From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Simrishamn Municipality
Glimmingehus 2013-2.jpg
Glimmingehus is located in Skåne
Glimmingehus is located in Sweden
Coordinates55°30′04″N 14°13′52″E / 55.501111°N 14.231111°E / 55.501111; 14.231111
Site information
OwnerSwedish National Heritage Board
Open to
the public
Site history
Built1499 (1499)

Glimmingehus is a medieval era castle located at Simrishamn Municipality, Scania in southern Sweden. It is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).[1]


Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.[2][3]

aerial view of Glimmingehus (September 2018)

The artwork placed over the castle entrance by Jens Holgersen Ulfstand commemorate the foundation-laying year as 1499.[4] Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under King John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here.[5]

Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility.[4] Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.

An order from King Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts.[1]

Modern usage[edit]

Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. During the years 1935-38, an extensive restoration and excavation project was carried out. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board (Swedish: Riksantikvarieämbetet). On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of story telling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Bizarre stories and terrifying tales". [5][6]



  1. ^ a b Åkesson, Sylve. "Skånska slott och herresäten:Glimmingehus" (in Swedish). Retrieved 2009-01-22.
  2. ^ "Ulfstand, Jens Holgersen". Dansk biografisk Lexikon. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  3. ^ "Adam Düren, van". Svenskt biografiskt lexikon. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "History of the Fortress". Swedish National Heritage Board. Archived from the original on 2009-08-17. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
  5. ^ a b "Glimmingehus". Retrieved 2009-01-22.
  6. ^ "Bisarra berättelser och hiskeliga historier". hemerokallis. Retrieved December 1, 2019.

Other sources[edit]

  • Ödman von Anders (1997) Glimmingehus (Stockholm, Riksantikvarieämbetet) ISBN 978-9172090644

External links[edit]