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Kalmar läns museum - about the regal ship Kronan

Kalmar County Museum offers a very exciting exhibition on the regal ship Kronan, which sank in the Baltic Sea in 1676. There are also some other interesting exhibitions here - including one on the mysterious massacre at the ancient Sandby Borg castle on Öland.


Kalmar County Museum

Kalmar läns museum is a regional cultural history museum for Kalmar county, with both profile exhibitions (permanent exhibitions) and temporary exhibitions. This is an interesting and enjoyable museum for both adults and children!

Kalmar läns museum - Pippi

The museum is located on Kvarnholmen in the centre of Kalmar.

The Regal Ship Kronan - the sinking tells the story of the 17th century

The exhibition on the regal ship Kronan is one of the museum's profile exhibitions, and was the one that attracted us to the museum the most. Right from the entrance to the museum, you are greeted by a number of cannons salvaged from the ship, where it lies at a depth of 27 metres.

Since the discovery of the Kronan in the summer of 1980, 44 of the 120 or so cannons have been recovered, the heaviest of which weighs 3360kg. But the fact is that 60 cannons were already recovered in the 17th century, just a few years after the ship sank. This was 100 years before the discovery of oxygen and a simple diving bell was used for the task. Impressive!

At noon on 1 June 1676, the regal ship Kronan capsized, exploded and sank during a battle between the Swedish and Danish-Dutch fleets. One might think that the ship sank after firing, but that was not the case. It just had to turn round in the strong wind.

Perhaps the sails had been reduced too little and the tall ship capsized and then exploded due to its own gunpowder load. Much attention had been paid to making the ship impressively beautiful. Probably a little more attention should have been paid to seaworthiness.

Of the 850 men on board the ship, only about 40 survived.

Kalmar läns museum - Regalskeppet Kronan

What has survived to this day are the artefacts on board. More than 35 000 items have been recovered from the seabed, and it's almost as if the 17th century has been preserved. Clothes, shoes, jewellery, money, household items - and in some cases even food - have been fascinatingly well preserved.

Kalmar läns museum
A 17th century jacket recovered from the bottom of the sea!

Sandby castle - the massacre that stopped time

Another exhibition we liked is about the ancient castle Sandby Borg on Öland. The exhibition tells the story of the bloody massacre that is believed to have taken place here in our ancient times. It is particularly interesting to see the exhibition if you have recently visited, or plan to visit, the ancient castles on Öland:

Kalmar läns museum
Kalmar läns museum

Jenny Nyström - and more exhibitions at Kalmar County Museum

We also took a look at the exhibition on Jenny Nyström, the Kalmar-born artist who is perhaps best known for her elves on Christmas cards and advent calendars, as well as illustrations in Viktor Rydberg's story "Little Vigg's Adventures on Christmas Eve". In this exhibition you can also see some other aspects of her work.

Other exhibitions at Kalmar County Museum, which we didn't have time to check out, include the profile exhibition on the woodcarver. Rugstorparn, the family exhibition The Superkronan adventure - building the ship! and On guard against superpower, about Cold War and warm everyday life in Kalmar County 1946-1991. Pippi Longstocking is also being celebrated with the exhibition Yay Pippi!as the book about Pippi turns 75 this year.

Kalmar läns museum
Home with gnomes in the exhibition about Jenny Nyström, at Kalmar County Museum.

More to see in the neighbourhood

There is much to see and experience in squid. First and foremost, of course, you can't miss Kalmar Castle. We can also recommend the beautiful city park or having a coffee at the cosy Krusenstiernska gården. Of course, it is also nice to discover Kvarnholmen, with all the alleys and historic houses. In addition, it is close to fine and lovely Öland!

All our top tips for holidays in Småland

Have you visited Kalmar County Museum? How was your experience? Do you have any other tips on nice places to visit in the neighbourhood?

Facts about Kalmar County Museum

  • Address: Skeppsbrogatan 51
  • Municipality: squid
  • County: Kalmar County
  • Landscape: Småland
  • Read more: You can find more information at the museum's website.

Tours and activities

  • Guided tours for groups: Groups can book guided tours, in different exhibitions.
  • Activities for children: Guided tours for children, school programmes and children's parties for different ages.
  • Events: Various events are organised such as city walks. See the calendar of events on the museum's website.
  • Collections: The museum has an archive, library, artefact collection and photo collection. More information is available on the museum's website.
  • Conference: The museum can organise conferences and events.

Services and practical information

  • Opening hours: See the museum's website for current opening hours.
  • Prices: Adults 150 SEK, students and pensioners 120 SEK and children and young people up to 19 years old free of charge (2021). With the Cultural Heritage Card the price is SEK 75.
  • Shop: The museum shop sells gifts and products from Kalmar.
  • Food service: Restaurant & Café Ångkvarnen serves lunch and other light meals and sandwiches.

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