Exploring The 16th-Century Fortress Of Vaxholm, Sweden

One of the most interesting places we visited in Sweden is Vaxholm. Does it ring a bell with you, guys? Well, I guess some don’t know where that is. Frankly, I never knew this place too until I visited Sweden a year ago.

To give a short background, Vaxholm is a municipality of Sweden consisting of several islands within the Stockholm archipelago. Because of it’s strategic location King Gustav Vasa built a fortress on the island of Vaxholmen (east part of Vaxholm town) as a defense structure against naval attacks from the east in 1548. During those time, the fortress protected Stockholm from any shipborne attacks. Today, the  Vaxholm Fortress has been converted into a museum called the Swedish National Museum of Coastal Defense.

Its historical importance made this place a popular tourist destination. However, for me its idyllic views really stood out. At first glance, I noticed right away the stunning pastel-colored wooden houses that gave perfect contrast with the blue waters. Who wouldn’t love charming places, right?

Keep scrolling to see 20 beautiful photos of Vaxholm, Sweden below.

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The Vaxholm Fortress (Vaxholm Kastell)

The fortress can be accessed through an electrically powered cable ferry, which give a very short ride from the mainland Vaxholm town. Our group took the ferry for about 5 minutes. I think visitors come by group and each group have a designated guide to give insights about the fortress. 

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Most of the current structure dates from 1833–1863. Its design was inspired by the ideas on fortifications propounded by the French engineers Marc René Montalbert and Lazare Carnot. Russian prisoners-of-war were used in part to build the fortress. The stretch of water below the building was formerly the main sea route to Stockholm. Thus, the fortress was strategically situated to defend the city from naval attacks. The Danes attacked it in 1612 and the Russian navy in 1719.


So, what do you think about Vaxholm, Sweden? Would you visit it, given the chance? 

Note: Quoted information (italicized) mentioned above were taken from Wikipedia.

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