Hiking along the Nissan River
Head out on a beautiful and interesting walk along the Nissan. The whole walk is just over eight kilometres in length and starts at Halmstad Theatre. Of course, you can start the walk wherever is most suitable for you.
If you are interested in a shorter tour around the more central parts of the Nissan, we recommend that you visit points 1–6 before crossing the Wrangel Bridge to points 13–20. This shorter walk is around 3.5 km long. In 2020, a digital map of Hiking along the Nissan River will also be launched.
Interesting stops east of the Nissan
1. Halmstad Theatre
Halmstad Theatre first opened its doors in 1954. The construction of the theatre was planned as early as the 1930s, but World War II brought all construction to a standstill. The inside of Halmstad Theatre is richly adorned with art. Many of the artists who actively helped to raise the profile of the theatre to a national level are now famous themselves. A large mural was produced in the theatre’s foyer in 1953–1954, to which all the artists in the Halmstad group have contributed.
2. Österbro, Östre Port and Österskans
When Halmstad’s fortifications were completed at the start of the 17th century, there were four city gates. The city’s eastern city gate was located by Österbro bridge. The bridge was the city’s only connection over the Nissan and was of great strategic significance. In 1612, the decision was taken to build a moat with an external facade by the eastern bridge abutment to protect the bridge. The artificial island, or redoubt, which was created when the moat was built, naturally became known as Österskans (“eastern redoubt”). Some of the stones used to build the external facade can still be seen in Kapsylparken park on the banks of the Nissan.
3. Östra Brewery and Kapsylparken
Up until 1986, the Östra Bryggeriet brewery was located on what is now the site of the City Library. The only remaining building is down near the Nissan, just north of the library, and has been used to house e.g. the School of Music since the closure of the brewery. The park just south of the library is known as Kapsylparken (“Bottle cap park”), as the brewery’s thirstiest customers usually didn’t make it further than around the corner and into the park before opening their drinks.
4. Halmstad City Library
The City Library was designed by architects Mette Wienberg and Kim Holst Jensen of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects in Århus, Denmark. The library, which was opened in 2006, has both won and been nominated for several awards due to its unique appearance. The shape of the building is totally unique and was designed to take account of the trees that stood and still stand on the plot. Quite simply, the architects placed a piece of paper on the ground plan and designed the shape of the building according to the location of the trees.
5. Nordiskafilt and Nissastrand
Up until 1991, the eastern bank of the Nissan was the site of Nordiskafilt’s factory, before this was relocated to Flygstaden and a new district was planned at Gamletull. Nowadays, only the old water tower and office building remain among the new apartments in the Nissastrand area.
6. The railway bridge
The railway bridge over the Nissan acquired its current appearance in 1928, when it was converted from a truss bridge. During the 1970s and 1980s, the station was closed down and a new section of the West Coast Line was built northeast of Halmstad. After this, the bridge was converted into a pedestrian and cycle bridge, and is now a beautiful and welcome shortcut over the Nissan’s glittering waters.
Interesting stops north of Wrangel bridge
7. Sommarlust and Folkparken
Back in the 1860s, young Halmstad residents came to Furet to play the violin and dance, and soon food service was arranged there, as well as attractions such as a carousel and swings. In 1900, the Dane C A Freckman developed the area by starting Sommarlust, where visitors were treated to activities such as concerts and folk dancing. He also built tracks for athletics and a football field. The area was Halmstad's most visited sports facility until 1922 when Örjans Vall was inaugurated. In 1927, the amusement park was bought by the Folkets Park Association, which renamed it Folkparken and received more than 80,000 visitors in the first year.
Laxön was already a popular place to visit in the 1860s. At the beginning of the 20th century, the temperance movement IOGT took it over. The ambition was to offer the guests good "educational" music and entertainment in an orderly manner. A modern dance floor was built. In the 1920s, entertainment competition from Tylösand and the newly established Folkparken intensified, but Laxön stayed alive until 1938. In 2010, IOGT started up on the island again. During summer you can now enjoy different types of events on the historic entertainment island.
9. Hjalmar Mellander’s Path and Alfreds Källa
Take a detour along Hjalmar Mellander's path and walk among the proud and beautiful beeches. Hjalmar Mellander was one of Halmstad's leading athletes and became Halmstad's first Olympic gold medallist when he won gold in the antique pentathlon at the Athens Olympics of 1906. The path was a popular training ground because slag from factories and brickworks made the path's surface particularly suitable for running.
On this path you will also find Alfreds Källa, a spring which has been known since the 1870s. Alfred Wallberg had the water analysed and it proved to have a higher mineral content than the water at the other health spas of that time. The water was considered to be so good that doctors recommended their patients to “drink from the well” to cure various illnesses. The path starts at the number nine on the printed map "Hiking along the Nissan River".
