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.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



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 (10 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 (14 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 (15 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 (15 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 (16 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.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Czocha Castle

Czocha Castle is located on the Lake Leśnia, what is now the Polish part of Upper Lusatia. Czocha castle was built on gneiss rock, and its oldest part is the keep, to which housing structures were later added.

Czocha Castle began as a stronghold, on the Czech-Lusatian border. Its construction was ordered by Wenceslaus I of Bohemia, in the middle of the 13th century (1241–1247). In 1253 castle was handed over to Konrad von Wallhausen, Bishop of Meissen. In 1319 the complex became part of the dukedom of Henry I of Jawor, and after his death, it was taken over by another Silesian prince, Bolko II the Small, and his wife Agnieszka. Origin of the stone castle dates back to 1329.

In the mid-14th century, Czocha Castle was annexed by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia. Then, between 1389 and 1453, it belonged to the noble families of von Dohn and von Kluks. Reinforced, the complex was besieged by the Hussites in the early 15th century, who captured it in 1427, and remained in the castle for unknown time (see Hussite Wars). In 1453, the castle was purchased by the family of von Nostitz, who owned it for 250 years, making several changes through remodelling projects in 1525 and 1611. Czocha's walls were strengthened and reinforced, which thwarted a Swedish siege of the complex during the Thirty Years War. In 1703, the castle was purchased by Jan Hartwig von Uechtritz, influential courtier of Augustus II the Strong. On August 17, 1793, the whole complex burned in a fire.

In 1909, Czocha was bought by a cigar manufacturer from Dresden, Ernst Gutschow, who ordered major remodelling, carried out by Berlin architect Bodo Ebhardt, based on a 1703 painting of the castle. Gutschow, who was close to the Russian Imperial Court and hosted several White emigres in Czocha, lived in the castle until March 1945. Upon leaving, he packed up the most valuable possessions and moved them out.

After World War II, the castle was ransacked several times, both by soldiers of the Red Army, and Polish thieves, who came to the so-called Recovered Territories from central and eastern part of the country. Pieces of furniture and other goods were stolen, and in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the castle was home to refugees from Greece. In 1952, Czocha was taken over by the Polish Army. Used as a military vacation resort, it was erased from official maps. The castle has been open to the public since September 1996 as a hotel and conference centre. The complex was featured in several movies and television series. Recently, the castle has been used as the setting of the College of Wizardry, a live action role-playing game (LARP) that takes place in their own universe and can be compared to Harry Potter.