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:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.