The original castle date back to 1434 when the Danish king Erik of Pomerania founded the castle. Back then the king ruled not just Denmark but in 1397 King Erik had officially united all the three kingdoms of Scandinavia – Denmark, Norway and Sweden. He built his new castle in an import city just across the water from Copenhagen. Later the castle was expanded to a modern fortress by Christian the III in the 16th century and the castle became the residence of the governor of the local county.
After one of the frequent wars between Denmark and Sweden the area of Skåne where Malmø is located was lost from Denmark to Sweden. And the castle was transferred to the Swedish crown. Denmark tried to recapture the lost territories on a couple of occasion in the following century. During these wars Malmø came under siege and the castle was held by the Swedish troops. The Danish troops tried to capture the castle but were repelled and eventually the war ended in a stalemate with Sweden keeping its former conquest.
Finally Denmark gave up the idea of reconquest of the lost territories and the castle lost all military significance. It was transformed to a prison which was eventually abandoned as well. Finally the castle was turned into a museum.
Today it is the main museum of Malmø and you can go and visit the museum. There is actually a collection of museums on the castle which is all covered by one entrance ticket at the price of 40 SEK or a bit less than 4€ which seems like a pretty good deal.
In the basement of the castle is an aquarium with a selection of fish, snakes and some frocks. The aquarium isn’t the biggest you will find in the region across the bridge in Denmark you have a much bigger aquarium in the Blue Planet but this one is a nice little collection to watch for a quick tour if you like fish.
On top of the aquarium you find a small natural history museum with different stuffed animals and as well as a small dinosaur display. The focus is on the animals you will find around Sweden – not just the area of Malmø.
The highlight of the museums is the castle museum. It has display of the history of the castle and its place in the historic wars between Denmark and Sweden. There is also temporary collection which currently is about the refugees arriving in Sweden through the ages going back to the significant story about the rescue of 15,000 people during the last part of the Second World War. The people rescued were mainly Scandinavian citizen including Jews who had been taking to the German concentration camps.
There are also a few rooms which are furnished in the traditional style and give and impression of the royal apartments – though I think most of the furniture is what they have been able to find and not the original royal furniture.
The final visit through our tour of the castle museum is the old jail which we find in the basement once again. There are pictures of the old prisoners and display of how the life was in the prison in the old days. We go through this display fairly quickly but I guess you could spend more time if you are very interested in the old prison.