The border fortress at Varberg

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The small town of Varberg is a nice little town centered around a pretty harbor. The town has a bit of history in the form of a large fortress. The city is located at the northern border of Halland – today it is part of Sweden but this area of Halland traditionally was a part of Denmark since the foundation of the country.

Back when this fortress was build Halland was part of Denmark and right north of Halland you went into Sweden. And the Swedish king had built a fortress in what is today Göteborg so the Danish kings needed a fortress to match the Swedish border fortifications.

The first fortress at Varberg date back to the 13th century but the main part of the current design of the castle was made during the reign of King Christian IV of Denmark who made a lot of constructions in Denmark including Kronborg Castle amongst his most famous building projects.

The castle was made by a Dutch architect Stenvinckel in the modern form for fortifications. The works was started in 1595. Unfortunately the castle didn’t stay in Danish possession for long – an unfortunate war meant Halland became Swedish for 30 years starting from 1645. Another unfortunate war led to a disastrous peace treaty in Roskilde in 1660 giving Halland permanently to Sweden along with Skåne and Blekinge.

Entrance to the inner castle

After the Swedish took over the castle they made certain modifications adding some buildings – but the main structure remains until this day. The castle was in use as a fortification up until 1830 after which the castle was used as a prison up until 1880.

Today the castle is open to the public and the locals can go and walk around the old fortifications. This is a nice place to go for a walk since there is a great view of the sea from the walls of the fortress. Below the fortress you can see the pier at the water which looks like it is the main recreational area where the locals can go and have fun in the summer with restaurants and bars.

Inside the castle walls you find a few residential houses today and if you like to stay it is possible as well since there is a youth hostel inside the fortress.

The central houses at the fortress of Varberg

It is free to go in and look at the castle from the outside and in season you can go and have a meal at a restaurant with an amazing view. Unfortunately the restaurant was closed for the season so we could get a cup of coffee while enjoying the view.

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