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.References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.
The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.
The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.
Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.
At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.
In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.