Residing just across the bay from the Royal Palace, Kastellholmen is a small island but offers a number of interesting historical places connected to its military history to visit as well as nice views of the surrounding areas of Stockholm.
Kastellholmen has virtually no residents and it is connected to the rest of the city by a single bridge leading to the neighbouring island of Skeppsholmen. It is, hence quite unlikely that you would not be able to find peace at this place during your visit.
Before we get to the actual places that you might want to visit on Kastellholmen, let me give you a hint. I recommend combining your exploration of Kastellholmen with discovering the nearby Skeppsholmen Island.
First of all, you need to cross Skeppsholmen on your way to the destination anyway. Secondly, this island, too, offers a plenty of beautiful historical architecture to see and there are also a few museums residing there which are well-worth your consideration when preparing your itinerary. To explore what Skeppsholmen has to offer, read the dedicated episode of Places of Interest but now it is time to explore Kastellholmen.
You do not even need to pass the Kastellholm Bridge (Kastellholmsbron) to see an impressive building standing on the other side. The Ice-skating Pavilion (Skridskopaviljongen) is a great example of how splendid even buildings that did not fulfil any important representative functions used to be not so long ago.
The pavilion was completed in 1882 after ice-skating, and winter sports in general, became popular among the Royals, largely because of Napoleon III’s passion for them. Today, the historical premises house a conference centre.
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Without much doubt, Kastellet is the biggest and most well-known landmark on the island. It is located fairly close to the Ice-skating Pavilion up on the hill. This fort has a long history which began with a waving Swedish flag and a small cottage sometime around the middle of the 17th century. After an explosion in 1845 that damaged the building massively, it was rebuilt from the ground up only a few years later when its current design was born.
The red-brick fort was meant to be used as barracks as well as for defence purposes when necessary. First 58 men moved in in 1850 but the living conditions in the fort were unsatisfying and, therefore the residents were relocated a year later. On the other hand, Sweden has not been at a war since 1814 which is why there has never been a need to use the fort to defend Stockholm. Just like the previous attraction on my list, it is now used as a conference centre.
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3. Coal Shed (Kolskjulet)
In the southern part of the island near the shore of the surrounding lake, there lies an attraction that was born as a child of technological progress. The Coal Shed (Kolskjulet) was built in 1852 when the fleet started using steamboats and the need to store coal for their needs on hand logically arouse. Like many other buildings on Kastellholmen, the Coal Shed was designed by the fleet’s architect Fredrik Blom. Since the fleet, or anyone else for that matter, does not utilise coal to power their engines anymore, the building is now used as an event venue for parties, celebrations and conferences.
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As I have mentioned, Kastellholmen is a small island and it will probably not take you more than half an hour to explore it. Though other historical military buildings still stand there, and you are welcome to admire those too if you like.
Finally, I would like to stress why I dedicated an individual episode to the places on Kastellholmen despite their limited number. I believe missing the few above-mentioned places would be a great pity for any fan of historical architecture, especially since the island is so close to the city centre.
I am sure you will enjoy your visit to Kastellholmen and keep in mind that you can always find more places to visit in Stockholm at Trevl. If you would like to get stories of the most interesting attractions directly to your inbox, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter below.