Bohus Fortress (Sweden)

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Bohus Fortress (also known as Baahus or Bagahus; Norwegian: Bahus festning; Swedish Bohus Fästning) is a Swedish fortress, which is located on the 40 meters reef in Bagaholmen Island, the city of Kungälv, Sweden, northeast of Hisingen where the splits Göta river into two branches (20 kilometers north of Gothenburg).

Unfortunately, we do not know, it was founded Kungälv or Konghelle. However, Konghelle appears in Icelandic sagas and the famous narrator Snorri actually visited the city himself. It is believed that the Konghelle Regulation already existed in the 9th century by the river with a rich agriculture. At the beginning of the 12th century, the Norwegian King Sigurd I Magnusson (Sigurd Jorsalfare / Sigurd the Crusader), who reigned from 1103 to 1130 AD, favored Konghelle and used it as the capital of Norway and a major power base.
The construction of the Bohus fortress began in 1308 under King Haakon V Magnuson, king of Norway, who ruled from 1299 to 1319 AD.
At the beginning of the 14th century, there was a power struggle between the king of Sweden Birger Magnusson (reigned AD 1299-1319) and his brothers, the Dukes Erik and Valdemar, all the sons of King Magnus III Ladulas Sweden. Duke Erik was married to Ingeborg, daughter of Haakon V of Norway Magnuson, and thus had strong ties with the Norwegian monarchy. Because of the wedding, the Duke Erik gained control of the castle Ragnhild Holmen, which was built in the 13th century. The castle was on an island, in front Kungahälla (now, you can only find the ruins of the castle Hisingens sea, in Gothenburg). Ragnhild Holmen has become an important basis for the Dukes Erik and Valdemar, who once controlled much of western Sweden today.
The power of previous alliances had been undermined and the Norwegian king Haakon V Magnuson wanted his son Erik would give back their fiefdoms. The Duke refused, and a siege of the castle Ragnhild Holmen began. Hatuna games and Nyköping banquets are two events known in the power struggle, which had the character of a northern civil war.
According to the Swedish Erik Chronicle, in 1308, the North Halland Count Jacob Nielsen urged the King of Norway to build a fortress on the high bluff where the Göta river splits. This has allowed opponents to Duke Erik take control of communication to and from Ragnhild Holmen. As a result, the top strategic location of the castle Ragnhild Holmen very soon had had its day.

In principle, the Bohus fortress was built tree. However, since the fort was located in the border region, then soon it was rebuilt in stone, and has become one of the strongest fortresses in Scandinavia. The first commandant of Bohus ruled the south, and then the northern part of the province, which later received the name of strengthening Bohuslän. Bohus played an important role in the relationship between Norway and Sweden. In 1333, in Bohus, it was herredag ​​(Privy Council), where King Magnus Eriksson was declared an adult. In 1344, here, the son of Haakon Magnus was proclaimed king of Norway. In 1389, the fortress was the place where was held in King Albrecht of Mecklenburg custody.
In the Middle Ages, the castle was besieged several times, but was never captured. In 1531, he was besieged by the Danish King Christian II. During the seven years of the Northern War (1563-1570), Swedish soldiers tried unsuccessfully five times to capture him. The most serious challenge for the siege of the fortress began in March 1566, when Niels Boye and Nils Sture took four attempts of aggression. During the last attempt, 250 Swedish soldiers raided and successfully occupied the northeastern main tower. The Norwegian commander sent a volunteer to blow up ammunition depots under the tower, killing the Swedes and repel the attack. As a reward, the volunteer's family has a piece of land that is still owned by the descendants of this volunteer.

The Norwegians rebuilt the fortress (strongly influenced by the siege) of stone and brick, and substantially strengthened it. The reconstruction immediately after the war was directed by Hans Paaske (Påske) from the Netherlands.
In 1593-1604, similar to the construction then undertaken at Akershus in Oslo, Bohus has been upgraded to a fortress ramparts. A new outer fortification was raised. This building was one of the first works by Hans van Steenwinckel, also from the Netherlands, who later became famous for his designs in the Dutch Renaissance style in Denmark.
Since that time the Norwegian Båhuslen continually threatened by Swedish invasions, then the improvements to the fortifications continued for years. For example, since the summer of 1651 through the autumn of 1652 the Dutch engineer Isaac van Geelkerck directed the construction of two corner towers along the south wall, as well as the construction of a new wall around the building arsenal.
A mid-17th century, the fortress was a rectangle with towers, to the northwest of which ( "Fars Hatt") was rectangular, and the other three, it seems circular. In the western part of the fortress he was "Red Tower", where is the church. The outer fortifications of the castle were formed as irregular heptagon.
Under the terms of the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658, Denmark-Norway ceded to Sweden Danish provinces of Skåne, Blekinge and Halland and Trondhjem Norwegian provinces and Bohuslän (including Bohus Fortress). During the Danish-Swedish war of 1675-1679 the fortress was again besieged Norwegian ten-thousandth army under the command of Gyullenleve. The castle would be forced to capitulate, if the forces G.O. Stenbock did not come to the rescue. The fortress was destroyed almost totally rebuilt according to the plan of engineer Eric Dahlberg and until 1700, was the residence of the governor of Bohuslän.

After Denmark-Norway ceded the territory that included Bohus Fortress, Fredriksten fortress was built in Fredrikshald on the Norwegian-Swedish border of the new constitution. Bohus Fortress was no longer on the border and has been used by Sweden minimally. Under King Charles XII, the guns of the fortress were transported Sundsborg that, according to the plan of the king, was to strengthen the border to Danish Norway. After the death of the king, the guns were returned to the castle. In the 18th century Bohus Castle served mainly as a prison.
The most famous prisoner was the radical Pietist Thomas Leopold, who during his life has spent 42 years behind bars (32 years in Bohus Castle prison) for his alleged heresies. Its stone cell can be visited at the castle today.
At the end of the 18th century, it was decided that the fortress today there used to be demolished. Demolition work at the fort for two months, at which time the money allocated for the operation had expired. Residents of the surrounding city of Kungälv used the ashlar of the fortress for the construction of houses. However, much of the fortress is still intact, including the great northern tower, "Fars Hatt". In 1898-1904, the fortress was conducted archaeological excavations and conservation work. In 1925, the ruins of Bohus fortress detected from the management of the buildings, and in 1934, under the Commission's guidance on unemployment, the restoration work has been started. During the restoration works, they have been restored main gate, which is now decorated with the monogram of Gustav V.
Currently, the restoration work continues in the castle. The fort is now a museum and open to visitors in summer.

Images of the castle

Castles in Sweden

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Bohus Fortress


Kastellet Stockholm

Stockholm County

Useful infos

Latitude: 57.8616187
Longitude: 11.9995863
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Map of Bohus Fortress