eastern seaboard was often subjected to enemy artillery from, among others, the expansive Danes as well as fleets of pirates from pagan areas in the east and southeast. Estlanders, Karelians, and others carried out raids and looted all along the Swedish coast. In defence against these raids various types of fortifications were built in strategic places. Another quite usual type of defence fortification was an individual stone tower, usually with either round or square levels. These watchtowers and coastal bulwarks were generally surrounded by other constructions such as wooden palisades and moats. They were most advantageously placed at the mouth of important waterways. Many of the existing defence towers are well known and have been more or less restored, such as the square tower which grew into becoming “Nyköpingshus” at the mouth of the Nyköping river. Yet another tower was erected at Stegeborg blocking the entranceway to Söderköping. During the 13th century the foundation was laid for a defence tower for the protection of Mälaren...

8 responses

  • Farras Abdelnour

    Farras Abdelnour gave props (23 Oct 2008):

    omg... the lighting and colors are to die for! beautiful shot, simon

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (23 Oct 2008):

    Fabulous.

  • Nelson Campbell

    Nelson Campbell (Deleted) gave props (23 Oct 2008):

    Absolutely fantastic Simon!!

  • Andrew Lorimer

    Andrew Lorimer (Deleted) gave props (27 Oct 2008):

    Truly Beautiful Capture !!!

  • Laura Hartley

    Laura Hartley gave props (1 Nov 2008):

    fascinating and beauytifully written saga - wonderful colors and stillness of the image - a great combo - wonderful

  • Farras Abdelnour

    Farras Abdelnour gave props (10 Nov 2008):

    very interesting history. i love the saturation of the red and blue colors here

  • Trish Meyer

    Trish Meyer (Deleted) gave props (22 Nov 2008):

    Wonderful lighting, interesting information.

  • Sherry Davis Johnson

    Sherry Davis Johnson gave props (6 Dec 2008):

    Beautiful as always, Simon.

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