The world has its seven wonders. And here in Halmstad, we’re no less worthy. So allow us to present our list of seven local wonders that make our hearts beat a little faster.
It’s a nice mix of architecture – with a 12th century church ruin, a city gate and a 17th century castle, followed by a majestic mill and a real 19th century “cake church”, and culminating in our prized city library that sweeps out over the Nissan river and the spectacular 21st century lifeguard tower. Come visit the Seven Wonders of Halmstad!
At the bottom of the page you’ll find a map showing the locations of the various wonders.
One of Sweden’s few remaining city gates can be found on Storgatan in downtown Halmstad. At the beginning of the 17th century, when Halmstad belonged to Denmark, King Kristian IV started to work feverishly to transform Halmstad into a strong fortress city. He erected Halmstad’s fortifications, a ring wall with four gates, including Norre Port that was completed in 1601. In the peacetime that followed the war between Sweden and Denmark, the ring wall fell into disuse and was gradually demolished. Aside from a few remains, Norre Port is the only preserved building from Halmstad’s 17th century fortifications.
The ruins of Övraby Church
Halmstad has not always been situated in its current location. The town was originally located in the area now known as Övraby. The first settlements here date from the 11th century, and in the 12th century a stone church was constructed whose ruins have survived to this day. In the 13th century, the area developed into a city, and it was not until the 14th century that the city began to be moved. The church and the original site were converted back into a country village and given the name Övraby - “den övre byn” (“the upper village”).
Unfortunately, the Nordic Seven Years’ War was to be the downfall of the village. In 1563, the Swedish King Erik XIV attempted to conquer Halmstad. His attack failed, but Övraby fell victim to the Swedes.
The Tylösand Lifeguard Tower
Below the rocky outcrops of Tylösand, the Lifeguard Tower looms high above the beach, offering views of the shore and all its visitors. The Lifeguard Tower was inaugurated in 2008 and was designed by the White architectural firm. Halmstad has a long and proud history of having lifeguards in Tylösand, and the Lifeguard Tower was inaugurated exactly fifty years after the first lifeguard began working on that very beach. One of Halmstad’s most photographed buildings, especially in combination with a beautiful sunset.
Just two kilometres from the sea, Halmstad Castle is beautifully positioned on the Nissan river. When the castle was built at the start of the 17th century, Halmstad and Halland were Danish. Building was initiated by King Kristian IV of Denmark, who considered he needed a larger, more imposing residence for his visits to Halmstad. The fabled royal rendezvous in 1619 between the Danish King Kristian IV and the Swedish King Gustav II Adolf took place at Halmstad Castle. Today, the castle offers guided tours. The construction manager and architect of the castle was Hans van Stenwinkel the Elder, but he died before the building was completed. Upon his passing, his apprentice, the builder Willum Cornelissen, took over at the helm.
This beautiful church was designed by the Norwegian architect Emil Viktor Langlet, and was completed in 1883. In his design, Langlet worked on the basis of ancient Roman round churches, but changed the appearance to give Snöstorp Church a hexagonal shape instead. He also drew inspiration from Byzantine architecture, with the result that the church is reminiscent of an Eastern knight’s castle with its battlements and towers. In his day, Langlet was renowned for the fact that his buildings were cost-effective.
In 2006, the readers of Årets Runt magazine voted Snöstorp Church the most beautiful church in Sweden. It was the first time a church in Halland had been voted the most beautiful in the country.
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.
Särdals Kvarn was built in 1890, and at six storeys in height it is one of the largest windmills in the Nordic region. It was built in the Dutch style and remained in operation until 1967. The mill, the former miller’s residence, the warehouse and the stables are all interesting buildings. Here you can enjoy coffee and snacks in the café and purchase gifts, delicacies, art and much more.
Information in the map is in Swedish. Click the icon in the top right corner of the map to open in Google Maps. To view and hide different layers, as well as to see all visitor destinations, click on the icon in the top left corner of the map.
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