Sandby borg is a ringfort, one of at least 15 on the island of Öland. It sits about 2 kilometers southeast of Södra Sandby village in Sandby parish. From 2010 the fort has been subject of excavation that has revealed that it was the site of a 5th Century AD massacre. The fort included 53 buildings, consisting of small, one-family houses in the middle and stables and storehouses closer to the walls.
Sandby Borg is only 42 meters from the shore line to a level spot about 2.5 meters above sea level on a low sand dike, low enough that at high tide the sea almost reaches the base of the fort's walls. The highest points of the wall are in the northeast at 3.1 meters above ground level, and in the southeast at 1.5 meters above ground level.
The fort is of oval shape. The length of the main axis is c.95 meters and the traverse is some 65 meters. The wall is about 4 meters thick, with the thickest part of the wall towards the northeast and the thinnest part towards the southeast.
Two entrances pierce the walls, one in the north and one in the southeast. The fort had its own well. West of the fort there is a structure that consists of several parallel rows of grey stone blocks.
Archaeologists from the museum of Kalmar County, Sweden, and Lund University started excavating the site in 2010, alerted by signs of exploratory digging by looters. There is a limited digging season and so far only a little of the fort and its dwellings have been excavated. Even so, there have been remarkable finds. Material finds consist of gilded silver and bronze buckles, and caches of beads and jewelry. What is more unusual is that ten skeletons have also been found, all in positions that suggest that the individuals involved were taken by surprise, killed, and left where they fell. Furthermore, it appears that the fort was not put to the torch but simply left with its dead strewn about, unburied.
The fact that there were children who were also killed leads Dr. Helena Victor of Kalmar Museum to speculate that these were indeed murders, rather than raiders. She does, however, also admit that they make assumptions sometimes based on evidence at the current dig site.
Archeologists have found a Roman gold solidus from the reign of Valentinian III (419-450 A.D.), that helps date the site. The archeologists excavating the site believe that the presence of the solidus is consistent with the fort's inhabitants being erstwhile mercenaries in the Roman army.References:
Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).
Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.
Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.
An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.
On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".