Kastelholm Castle was originally built on a small islet

Kastelholm Castle has long and chequered history. The construction of the castle originally began on a small islet in the late 14th century. However, since then the land has risen from the sea and today only two sides of the castle are surrounded by water.

Kastelholm Castle was originally a fortress built for defence. However, over time, it gained more importance as an administrative centre. During the reign of King Gustav I of Sweden, also known as Gustav Vasa (1523-1560), Kastelholm Castle became a royal hunting castle.

 Kastelholm Castle pictured in a winter landscape from the northern side.
Kastelholm Castle was originally built on an island but is now only surrounded by the sea on two sides.

Kastelholm Castle has experienced both fires and sieges

Kastelholm Castle is a well-preserved castle ruin. If its walls could speak, they could tell exciting stories. The castle has experiences both fires, as well as sieges.

In 1507, the dreaded privateer Captain Sören Norby and his fleet attacked the castle and captured it. In 1556, King Gustav Vasa spent time here with his family. In 1571, Erik XIV of Sweden and his wife Karin Månsdotter were imprisoned in Kastelholm.

Although the last governor, i.e. Stellan Otto Mörner, attempted to rebuild the castle after a fire in 1619, the castle gradually lost all of its importance. The next fire in 1745 almost destroyed the castle entirely.

Kastelholm Castle has been repaired several times – now it serves as a museum

As Åland's only medieval fortress, Kastelholm Castle has undergone several extensive renovations since the late 19th century. The castle is now a museum.

Learn more about Kastelholm Castle

Kastelholm Castle webpages