Halmstad Castle (Halmstads slott) is a 17th-century castle dating from the time when Halland was a province of Denmark. In 1595 the farm on the site where the castle now stands was purchased for use as a residence for the Danish Christian IV on his visit to Halmstad. It was under the authority of King Christian that the castle was constructed.
Construction on the castle and nine adjoining lots started in 1609. Construction was likely completed in 1615. Construction Manager and architect was Dutch architect Willum Cornelissen. The architecture of the castle is typical for the period, in a style known as Christian IV Renaissance. It is more reminiscent of contemporary Danish country houses than an elegant royal palace.
With the Second Treaty of Brömsebro (1645), and finally the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658, the castle came under the authority of Bengt Christoffersson Lilliehook, the first Swedish governor of Halland. When Halland became a province of Sweden, Halmstad Castle become a residence of visiting Swedish kings. The Swedes reinforced the castle and in 1658 was an inner fortress finished and the facade had been much smaller window.
From 1770 and until today, the castle has been restored several times. In modern times it has become the traditional residence of the governor of Halland County. The governor of the castle and the local authority have some of its offices here. In 1999 Music of Halland (Musik i Halland) moved in and during 2000 Halmstad Tourist (Halmstads Turistbyrå) established its offices in the east wing.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.