Kastelholms Slott information
Lonely Planet review
One of Åland’s premier sights is the medieval Kastelholms Slott, a breathtaking castle set alongside a picturesque little inlet. Construction began in the 14th century but several extensions have been made since, most notably by Gustav Wasa. The keep towers are 15m high in parts, with walls of 3m-thick red granite: it’s easy to see how this castle would once have ruled over all of Åland.
Mad king Eric XIV, deposed by an uprising in 1569, was moved from prison to prison around the Swedish kingdom. He spent three months here, shut up (according to tradition at least) in a tiny chamber in the Kuretorn keep. A fire in 1745 reduced the castle to ruins: only the northern wing survived. Today it contains a good exhibition showing the castle’s different phases, and archaeological finds including a medieval silver-coin hoard. The castle is clearly signposted off Rd 2.
The best time to visit is on Gustav Vasa Dagarna , actually a weekend in early July when the castle travels back to the 16th century, with dancing, feasting and jousting.