Ismantorp Fortress

Borgholm, Sweden

Ismantrop is an ancient fortress, which was used probably between years 300-500 AD. The ringfort consists of a limestone wall approximately 300 meters long and has nine gates. Inside the ringfort were 95 houses arranged in 12 blocks around a central open area with a circular building. Ismantorp is the largest and probably the oldest of the ringforts on Öland.

The first written description of Ismantorp dates back to the year 1634. Renowned botanist Carl von Linné, as well as other travellers and scholars, paid attention to the fortress. Researchers have tried to determine the fortress's age, function and history since the 19th century. Its well-preserved walls distinguish the fortress, as do the central building's unusual location on a ground elevation, the 88 visible house foundations and the nine gates.

Theories of Ismantorp's function differ widely. The fortifications suggest a defensive purpose, but its many gates make is difficult to defend. Ismantorp fortress has been compared to large Slavic castles that were both protective fortress and religious sanctuaries. Other researchers view the fortress as an integrated part of a united defence of the island of Öland.

Ismantorp, which today is surrounded by marshes in the Mittlandskogen forest, is an archaeological enigma as well as a popular place to visit.

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Details

Founded: 300-500 AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Sweden
Historical period: Roman Iron Age (Sweden)

More Information

en.wikipedia.org
www.raa.se

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Alex Haas (4 months ago)
After arriving in Öland this was one of the first sights we went visiting. The road is quite fine, only on the last few meters it turns into a dirtroad. The parking lot is also not paved, but otherwise fine. There's plenty of parking, but surprisingly few visitors. Even though we came here on a beautiful sunny day. The remains of the fortress are quite complete and if you climb up, you can get a better view of it. Of course a higher perspective would reveal an even better view. But to get that picture you'll need a helictoper....or a drone with a camera maybe. Even though the fortress is pretty much gone, you can see all the remains of the inner and outer walls and surely it was an impressive sight when it was still in one piece. It's a nice sight, only a quick walk from the parking lot on a nice, open field. Be respectful and be careful when you climb up, so you won't damage the ruins any further. To me it was also suprising - besides the few visitors - that there isn't any fee or entrance here. It's just there.... and that's very nice.
Jethro Jessop (8 months ago)
It's an interesting historical monument but the major appeal is the walk out to it which was fantastic. Farmland, woodland, scrub, meadows and wetland (dry as bone in the middle of a heatwave though). The little coffeshop on site is rrally nice as well - friendly staff and great, homemade snacks.
Patrik Wivstad (9 months ago)
Ruin of a circle wall with house grounds inside. Sadly enough no info at site. Even though, cool place to visit if you're in the area or interested in historic places!
Mike Bite (9 months ago)
If you are on a trip to Öland and you are interested in viking history this place should be a must in your visiting list. The path to the ruins is magical.
Emma Hultgren (10 months ago)
Lovely walk through a forest for 10 minutes. The remains of the fort has a great history with famous names such as Carl von Linné.
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