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09.07.2020

Drottningskars kastell

Drottningskär Castle is a fortification on the rock Drottningskär (formerly Dynan) on the island of Aspo and the town of Drottningskär at the entrance to Karlskrona. Opposite the bay of Aspö Sound is Fort Kungsholms on the previously named island of Båkholmen. The castle has been a state monument since 25 January 1935. 

The castle was started to be built in 1680 in connection with the construction of a new naval base in Karlskrona and was designed by the military and architect Erik Dahlberg. The construction was a consequence of Charles XI's decision to move the main Swedish navy base in Blekinga and to build a new city around the city, Karlskrona. According to Dahlberg, "it is unlikely that there will be a more beautiful SiööCastel in the whole of Europe. 

Since the construction of Castellet, two enemy fleets have tried to attack Karlskrona, but neither of them managed to pass through the fortresses. The first attempt was made by Russian Tsar Catherine II during the war of 1788-1790. Her fleet was close to Drottningskar with the order to destroy Karlskrona. But the navy captain did not dare to cross the strait. When he returned and explained this to Queen Catherine II, she became furious and in her diary called Drottningskar Castle the gray lice that destroyed her plans.

The second failure was none other than England's famous naval hero, Lord Nelson. In 1801 he was sent to the Baltic Sea to prevent neutral Denmark from transferring its fleet to Napoleon's France. The English Navy attacked Copenhagen on April 2, 1801. Most of the Danish fleet was destroyed. The next target for Nelson was the Swedish fleet base in Karlskrona. The British Navy was in the same position as the Russian one, and it was difficult for Lord Nelson to decide if he would dare to try to cross the strait.

It became very foggy when Nelson's fleet was lying there waiting, and a boat was sent to melt the depth. For some reason the Fortress Commander in Drottningskar was very concerned that night that gunpowder had become wet. He ordered a test shooting. It turned out so good that the shot almost hit a small gun that scared and came back. When he returned, his commander told Lord Nelson that the fortress could fire cannons and in some strange way look into the mist and hit straight. This frightened the English from the strait and they also brought the spy home. 

The core of the facility is a three-storey long, narrow building that was used for the closed installation of cannons and installations. Protective fortifications were erected around the building. The object was built so that the cannons could be placed on three levels, which meant that 44 cannons could simultaneously fire at enemy ships.

Until the 1820s, Drottningskar was the main stronghold on the outer defence line of Karlskrona, after which Kungsholm Fortress took over this role. In the 1870s, Drottningskar was disarmed and in 1895 the castle was taken out of the defence organisation. Drottningskar remained untested in battle, although on several occasions it was manned by war.

When World War I broke out in 1914, Drottningskar was reborn because it was necessary to install a temporary coastal artillery battery of three 12-centimetre cannons. The temporary service was not stopped until 1928-1929, when the guns were moved to a new battery elsewhere in Aspo.

The owner, the Swedish Real Estate Agency, has been restoring and reconstructing parts of the building at various stages since 1993. In July 2008, the reconstruction of the wooden bridges that originally connected the castle's donjon with the outbuildings on land began.

Drottningskär Castle is now a well-preserved museum object.

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