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Scenes from Downtown Kalmar, Sweden

Dear Diary,
Not much has changed since our last visit to Kalmar a couple of years ago.

The city is still just as charming as ever.
I've used that word a lot to describe Sweden, haven't I?

This time, however, our children were in accompaniment. I was excited to share with them the cobblestone streets and historic architecture I fell in love with.

Located near the Baltic Sea, the city's been inhabited since ancient times and archeologists have discovered traces of stone age grave fields. Evidence of the existence of a town at this site dates back to the 11th century. And, according to folk lore, Norwegian king Saint Olaf had his ships moved to Kalmar. In fact, it was one of Sweden's most important cities from the thirteenth to seventeenth centuries.  

The oldest city seal of Kalmar is from somewhere between 1255 and 1267, making it the oldest known city seal in Scandinavia.

It remains a fine example of classicistic architecture.

(I pulled so many ideas to incorporate in my own home.)

The city's footprint is dotted with a few squares (much like that of Savannah), which were filled with restaurants, pubs, fountains and public stages.

(The doors were impressive, each more elaborate and ornate than the last.)

The Kalmar Cathedral

Designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Elder, the cathedral is one of the foremost examples of baroque classicism in Sweden. Work began in 1660 but progress was interrupted on several occasions, including when the Scanian War raged from 1675-1679. Construction finally finished in 1703.

(Another view of the cathedral.) 

Unfortunately, I still have yet to get inside the Renaissance castle, which I'm told is stunning. Two years ago we walked the grounds and around its exterior, and my curiosity has been alive with wonder ever since. It just means we'll have to return a third time so I can cross this off my list!

My pictures of Kalmar, including the castle, taken on our first visit to Sweden can be found here.

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