Kastelholma Castle

Sund, Finland

First record of Kastelholma (or Kastelholm) castle is from the year 1388 in the contract of Queen Margaret I of Denmark, where a large portion of the inheritance of Bo Jonsson Grip was given to the queen. The heyday of the castle was in the 15th and 16th centuries when it was administrated by Danish and Swedish kings and stewards of the realms. Kastelhoma was expanded and enhanced several times.

In the end of 16th century castle was owned by the previous queen Catherine Jagellon (Stenbock), an enemy of the King of Sweden Eric XIV. King Eric conquered Kastelholma in 1599 and all defending officers were taken to Turku and executed. The castle was damaged under the siege and it took 30 years to renovate it.

In 1634 Åland was joined with the County of Åbo and Björneborg and Kastelholma lost its administrative status. The castle started to decay and was used only as prison until it burnt down in 1745 and was finally abandoded in 1770.

Kastelholma is one of only five surviving Finnish medieval fortresses. Nowadays it is a major tourist attraction easily accessible by car or bus from Mariehamn. Excavated items, such as early stove tiles, are on exhibit in the hall. A medieval festival, replete with dance, food, and jousting occurs each year in July. The area around and down to Stornäset has become a royal estate with a golf course also available in the area.


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Kungsgårdsallen 5, Sund, Finland
See all sites in Sund


Founded: 1388
Category: Castles and fortifications in Finland
Historical period: Middle Ages (Finland)


4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Björn Pettersson (3 years ago)
This Castle is amazing! If you visit Åland Islands this is a must to visit. The Scandinavian history is built into these stone walls...
Jere Salonen (3 years ago)
Lovely place even outside the main season when the buildings are not accessible (at least during our visit (saturday, late october) they weren't). The place is very well kept and strolling around the peaceful grounds learning history was a blast. Will definitely recommend checking this gem out!
Sari H (3 years ago)
Very interesting castle to visit if history is your thing. It's not that well preserved but there's still some originality left so you still can get the historical view of the place. Admission fee also covers the small prison museum a couple of hundred metres away. It's also worth the visit.
Ville Nyyssönen (3 years ago)
Very pleasant and historical place to visit. Worth to see in Åland. There are also headsets to listen the historical story of this castle. Not sure how it is, however the views and sign posts tell enough for travelers. Don't forget to visit the prison and Jan Karlsgården around this place. For hungry people there is also a place to eat very cool food. Local lamb and some salmon soup. Go for it
Ilkka Väisänen (3 years ago)
Okey place, but there is not much to see inside and there is only very little information. Also it is only castle here so basically must see. At the end there is room where kids can play with some swords, shield, helmets and costumes. There is even little chainmail for the kids to wear. Most kids seem to love these few simple items so might be well worth of 8 euros entrance fee for adults and 5 euros for kids. Smallest kids go for free.
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