Bohus Fortress has one of the most fascinating and turbulent histories of any of the Nordic strongholds.

A visit to this protected ruin will teach you of the brutal sieges and their destruction, the power struggles between the Swedes, Danes, and Norse, and their violent wars that all make up Bohus fortress’ unruly past.

Now, settled in the picturesque and quiet countryside just 20 minutes from Gothenburg, its present day experience couldn’t be more different to its past!

Important notice: Due to seasonality the Bohus Fortress is open weekends until 4th of November. Open again in April 2019.

Highlight:

  • Historic Nordic fortress
  • Over 700 years old
  • Ruins
  • Old dungeons
  • Old Nordic borderland
  • Göta River’s estuary

The Experience:

Bohus Fortress was originally called Bagahus, which after time changed into Bahus and then Bohus, which led to the naming of the province Bohuslän. Bohus is a fortress with unparalleled Nordic history; holding a Nordic record, since its foundation in 1308 Bohus was besieged 14 times by Swedes, Norwegians and Danes – but the fortress has never been conquered.

Lying on the old Nordic borderland of the Göta River’s estuary, the area suffered under many power struggles between the Norse, the Swedes, and the Danes. While Bohus today is a peaceful and picturesque experience, back in the day it was a time of turbulence with echoes of bombs resonating throughout the walls and clouds of gunpowder smoke in the air. The fortress has witnessed innumerable stories and scandals of kings, saints, witches, traitors, prisoners throughout its long history.

Originally, Bohus was a simple understated building made of wood before it transformed into a stone castle, using stones from the old fortress on Ragnhildsholmen. Bohus soon became one of the most powerful strongholds in the North, building out its fortress walls, and many stones from demoslished monasteries of the Reformation period of the 16th century were used for its development.

During the nordic Seven-years’ war, Bohus was besieged six times by the Swedes, as it remained a Denmark-Norway stronghold, but to no avail. It’s no surprise then, that after so many sieges the castle needed to be restored, but it wasn’t until the 16th century when the Danish King Christian IV ruled that Bohus was transformed into a Renaissance castle, with newly fortified bastions and artillery. Bohus became Swedish after the Roskilde Treat in 1658, and after two brutal months of siege from the Danes and the Norse, the castle was almost back to a ruin of rubble.

Rebuilt as a fortress in the 17th century, it mainly served as a prison, until after the Theatre War in 1788 it was dismantled and a year later the stones were used as building material for the people of Kungälv and you can still see old Bohus stones in the historic houses along Västra gatan and Östra gatan.

It wasn’t until 1838 when King Carl XIV, who wanted to protect Bohus Fortress for its cultural heritage, prohibited any further damage of this historic stronghold. Conservation work took place at the turn of the 1900s and since 1935 it has been protected and considered a significant part of Nordic history.

2019 Opening Times
20 April - 19 May: Saturday - Sunday 11.00 - 16.00
20 May - 23 June: Daily 10.00 - 17.00 (Closed 21 June)
24 June - 18 August: Daily 10.00 - 18.00
19 August - 8 September: Daily 10.00 - 17.00 (Closed 9 - 13 September)
14 September - 27 October: Saturday - Sunday 11.00 - 16.00
28 October - 3 November: Daily 11.00 - 16.00

see the: full list of attractions included »

Open April - October (See detail at webpage http://www.bohusfastning.com/sv/planera-besok/oppettider/)
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Address:

Fästningsholmen, 442 81 Kungälv

Telephone:

0046 72-550 78 80