Kronoberg Castle is a medieval ruin located on an island in lake Helgasjön. In 1444 Lars Mikaelson, the bishop of Växjö, built a stone building on the lakeshore. During the Dano-Swedish War of 1470-1471, Danish forces destroyed the house. It was reconstructed and fortified after peace was restored in 1472. During the Swedish Reformation the castle and its estate were confiscated by Gustav Vasa.
In 1542, during the Dacke War, Kronoberg was taken over by rebels led by Nils Dacke. The revolt was suppressed in 1543, and control reverted to the crown. Due to its strategic location near the border between Sweden and Denmark at the time, the castle was further fortified, and became a stronghold in this part of Småland. The king's son John III ordered additional improvements that never were carried out. The castle had great military significance during the Northern Seven Years War (1564-1570). In the winter of 1568, Eric XIV used Kronoborg as a support point while beating back a Danish attack from Skåne. In 1570 the castle was successfully besieged and burned by the Danes. Between 1576 and 1580 construction continued, after which the castle had at least 50 cannon. Duke Charles continued work on the fortifications, but in the end of January 1612 the castle was again taken and burned by Danish troops under Breide Rantzau. Reconstruction was not started until 1616.
As late as the reign of Charles XI Kronoberg castle was in good condition. However, after the Treaty of Roskilde was signed in 1658, the Swedish-Danish border was moved to Øresund, and Kronoberg castle lost its military significance. Neglected, the building began to decay and became a ruin.
The castle ruin is open to tourists in the summer months. It is located just short drive from Växjö, Sweden.References:
The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.
The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.
The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.
The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.
Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.
The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.