Last week in Places of interest, we looked at some nice places to see in the eastern part of Kungsholmen in Stockholm. Most of the buildings in that particular part of the city are not so old but that is not the only difference between Kungsholmen and the island that we are about to visit in this post. Kastellholmen, which we explore here, has a military history and almost no residential buildings at all while Kungsholmen is the home of many.
Personally, I recommend combining your exploration of Kastellholmen with visiting the nearby Skeppsholmen Island which you have to cross anyway. I will surely dedicate one of the episodes of the Places of interest series to the attractions you can find on Skeppsholmen but now let’s get into exploring its neighbour.
You do not even need to pass the Kastellholm Bridge (Kastellholmsbron) to see an attractive building 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 only a couple of centuries ago.
It was completed in 1882 after ice-skating, and winter sports in general, became popular, largely because of Napoleon III’s passion for them. Today, there is a conference centre in the historical pavilion.
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Without much doubt, Kastellet is the biggest landmark on the island. It is located pretty 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.
It was meant to be used as barracks and for defence purposes when necessary. First 58 men moved in in 1850 but the living conditions in the fort were not good and therefore they 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 for defence. Just like the previous attraction on my list, it is now used as a conference centre.
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In the southern part of the island near the shore of the surrounding lake, there lies an attraction that once resulted from technological progress. The Coal Shed (Kolskjulet) was built in 1852 when the fleet started using steamboats and the need to store the coal somewhere 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 used for parties, celebrations and conferences as well.
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Kastellholmen is a small island and therefore you will not find many more places that are particularly interesting to see there. Though, there are quite a few other historical buildings from the military era which you can absolutely admire if you like. Having said that, I would like to stress that I wanted to dedicate a separate post to these few places anyway, simply because of how beautiful and interesting they are. They island is also very close to other parts of the city centre so it would be a great shame to miss it.
In the coming days, I will present you a few more interesting stories that shaped places and people in the past. Check out our android app Trevl which is available on Google play for much more amazing places to see in Stockholm and other major cities and their stories. If you like images of places of interest, head to our Instagram account.