Glimmingehus, is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).

Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.

Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.

An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".

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Address

1531, Hammenhög, Sweden
See all sites in Hammenhög

Details

Founded: 1499-1506
Category: Castles and fortifications in Sweden
Historical period: Kalmar Union (Sweden)

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

May-Elin Westgård (12 months ago)
Castle from year 1400. You can walk inside the castle and look around at 600 years of history. There is also a cafeteria and a little museum. Well worth a visit and 5 stars from me.
Gavin Hill (15 months ago)
A very interesting place to visit. We went on the guided tour...excellent
AC M. (15 months ago)
A great day was spent at this beautiful castle. The staff is incredibly nice and welcoming, the museum is amazing. Everything is well explained, even for children. We had a ball. Cherry on top: dogs allowed... We loved it!!!
Carl Niclas (17 months ago)
The Glimmingehus medieval castle is astoundingly well preserved and has a suitably spooky history. It's fascinating to walk the halls and climb the stairs that were used five hundred yards ago. And yes, you'll be climbing stairs. Lots of them and they are steep as well... Be sure to check their calendar as they have a plethora of exciting activities too, such as shooting bow and arrow, medieval games and so on.
Ville Laurén (17 months ago)
Nice place with interesting history. I recommend to visit if you are travelling nearby. Entry fee was approx. 100kr for an adult. There is a castle, small museum and restaurant/cafe. Castle is nice and don't take too much time to explore. Most of the information texts were only in Swedish, which is a limitation if you don't know the language.
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