One of the many things I adore about living in Sweden is the abundance of castles and castles ruins. I think I could spend the rest of my life here and still not get to explore them all. Just when I’ve said THIS one is the coolest so far, I stumble upon yet another extremely cool find. So it was with Kronoberg Slott. Slott is the Swedish word which encompasses castle, manor, palace, and fortification. In the case of Kronoberg, it is a castle ruin.
Kronoberg Slott lies on Helgasjon (Lake Helga) outside the town of Vaxsjo in the region of Smaland, which lies in the country of Sweden. Kronoberg was a very important defensive holding back in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. It started off as the seat of the Bishop of Vaxsjo, and the castle itself was built around 1444. There are numerous plaques scattered around the grounds of this castle ruin telling visitors of the history.
Although the infamous Skane Wars between Sweden & Denmark happened, naturally, in Skane, it did extend a bit out and into Smaland from time to time. This is how Kronoberg Castle became involved in this territorial war between the two countries.
Although I hate to see castles once grand in ruins, it did make Kronoberg very accessible for me, being handicapped and all. I had no problems whatsoever navigating any part of this historic structure. From the parking lot to the drawbridge is all flat with a slight incline, and inside the castle walls is flat grassland now. Pushing my wheeled walker through this was a breeze.
As mentioned, Kronoberg Castle ruins sits on a large lake and so is surrounded by water. This makes for wonderful views both inside and outside of this castle. What could be cooler than a moat except an entire lake surrounding the grounds? In spite of what would seem a great defensive position, it fell to ruin after the Treaty of Roskild was signed as it was just no longer needed, alas. Still. The walls are pretty much intact to this day so you can easily get a feel for what it once was.
Inside the courtyard they have tables set up for children to enjoy various arts & crafts from the Medieval period. Staff dresses the part and assists the kids while supplying everything they need. I thought that was a very special touch; one I had not found at other castles, aside from Malmohus Slott.
On the grounds you will also find a nice cafe/restaurant serving everything from korv (hot dogs and sausages) to Kottbuller (Swedish Meatballs) to salads and desserts. They have tables set up both inside and out so depending on the weather you can eat comfortably. Prices are extremely reasonable here.
There is also a boat tour of the lake you can take aboard the old steamer ship Thor. This anchors right at the entrance to Kronoberg Castle ruins. I cannot find the price for this trip, but do recall it being very reasonably priced.
All in all I think Kronoberg Castle ruins is one of the historic sites most suited to family travel I’ve found thus far. I mean all of the castles in Sweden are very cool and worth a visit, but Kronoberg also has the cafe, the boat trip, and activities for the kids. You could easily spend the entire day here and not grow bored. Don’t miss these grand ruins, with or without the kids.