A man's home is his wife's castle - Alexander Chase
True. So - imagine if your home was truly a castle! Well, it was - for this Lord or Baron, whoever lived in this 14th Century castle in Helsingborg.
Every castle in the world has some dominating feature or the other. For the one we are about to see, the dominating feature is, definitely, Kärnan (or the CORE). This is the 'Keep' or the strongest, last foothold of the family when the castle is under siege...
The Core - last stand & stronghold of the castle
Let me begin at the beginning.
On the western shore of Sweden, on the edge of the Öresund (straight between Denmark and Sweden, lies the quaint little city of Helsingborg. I happened to travel there for some tournaments and decided to explore a bit on the weekend.
I am not a history buff but can not resist the magic of old buildings, castles and the folklore associated with them. So, when my eyes stumbled on a tall medieval structure on the skyline, I instantly decided I HAD to visit it.
As it turns out, ** in the 13th century, when Eric VI of Denmark was King of Denmark, this imposing keep was built as part of the castle.** Today it flies a Swedish flag proudly at the top and is part of Sweden.
I took a bus and after a short ride from city center, approached the Stortorget area. This was kind of a main market square but what caught my attention was this building with minarets and towers, built of red brick. It looked like a small Disney castle by itself!
Town hall - looking like a cute Disney castle!
With the colorful flags and it's looks, the building captivated me but I had larger castles on my mind - so I took off and headed towards the Karnan.
A lovely paved street connected the main market square with the entrance area of the Slottshagen entrance area.
Cute paved street with decorative structures..
The Stottshagen area entrance was no less beautiful. Fresh flowers bloomed in the circle at the entrance and added to the beauty of the town...
Hurriedly taking in the beauty of the flowers, because my mind was still preoccupied with visiting the castle, I turned around and saw the imposing staircase that connects to the castle area, which is at quite an elevation compared to rest of the city.
An imposing entrance staircase...
The original castle structure was a wall about 500m in diameter with 14 semicircular look out and defense enclosures. The walls were originally surrounded by a 15m deep more and a drawbridge protected the entrance to the castle area...
I was mesmerized by the construction and wondered at the technology in 13th-14th century that allowed men to build such strong structures with such symmetric shapes. Here is a close up of the wall and it's entrance arches. Breathtaking - isn't it?
Majestic walls of brickwork and awesome symmetry
The castle looks even more imposing from afar when all it's structures are visible...
Grandeur of a castle..
In awe of the structures, we enter the arches and start walking upwards on the steep steps, imagining how those soldiers in the past would have breathed heavy as they stormed through the gates...
We put ourselves in their shoes and imaging conquering this mighty castle..
We are through the walls - great - we think but then the tall, fearsome structure of the Karnan comes into view..
First view of the Keep - striking terror in hearts of enemies
Though it looks close, it isn't. This 35 meter tall tower stands alone in the midst of a clearing. Un approachable by stealth from any side. Any enemy that approaches it is easily subject to attack from the archers that once would have been stationed at the top ramparts and also at various windows and openings at every level of the tower.
This tower has housed Danish royalty many times in the olden days...
To approach the tower, we walk through a picturesque garden with beautiful water bodies and flower beds.
Mallards quack and frolic in the ponds, adding some sound to the otherwise quiet place..
Frolic of mallards...
The views from the top of the tower makes us realize why this tower commanded the space around it. The entire town of Helsingborg and the Oresound straight can be easily surveyed and monitored as we can see from the pictures I took..
Beautiful view of Helsigborg from top of the tower
View of Oresund and shore of Denmark beyond it
Having spent almost half a day roaming around the Karnan and taking in it's views, we had to return and get some rest for the next round of tournaments. So, bidding adieu to the Karnan, we started retracing our steps...
On the way back, I clicked this panaromic view from top of the Castle ramparts which, once again impresses us with the symmetry and the technology of medieval times....
View of ramparts from top
I fell in love with this 14th century marvel and tried to capture the beauty and majesty in my camera. I hope I have been able to convey at least part of what I felt through this narration to you all...
I often feel that our ancestors struggled far more than we do and developed technology that they applied for their ambitions of conquering the earth. At the same time, they also developed technologies that defended them from other conquerors like themselves. This race of technologies has always been the cornerstone of our progress among other things. Seeing structures such as the Karnan that are strong evidence of that era of technology reinforces that feeling I get.
What about you? Do feel free to share your views.
I am not so great at travel blogs but I but will certainly share my experience of rest of Helsingborg, Helsingor and many other destinations soon. Those places deserve a mention and a mark of respect from me.
Cheers. I hope you enjoyed the tour of the Karnan through my eyes. I am a newbie for travel blogs. I look forward to your comments and suggestions.
Have a nice day everyone. Cheers!