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09.07.2020

Kungsholms Fort

Kungsholms Fort is a military fortification on the Blekinga archipelago, which today belongs to the Swedish fleet. Fort Kungsholms is today the oldest continuously fortified military facility in the world, as it has been manned since the 17th century. Between 1902 and 2000, it is the oldest continuously fortified military facility in the world. The Fort was used as a training ground for units of the Karlskrona Coastal Artillery Regiment (KA 2). The fort was a state monument since January 25, 1935. 

Kungsholm Fortress began to be built on the orders of the then Swedish King Charles XI and was to defend the War City of Karlskrona at the southern entrance to its archipelago. In July 1680, the first artillery pieces were in place and construction began. The stone used was taken from Christianstad, Landscrona and Helsingborg. At the same time, construction began on Drottningskar Castle on the nearby island of Aspo. The idea was that the two fortifications together would protect the 1200 m wide entrance path between the two islands.

When the Great Northern War broke out in 1700, Kungsholmen was far from complete and was not completed by the end of the war in 1721. The main reason for this was the lack of money. A report from the Fortification Commission in 1724 shows that Kungsholmen was very dilapidated because of poor service. Reconstruction began, but it was necessary until 1788, when the plant could be called completed. The following year Karlskrona was blocked by the Russian fleet, but the battle was not fought.

In 1820, extensive modernisation and reconstruction began. At the same time, Kungsholmen was given the status of a fortress.

In the middle of the 19th century a ribbed cannon appeared on the battlefields, and the old massive round bullet made of iron was replaced by pointed shells, which could also be equipped with explosives. This allowed the thick walls to be removed quickly and relatively easily, which was clearly demonstrated during the trial shooting at Waxholm Castle. These new discoveries led to the further strengthening of Kungsholm in 1873-1879. Guns were also replaced and modern equipment, such as rangefinders and headlights, was added.

Between 1902 and 2000 the fort was used as part of the Karlskronsk Coastal Artillery Regiment (KA 2). After closure most of the business in the fort disappeared. Until 2007, the soldiers of Bassak and then Säkerhetskompani sjö were trained, but from the beginning of 2007 the operation was transferred to the Gothenburg garrison. From 2007 to 2010 Basskyddskompaniet was trained by GSU (basic soldier training) at Fort Kungsholms. Since 2010 at Fort Kungsholms there was no permanent training of soldiers. However, the personnel of both the armed forces and its auxiliary bodies are permanently at the fort. Most of the facilities at the fort are unused, but can be repaired in a short period of time. In addition, the fort serves as a support point for the training of the Navy area within the Blekinge archipelago.

Today there is a museum on the island that reflects the history of the fort.

The future of Kungsholm as a place of formation and activity in recent years has been discussed and partly questioned. The arguments that oppose Kungsholm Fort as a place of education are that it is an island, which means that transportation must be by boat. In 2010, the future of the fort was investigated. The investigation found that decommissioning the fort would be very expensive, so the Armed Forces decided that they would stay in the fort, but without any unit located there.

Previously, there was a museum on the island that reflected the history of the fort.

In 2015, Kungsholm Fort once again became a military-guarded site and was also banned from the public. Today, the fort is only open to the public through excursions.

From autumn 2020, the fort will again be used to train conscripts in the navy.

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