In Kalmar you stroll on venerable paths. With its architecture and city plan, its walls, cobblestone streets and stone buildings from the 17th century, the city has done an exceptional job of preserving the memory of Sweden’s period as a great power. Experience Old Town, which lies right next to Kalmar Castle, Kalmar County Museum with its exhibition about the ship "Kronan" and Kalmar Art Museum with its much-discussed exhibitions in newly constructed premises designed by Tham & Vidergård Architects.
Kalmar County Museum
Kalmar County museum is found in a big building that once contained Kalmar steam mill. The museum offers exhibitions throughout the year. The biggest exhibition presents the warship “Kronan” that sank at the south coast of Öland 1676. Already at the entrance, you will meet some of the ships big canons. The exhibition shows some of the most interesting objects from the ship including a big gold treasure. In addition, the museum presents temporary exhibitions on current social and cultural topics.
Kalmar Art Museum
Kalmar Art Museum with the Design Archive in Pukeberg, Nybro, is the museum for art and design in Kalmar County. The collections cast light upon the development of art and design during the 19th and 20th centuries up until the present day. Kalmar Art Museum displays temporary art history exhibitions and contemporary art with both regional and national perspectives as well as international art with a special focus on northeastern Europe and the Baltic.
Kalmar Cathedral is one of the few unaltered buildings from Sweden’s period as a great power. The interior was laid out according to Evangelical Lutheran tenets with the altar as the focal point. The cathedral’s furnishings and fixtures reflect Sweden’s great power period with graves, epitaphs and a splendid baroque altar. This altar was designed in 1704 by Nikodemus Tessin, the younger, and depicts the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The oldest fixed content in the cathedral is the pulpit, which was created by sculptor Baltzar Hoppenstedt in the mid-17th century. A door at the side of the chancel leads to the Christopher Chancel, which is named after the city of Kalmar’s patron saint, Saint Christopher. The cathedral has three church bells, all from the 17th century and obtained from the medieval Storkyrkan (Great Church).
Kalmar’s medieval town centre, which today is called Old Town, is located right next to Kalmar Castle. Well-preserved 17th and 18th century buildings still remain here, inviting cultural-historical strolls. A 1647 fire largely devastated this whole section of town. Subsequently Kalmar authorities decided to move the city to Kvarnholmen. After much pressure, the population reluctantly moved, and where the old section of town lay, townsmen began building “lustgårdar” (pleasure gardens) for summer use. With its winding alleys and small old houses, Old Town allows you to experience the real old Kalmar. You can walk here on your own or with a guide.
Kalmar City Park
City Park, ”Kalmar’s green drawing room”, is located next to the castle and is a frequented oasis that was named Sweden’s most beautiful urban park in 1985. The park was laid out during the 1877-1880 period through a donation by wholesaler Johan Jeansson. There was such a large outpouring of public joy over the park that a bust of the major donor was put in place. This bust was done by artist Arvid Källström, who also created “Springflickan“, the sculpture that embellishes the park’s pond. City Park has the characteristics of a romantic English park, where the design has been patterned after nature. Soft lines with an abundance of trees and bushes give the park alternating open and closed spaces. There are light and shadowy sections, which is typical of the English park style.
The magnificent city gateway is called Västerport or Högvakten. It was completed in 1658 and was the main entrance to Kvarnholmen up until 1870. For a long time military forces were stationed inside the vault. However, today it is home to sales and production of glass by Westholms Glasstudio. In 1997 reconstruction was completed of the Ravelin bridge to Malmen, where it comes across by the prison. You will find Västerport at the beginning of Västra Vallgatan (city centre).
Stensö Outdoor Recreation Area
Stensö beach, about 2.5 km south of central Kalmar, is one of Kalmar most popular recreation areas. It has four star camping, cabins, a public beach, a café and restaurant, jogging paths, mini-golf, and a beautiful countryside. Go walking on the hiking paths to enjoy the varied scenery. See the diverse wildlife, take a dip in the Kalmar Sound or visit the spot where Gustav Vasa disembarked in 1520 after his time in exile.