Linköping Castle is Sweden's oldest profane building. The oldest part, west wing, dates from the 12th century. Currently the residence of the County Governor of Östergötland, the castle has been home to governors and bishops since the 13th century. The most famous bishop to live in castle was probably Hans Brask, Sweden's last Catholic bishop.
The Linköping Bloodbath, the public execution by beheading of five Swedish nobles in the aftermath of the Battle of Stångebro, in 1600 was held in either in Linköping market square or in the castle courtyard.
In 1700 most of Linköping city burned down, but the cathedral and castle survived. The decayed castle was moved as a city prison. The restoration began In 1796 and then the castle got its classicism style appearance. In 1880 it was again renovated to the neo-Renaissance style, but restored back to the current classicism in 1930s.
The old tower of the museum features an exhibit of the history of the castle, cathedral and diocese from the 12th century to today. Unique 14th century textiles and other valuables - especially from Sweden's empire period - are on display in the treasury. You can see a big model of the castle's state apartments in the great hall.References:
Varberg Fortress was built in 1287-1300 by count Jacob Nielsen as protection against his Danish king, who had declared him an outlaw after the murder of King Eric V of Denmark. Jacob had close connections with king Eric II of Norway and as a result got substantial Norwegian assistance with the construction. The fortress, as well as half the county, became Norwegian in 1305.
King Eric's grand daughter, Ingeborg Håkansdotter, inherited the area from her father, King Haakon V of Norway. She and her husband, Eric, Duke of Södermanland, established a semi-independent state out of their Norwegian, Swedish and Danish counties until the death of Erik. They spent considerable time at the fortress. Their son, King Magnus IV of Sweden (Magnus VII of Norway), spent much time at the fortress as well.
The fortress was augmented during the late 16th and early 17th century on order by King Christian IV of Denmark. However, after the Treaty of Brömsebro in 1645 the fortress became Swedish. It was used as a military installation until 1830 and as a prison from the end of the 17th Century until 1931.
It is currently used as a museum and bed and breakfast as well as private accommodation. The moat of the fortress is said to be inhabited by a small lake monster. In August 2006, a couple of witnesses claimed to have seen the monster emerge from the dark water and devour a duck. The creature is described as brown, hairless and with a 40 cm long tail.