A Conversation for Kalmar Castle, Kalmar, Sweden

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Post 1

Hikaru Poet

I visited Sweden as a part of an ancestral heritage tour. I am descended in part from 19th century Swedish emigrants to America. Some of my ancestors came from Småland and Öland, so I included a trip to Kalmar and across the bridge to Öland on my itinerary.

I visited Kalmar Castle on the second weekend in October, timing my trip to make sure I hit the one weekend per month it is open October to March. The wide access to a large portion of the castle provided the opportunity to visualize various eras of its history. It's definitely worth seeing. But the place and procedure for admission was not obvious. Enter the gift shop from the central court (to the left as you enter court) to start your tour.

I was later able to visit Örebro Castle and compare/contrast it with Kalmar Castle. Though both have some historical significance, Kalmar has the more prominet history. Örebro's historic display is much more limited, confined to one turret. Örebro Castle also underwent much greater structural alteration, especially with being built up, story after story. Kalmar's alteration was more horizontal and longer ago. The lesson is, if you're going to see one castle, try to see another one somewhere else also.

Another interesting comparison was the Castle view of history and the Kalmar County Museum view of history. The castle's displays and information referred in passing to the town as it provided a broad overview of Nordic history and the Kalmar Union's place in it. The museum's "Out of the way! Traces of 12,000 years" geological and anthropological history of the region closes with a renaissance-era miniature of the town and displays about the people who lived there. Though almost proletarian as a counterpoint to the castle material's cursory treatment of the town and its people, by visiting both castle and museum, I came away with a richer appreciation for part of my ancestral history, including what everyday life was like for my ancestors (who were more likely peasants than potentates).

Parking tip: Free parking available by the library before crossing into centrum or into old town (Gamlastan).


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Post 2

Ace Rimmer [pretending]

Hope you enjoyed your visit!smiley - smiley


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Post 3

Hikaru Poet

I stayed at a hotel in Växjö during my stay in Småland. I had a rental car and drove out to Kalmar. I saw the castle and county musuem, but decided to skip the art musuem because of time limitations, but I did enjoy a little shopping and snack at the waterfront shopping center.

For my return trip, I started by crossing the bridge to Öland and drove across to Gårdby. I do not know which town in Öland my great-grandfather came from so I picked Gårdby as a representative sample. It late in the afternoon so nothing was open but I took a couple of pictures. The musuem and handicraft shop looked interesting.

There is a tall brick tower that overlooks the heart of Kalmar. It dominates the skyline, so I was suprised to see no placque or info about it. However, it looked like ia privately owned building of offices or something like that. I also wondered if it was "newer" (that is, built in the 19th century or later) and as a result having minimal historic interest.

Can anybody tell me about that building?


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Post 4

Ace Rimmer [pretending]

That would be the Kuretornet.


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Post 5

Ku'Reshtin (Bring the beat back!)

Why have I not answered to this thread before?

I'm pretty sure that the big brick tower overlooking the city centre that Hikaru Poet is referring to is the old water tower just off the Larmgatan.
It is in deed used as a residential building at the moment, as the new water tower is located out in the suburbs of Kalmar somewhere.

The old water tower was completed in the year 1900 and was used as the water tower of Kalmar until 1972 when the new water tower was finished. It was converted into residential housing in 1984.

For more pictures ofthe two water towers, please have a look at:
http://www.eber.se/torn/gota/kalmar.htm


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Post 6

Hikaru Poet

Thanks for the update. Yes, the building I was referring to would be on or near Larmgatan.

This provides another comparison between Kalmar and Örebro. The Svampen water tower in Örebro has a cafe and some exhibitions. I only had a chance for a quick bite in the cafe on my 2002 trip but at least I got a chance for "bird's eye" view of Örebro.


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