Province: Kalmar Ian. Region: Smciland.
Altitude: sea level. Population: 54,000.
Postal code: S-39 … Telephone code: 0480.
T Kalmar Lans Turisttrafikforbund, w Box 86,
S-39121 Kalmar; tel. 2 82 70.
HOTELS. Witt, Sodra Langgatan 42, 142 SB; Hotell Continental, Larmgatan 10, 90 Slotts-hotellet, Slottsvagen 7, 60 Esso Motor Hotel, Dragonvagen 7, 313 Villa Undo, Lindolundsgatan 18,15b.
Kalmar, capital of the province of that name in SE Sweden, lies on the Kalmar Sound, which separates the island of Oland from the mainland. It is one of the oldest towns in Sweden: in Viking times it was a trading station and entrepot, due to its favourable location on the sound, and in the early medieval period it was the main city of the North. Fortified in the 11th c. as a coastal stronghold against Denmark, the town became a member of the Hanseatic League. In 1389, Queen Margaretha of Denmark-Norway was appealed to by the Swedish nobles to help overthrow the German Albrekt of Mechlenburg. She defeated him in battle and was proclaimed ruler of the three countries and their dependencies. In 1396 she named Eric of Pomerania as her successor and negotiated the Treaty of Kalmar (1397) which made him nominally king of a United Scandinavia though he did not, in fact, actually rule until after her death. In 1412 Eric tried to increase his powers and, once more, the nobles revolted. After struggles between Sweden and Denmark and a short period under Danish rule, a revolt under the leadership of Gustav Eriksson Vasa finally broke the Union and Gustav I Vasa was elected to the throne of Sweden, so founding the Vasa dynasty. The town lost its role as a fortress at the beginning of the 18th c. and its population became mainly occupied in trade, seafaring and craft production. Its modern industries include foodstuffs, shipbuilding, engineering, motor vehicles (Volvo branch factory) and building.
SIGHTS. In the oldest part of the town (largely rebuilt after a great fire in 1647), on the island of Kvarnholmen, is the Stortorg (Market Square), with the Cathedral and Town Hall, two Baroque buildings erected in the second half of the 17th c. according to the plans of Nico-demus Tessin the Elder. To the S of the Stortog, at the entrance to the harbour, is the Kavaljer (1697), a gate in the old circuit of town walls (fragments). SW of the gate in the Lille Torg are the old Bishop’s Lodging (DomprostgSrden), Burgomaster’s House (Borgmastare-garden) and Governor’s Residence (Lansresidenset, 1676). Storgatan, on the S side of the market square, runs SW to the Larmtorg, with a fountain (1928) in honour of Gustavus Vasa, who landed at
Stenso, SW of Kalmar, on 31 May 1520. On the W side of the square stands the Theatre (1863). To the N is the 65 m (215 ft) high Water Tower (Vattentornet) (fine views of Kalmar and the island of Oland). From the Theatre you can head for one of the bridges linking Kvarnholmen with the mainland.
You now come to the Municipal Park, with a summer restaurant. In Slottsvagen, on the NW side of the park, is the Museum of Art and, near the Castle, the Krusen-stiern House (Krusenstiernska Garden), an 18th c. burgher’s mansion. Kalmar Castle, lying on the waterside and surrounded by walls and moats, is a massive five-tovvered structure, the earliest parts of which were built at the beginning of the 11th c. It was enlarged in the 1 6th c. and restored at the end of the 1 9th. Between 1307 and the beginning of the Kalmar War (1611), the castle withstood 24 sieges. In the courtyard is a Renaissance fountain. The chapel, in the S wing, was completed in 1 592. In the N tower is the old King’s Chamber of Eric IV, with rich intarsia panelling and 16th c. hunting scenes. Other rooms worth seeing are the Lozenge Room and the Golden Room (Gyllene Salen), dating from the time of Johan III. Manyoftheroomsinthe castle are occupied by the Kalmar Provincial Museum (Lansmuseet).
To the IN of the town the Oland Bridge (Olandsbro), opened in 1972, links Kalmar with the island of Oland (203). It is the longest bridge in Europe (6070 m 6600 yds).