Throughout central Kalmar, you will be reminded of the great historical importance of the city. There are many historical memorials here, as well as carefully renovated buildings.
In the Middle Ages, Kalmar was among the most important cities in Sweden. It was a flourishing trading place, and the location of many important political meetings. The most famous one was perhaps the union meeting of 1397, when the Kalmar union was formed. Sweden, Denmark, and Norway were one kingdom until 1523, when Sweden broke from the union and Gustav Vasa was elected king.
A central role
The Medieval fortress of Kalmar, which would eventually become Kalmar Castle, was the most modern one in Sweden during the Middle Ages. The castle remained a strong defence structure for many years. Among other things, it played a central role in the Kalmar war, which took place between 1611 and 1613. The war was one of the most dramatic events in the history of Kalmar. The city was captured by the Danish, and suffered much devastation.
Due to the destruction caused by the war, it was decided in 1640 that the town should be moved, from its previous location by the Kalmar castle and Slottsfjärden , to its present location on Kvarnholmen. The Kalmar citizens were initially unwilling, but after a fire in 1647, the decision was carried out. The new town was built inside moats and fortifications. At its heart was the cathedral, today one of the best-preserved Baroque churches in Northern Europe.
Large sections of the old city walls still remain on Kvarnholmen, where you will also find several well- preserved buildings dating from the 17th century onward. The truly old Kalmar can be experienced in the Old Town. A lot of it lies a metre and a half below ground, but you can still walk through the meandering alleys, and see the small, ancient houses and the remains of the original, Medieval city wall.
... The coat of arms of Kalmar is the oldest one in the Nordic countries?
... You can still see the remains of the old city wall, that once surrounded the town? Today, several shops are built into it.
... Kalmar has twice been awarded the finest architectural prize in Europe, the Europa Austra? (1985 and 1986).