10. Övraby church ruin and "Old Halmstad"
The church in Övraby is believed to have been first built as a stave church as early as the 11th century and is believed to have been called Maria Church. This in turn was replaced by a stone church in the 12th century, which underwent several changes. At Övraby, finds such as ceramics and various types of coins have been found, suggesting that the area was populated. The place around Övraby is where Halmstad was located before it was moved closer to the sea in the 14th century to the place we now call Halmstad city.
In 1850 Slottsmöllan was built to develop the clothing manufacture and fabric dyeing that Isak Reinhold Wallberg had started in central Halmstad. Soon after, Slottsmölle bricks began to be manufactured a stone's throw from here, in the place where today there are three high-rise buildings. At this time Halmstad only had about 3,000 residents, but the city began to grow bigger and bigger. Today, a variety of companies are housed in the old industrial premises.
12. Örjans Vall and St. Örjan Monastery
Where Örjans Vall is today, in the 13th century there was a Dominican monastery with the chapel of St. Örjan. When the city moved, the Dominicans followed and built St. Catherine's Monastery south of the present Klammerdammsgatan. After the move, St. Örjan's chapel was left intact and later became a hospital. In July 1922, the Örjans Vall sports ground was inaugurated by the then Crown Prince Gustav Adolf. In 1958, two world cup group stage matches were played here: Northern Ireland–Czechoslovakia (1–0) and Argentina–Northern Ireland (3–1) . Örjans Vall is considered one of Sweden's most beautiful football stadiums.
Interesting stops west of the Nissan
13. Halland Art Museum
Halland Museum Association was established in 1886 with the aim of collecting objects of historical value and displaying them to the public. The association also bought and saved buildings such as Kirsten Munch’s house, Brooktorpsgården and the houses in the Hallandsgården Open-air Museum. The museum building was inaugurated in September 1933 according to designs by Ragnar Hjort. In 2010, it changed its name from Halmstad County Museum to Halland Art Museum, and a substantial redevelopment and extension was carried out during 2016–2019.
14. Norre Katts park
Norre Katts park is as central in the city geographically as it is in the hearts of Halmstad’s residents. The land, which was once part of the old fortifications, was purchased in 1843 by the innkeeper A.J. Sjögren. He established an attractive leisure area for the city’s residents, known as Tivoli. Over the years, the park has housed a botanical garden, a train station, several different restaurants, a hot and cold bathhouse and a bandstand. In 1918, the park was renamed Norre Katts Park. In 1968, Holger Blom, head gardener in Stockholm, submitted a design proposal for the park. The proposal made use of the historical nature of the area and its fortifications, and this underpins the current design of the bastion and the park.
15. The Rotunda
The only remaining older building in Norre Katts Park is the Rotunda (Swe), which was built in 1865 as a dining pavilion for the Tivoli restaurant. During the summer months,
a café is operated in parallel with most of the concerts here.
The Nissan river has its source in the South Swedish highlands, just southwest of Taberg, in a bog with the appropriate name of Nissakälla (“Nissan source”). There are several different explanations for the name of the river. For example, the river is said to have been called the Niz during ancient Swedish times, a name that is believed to originate from the Latin verb nitere, meaning to glisten. There is also a theory that it comes from the word nidh or nidwa, which refers to the Nissan’s dark-coloured mossy water. With a length of 186 km, the Nissan is one of southern Sweden’s longest rivers. The famous Halmstad salmon were caught and exported from here as early as the 17th century.
In the park next to Halmstad Castle, you can see the last remnants of the old moat that surrounded Halmstad’s fortifications. Traces of the old fortification wall can be seen in the castle wall, where the old section over Södra Vägen has been incorporated. You can also see the tree-covered hillocks where the crescent-shaped section of the embankment began. And don’t miss Fredrik Wretman’s artwork 0+0=8, or “The Zero” as it is popularly known.
18. Halmstad Castle
Halland was Danish up until 1645 and was ruled by the Danish king Christian IV during the 17th century. King Christian was a successful developer and wanted to modernise his fortresses on the border with Sweden, including Halmstad. Halmstad’s fortifications were therefore completed at the start of the 1600s, and Halmstad Castle was finished in 1619.
19. Picasso Park and Head of a Woman
The park, which has previously been called Figaroparken, Österbroparken and Österbro Plantation, has long been the site of various works of art that have given rise to discussion. In 1962, Walter Bengtsson’s “The Salmon Goes Up” was erected. Despite some sceptical voices, the sculpture has become a popular work of art that is lightheartedly referred to as “Three Piss in Nissan”. Picasso’s sand-blasted concrete sculpture “Head of a Woman” was erected in 1971. This sculpture is a portrait of Picasso’s last wife, Jacqueline Roche, who is said to have had an extremely expressive face, which you can see by viewing the artwork from different directions and angles.
20. Immanuel Church
Immanuel Church was completed in 1900, from designs by the architect Fritz Eckert. Halmstad’s Evangelical Mission Society arranged for the construction of this grand church, which could hold many more than the number of people in the congregation. Inside Immanuel Church, there is a mural painted by Erik Olsson of the Halmstad group.
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