Join us on a historic city walk in central Halmstad. Looking for even more history. Also visit our page about Historic places within the walls.
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1. The Poor House and the Fire Station
The poor house was built in two stages, the first in 1857 and the latter in 1879. For 22 years, the premises were used as an establishment for the poor with 10 rooms for paupers, two cells for the violently insane and a work room. Staying here were the "sick, crippled, insane and mentally deficient, as well as derelict thugs handed over by the police".
In 1903, the building became an office for the fire service when the new fire station was completed in 1903. The old fire station had a single-storey red brick fire engine hall, three round-arched gates and a four-sided, four-storey fire tower with small windows grouped in twos and threes. Hoses were dried in the tower.
2. Lilla Torg
One of Halmstad's monasteries was in Lilla Torg. It was built in the 1490s. If you look closely at the paving stones of the square, you can see that the walls of the monastery of red coloured stone have been preserved.
3. Norre Port
Norre Port is the only one of Halmstad's four city gates that remains. The gate was completed in 1601. The gates were built from the plans of the fortress architect Hans Van Steenwinckel at the request of the Danish King Kristian IV. The aim was to modernise the border fortifications against Sweden. Norre Port stands against Galgberget, which was then a natural place to attack from. Read more about Halmstad's fortifications.
4. The rotunda in Norre Katts park
The rotunda is the only remaining old building in Norre Katts park. It was built as a pavilion for food service in 1865. Around the rotunda you can still make out the moat that surrounded Halmstad until 1735.
5. Kirsten Munk’s house
Kirsten Munk's house actually has nothing to do with the noblewoman Kirsten Munk, the law-abiding "concubine" of the Danish King Kristian IV and the mother of a dozen children with the king. The developer of this house was the mayor of Halmstad, Albrekt Pedersen Mackum. The house was built shortly after the city fire of 1619 in imported Dutch brick and is the only house in Sweden of its kind from that time. Perhaps the conspicuously glazed façade fuelled fantasies of Kirsten Munk?
6. Halmstad Castle
At the beginning of the 17th century, when Halmstad Castle was built, Halland still belonged to Denmark. Kristian IV, who ruled the Danish realm, was a great developer and had several towns, castles and fortifications built around his kingdom. He was also the one who gave the order to build Halmstad Castle. In the history of Danish architecture, Kristian IV gave his name to a particular style, Kristian IV Renaissance and Halmstad Castle belongs to this architectural tradition. What reminds you of this particular style today is the narrow high tower with its hood.
The castle, which was probably completed in 1619, consists of four wings around a courtyard. The southern wing was probably built first and included, amongst other things, the king’s apartments. Halmstad Castle was built as a place for pleasure and relaxation, which can be likened to the Danish country mansions of the time.
The Danish crown was not able to enjoy the pleasure castle in Halmstad for long. In 1645, Halland became Swedish and the castle became the residence of the Swedish kings when visiting the city. We have even more about Halmstad Castle on its own page.
With a length of 186 kilometres, the Nissan is one of southern Sweden’s longest rivers. The southern parts, just before the river flows into Laholmsbukten, have a long tradition of good fishing opportunities. It was in Nissan and in the sea outside Halmstad that the famous Halmstad salmon were caught and exported as early as the 17th century. We recommend that you also go Hiking along the Nissan River, to find out even more about life around Nissan.
8. Wärdshuset Tre hjärtan and Stora Torg
The first county hospital in Halmstad was established in 1784 and was run in this building until 1835. In 1836, it was acquired by Anders Julius Appeltofft who fitted it out as a beer warehouse and tavern.
9. The meeting of kings and Stora Torg
On the town hall steps stands Edvin Öhrström's "Meeting of the Kings" from 1952, which depicts the meeting between Kristian IV and Gustav II Adolf in Halmstad. You can read more about the meeting between the kings on our page about Halmstad Castle.
10. St. Nikolai Church
Named after the patron saint of seafarers, the church was built in the 15th century St. Nikolai Church, along with the castle and Norre Port, was one of the few buildings left after the great fire of 1619. The fire destroyed the church's towers and roofs, which, after piecemeal restoration work over the centuries, were given their current form between 1869 and 1872. There are a number of chapels of rest from the 17th and 18th centuries, but 58 grave slabs have also been found, 15 of them from the Middle Ages. Some of them are on display in the church porch. The stained glass windows of the church were made by Halmstad group member Erik Olson.
Brooktorpsgården is one of Halmstad's oldest houses, probably built in the early 18th century. The name refers to the medieval predecessor of Halmstad which was called Brookthorp. This block has the same name, which suggests that the medieval town may have been here.
Strolling around Vallgatan gives a good feeling of what the streets of Halmstad looked like in the 16th century. After the great fire of 1619, the city was redesigned with Dutch influences. Here and there along Vallgatan you can see remains of the old ramparts that ran around Halmstad.
13. Karl den XI’s Väg
You can also see remains of the old fortress embankment along Karl den XI’s Väg. Where Karl den XI’s Väg runs today was previously the old moat. Read more about Halmstad's fortifications.
14. Appeltoftska brewery
Appeltoftska brewery, now Krönlines External link, opens in new window., was started in 1836 and operated in Tre Hjärtan on Stora Torg. The new technology required larger and improved facilities. Since 1849, Appeltofftska brewery has used the casemates in Västre Kavaljeren as a storage cellar and at the end of the 19th century the entire business was moved there.
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