Näs Castle Ruins

Visingsö, Sweden

In the 12th and 13th century, Näs (or Visingö) Castle on the southern end of Visingsö was the residence for the fragile Swedish monarchy. It was built probably by Sverker I of Sweden (died in 1156) or his son Charles VII of Sweden (Karl Sverkersson). Näs was thereby the oldest Royal castle in Sweden. It was a residence 5-6 kings before in 1318 Birger I (Birger Magnusson) pawned it to Danish. The castle was probably demolished soon after.

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Details

Founded: mid-1100s
Category: Ruins in Sweden
Historical period: Consolidation (Sweden)

Rating

4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Yang Liu (6 months ago)
Beautiful cliff view
Manoj Prabahar J T (6 months ago)
Very nice place to visit. Seeing ocean like lake from the the castle feels so wonderful. A place to visit.
Alice Serban (8 months ago)
A lovely dramatic piece of history, sadly it will slowly crumble into the lake
Llums d'Hivern (9 months ago)
Worth the trip, especially if you’re biking from the harbour during a daytrip to the island
Hamed Razzaghi (10 months ago)
Näs Castle is a castle ruin on the southern tip of Visingsö in Visingsö parish in Jönköping municipality. The village Näs in the vicinity has given the castle its name, in medieval sources it is called Visingsö or Visingsö hus. The facility was built as a royal residence during the 12th century. Possible builders were Sverker the Elder and his son Karl Sverkersson. The castle marks a transition to larger and more comfortable castle buildings and is the first of its kind. Most medieval sources agree that the castle, especially in the early 13th century, was at the center of the Swedish monarchy. This was Sweden's first national castle and was also used as a national bank, when the kings collected their and the kingdom's treasures in the castle. In 1318 it was pledged by King Birger Magnusson to the Danes. The castle was burned down after some fighting the same year while Birger was in exile.
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Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.