Kärnan is a medieval tower, the only part remaining of a larger Danish fortress which controlled the entrance to the Baltic Sea.

The origins of the fortress is disputed but Danish legend places its origin to the reign of the legendary King Fróði. However, this legend has not been supported by archaeological proof. Dendrochronological dating has shown that the core was built in the 1310s, when Eric VI of Denmark was King of Denmark. It was considered the most important fortress in Denmark, and was integral in securing control over the strait between Scania and Zealand.

It was surrendered to Sweden along with the rest of Skåneland as part of the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658. The fortress was retaken by Danish forces in 1676 during the Scanian War, and its capture celebrated by flying a giant Flag of Denmark above it. This flag was later captured by the Swedish army and is preserved in the Army Museum (Armémuseum) in Stockholm. The fortress returned to Swedish control by the Treaty of Lund in 1679. Charles XI of Sweden ordered most of it demolished fearing that it was too exposed to a sneak attack from Denmark. The only thing that was saved for posterity was the old medieval tower core. The tower continued to serve as a landmark for shipping through Øresund.

The castle was restored starting during 1893-94, under instructions from Oscar Ferdinand Trapp, a Swedish businessman and engineer (1847–1916). Architect for the restoration was Josef Alfred Hellerström (1863–1931), Helsingborg city architect from 1903 to 1928. The objective of the restoration was to restore, to the extent possible, the appearance the structure had based upon the oldest known medieval illustration. The building's crenellation dates from these repairs.



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Founded: 1310s
Category: Castles and fortifications in Sweden
Historical period: Consolidation (Sweden)

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User Reviews

Partha Pratim Mondal (5 months ago)
Karnan - A Must-Visit for History Buffs and Tourists Rating: 4 out of 5 stars Karnan is a medieval keep located in the heart of Helsingborg, Sweden. It was built in the early 1300s and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. The keep is 35 meters high and offers stunning views of the harbor, Oresund, and Helsingor, Denmark. There are three floors to explore inside Karnan, each of which tells a different story about the history of the keep. The ground floor houses a museum with exhibits on the history of Karnan and the city of Helsingborg. The first floor is a reconstruction of a medieval kitchen, and the second floor is a viewing platform with panoramic views of the city. The climb to the top of Karnan is a bit challenging, but the views are worth it. On a clear day, you can see all the way to Denmark! I highly recommend visiting Karnan if you are interested in history, tourism, or simply want to enjoy some stunning views of Helsingborg. Pros: Stunning views of the harbor, Oresund, and Helsingor Interesting exhibits on the history of Karnan and the city of Helsingborg Challenging but rewarding climb to the top Cons: The climb to the top can be a bit strenuous for some people The museum exhibits are a bit small and could be improved Overall: Karnan is a great place to visit if you are interested in history, tourism, or simply want to enjoy some stunning views of Helsingborg. The climb to the top is a bit challenging, but the views are worth it. I highly recommend visiting Karnan if you are in the area.
søren christoffersen (5 months ago)
so crazy. beautiful and fascinating well-maintained tower in the middle of Helsingborg. from the top of the tower you can see Denmark and Kronborg.
Daniel Peters (5 months ago)
Out of shape Americans beware! Heh heh. I made it up to the top fine but stopped at each floor on the way up. There's a little something to check out on each floor so it worked out as intended I think. View up top is lovely (but hold onto your hat, it was quite windy when I visited). The history is intriguing and all info was in both Swedish and English.
Lola Ruzikulova (6 months ago)
Magnificent place with powerful vibes of old times. There is also the digital video installation on historical moments in the life of castle.
Shweta Chitkara Verma (14 months ago)
Very amazing and beautiful place. We drove from Malmo to helsingborg to see this place and it was worth a ride. You get to see beautiful tower with some beautiful views. Nive garden around. There is nominal entry fee for visiting in the tower. A great place to spend time with friends and family.
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