Bohus fortress is of course the reason why the Swedish province Bohuslän carries the same name. Known since 1308, and due to its location right in the middle of the historical Nordic borders, it has been besieged 14 times by Swedes, Norwegians and Danes – a Nordic record – but the fortress has never been conquered!

When it became one of the most strategic locations in the Nordics during the 16th Century, many Catholic monasteries were knocked down and the stones transported to Bohus to extend the already imposing fortress. From the early 1500s to the middle of the 1600s Bohus was hit hard by wars and needed repairs. Danish King Christian IV transformed it completely in the late 1600s and turned it into a Renaissance castle.

With the Roskilde Treaty in 1658, Bohuslän and several other provinces, became Swedish territory. The Danes and Norwegians tried to recapture it in 1768 and much of the fortress was destroyed although not seized! Swedish architect Erik Dahlberg tore down the Renaissance castle and rebuilt it as a fortress. In 1786 it had played out its role as a defensive keep and Swedish King Gustav III gave the order to dismantle it. This was stopped by King Carl XIV in 1838 who recognised its importance in Swedish history and in 1925 the Swedish National Property Board took over and began a restoration process. Today it is open as a museum in the summer months.

Photo: Harri Blomberg, