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

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User Reviews

Rui Sarmento (7 months ago)
Ismantorp Fortress, or "Ismantorps fornborg" in Swedish, is an ancient ring fortress located on the island of Öland, Sweden. Ring fortresses were a type of prehistoric fortification found in Scandinavia during the Iron Age. Ismantorp Fortress is known for its circular layout and was likely constructed in the Migration Period, around 300-600 AD. It consists of a series of stone walls forming concentric rings, which could have served defensive and strategic purposes. Visitors to Ismantorp Fortress can explore the ruins and gain insights into the historical and archaeological significance of this ancient site. It's a fascinating historical site for those interested in Sweden's ancient past.
Julian Modro (9 months ago)
I personally find this ruin super interesting and specially since it shows a bit more real of how they were after the years. Nice comparison if you have been to Eketorp fort in the south of Öland!
High Places Films (9 months ago)
Beautiful historical contact with the Swedish traditional fortress. Worthy to visit!
David Costanza (10 months ago)
Historical ruins worth a visit. No reconstruction (like Eketorps but bigger) and even more remote (great driving roads to get there BTW). Peaceful, quiet, contemplative.
Adam Read (2 years ago)
Amazing fortress. The audio guide is great, and the ruins themselves are really impressive.
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