Brahehus Castle Ruins

Gränna, Sweden

Brahehus Castle was built by Per Brahe between 1637 and 1650s. Soon after Per Brahe died in 1680 Brahehus was abandoned and moved as a Crown property in the Great Reduction under Charles XI of Sweden. In 1708 the castle was destroyed by fire and not rebuilt anymore. From the ruins you have a fantastic view of lakes Vättern and Visingsö.

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Address

Brahehus 1, Gränna, Sweden
See all sites in Gränna

Details

Founded: 1637-1650
Category: Ruins in Sweden
Historical period: Swedish Empire (Sweden)

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.1/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Annette RK Madej (11 months ago)
Nice stop on way back to Stockholm. Great views and candy cane.
Alice Mwimbi (12 months ago)
Beautiful restaurant and very clean. The service is excellent! Friendly Staff!! Happy Holidays to you All!!
Peter Bebawy (13 months ago)
A place to visit when you are doing a cross country trip. A unique and interesting place to see. We stopped for lunch to the restaurant next to the ruin and walked around it for a couple minutes, there isn’t much to see but if you want to take some nice pictures and get a view over the landscape and water. You can visit the ruin whenever during the day but recommend that you see it during the day, due to how high up it is.
Evan Bryant (16 months ago)
Interesting ruin that was built as a sort of party castle, refurbished for his widow and ended up a shelter for messengers a couple of years later when she died. An example of misuse of taxpayers money during the 1600s and proof that it isn't a new phenomena. Probably the best view over Vättern this side of the lake.
Anneli Rosvall (17 months ago)
We just stopped to grab our picnic and to take a stroll through the landmark (an old preserved royal ruin). There could have been a better way to mark the access of that landmark for persons with a disablement. Good accessibility if you put you eye and effort into it and fresh areas.
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Bergenhus Fortress

Bergenhus fortress is one of the oldest and best preserved castles in Norway. It contains buildings dating as far back as the 1240s, as well as later constructions built as recently as World War II. The extent of the enclosed area of today dates from the early 19th century. In medieval times, the area of the present-day Bergenhus Fortress was known as Holmen (The islet), and contained the royal residence in Bergen, as well as a cathedral and several churches, the bishop's residence, and a Dominican monastery. Excavations have revealed foundations of buildings believed to date back to before 1100, which might have been erected by King Olav Kyrre. In the 13th century, until 1299, Bergen was the capital of Norway and Holmen was thus the main seat of Norway's rulers. It was first enclosed by stone walls in the 1240s.

Of the medieval buildings, a medieval hall and a defensive tower remain. The royal hall, today known as Haakon's Hall, built around 1260, is the largest medieval secular building in Norway. The defensive tower, known in the Middle Ages as the keep by the sea, was built around 1270 by King Magnus VI Lagabøte, and contained a royal apartment on the top floor. In the 1560s it was incorporated by the commander of the castle, Erik Rosenkrantz, into a larger structure, which is today known as the Rosenkrantz Tower.

In the Middle Ages, several churches, including the Christ Church, Bergen's cathedral, were situated on the premises. These however were torn down in the period 1526 to 1531, as the area of Holmen was converted into a purely military fortification under Danish rule. From around this time, the name Bergenhus came into use. Building work on the Christ Church probably started around 1100. It contained the shrine of saint Sunniva, the patron saint of Bergen and western Norway. In the 12th and 13th centuries it was the site of several royal coronations and weddings. It was also the burial site of at least six kings, as well as other members of the royal family. The site of its altar is today marked by a memorial stone.

In the 19th century, the fortress lost its function as a defensive fortification, but it was retained by the military as an administrative base. After restoration in the 1890s, and again after destruction sustained during World War II, Bergenhus is today again used as a feast hall for public events. During World War II, the German navy used several of its buildings for their headquarters, and they also constructed a large concrete bunker within the fortress walls. The buildings, including the Haakon's Hall, were severely damaged when a Dutch ship in the service of the German navy, carrying approximately 120 tons of dynamite, exploded on 20 April 1944 in the harbour just outside the fortress walls, but the buildings were later restored.

Bergenhus is currently under the command of the Royal Norwegian Navy, which has about 150 military personnel stationed there. The fortifications Sverresborg fortress and Fredriksberg fortress also lie in the centre of Bergen. Haakon's Hall and the Rosenkrantz Tower are open for visits by the public. Koengen, the central part of Bergenhus Fortress is also known as a concert venue.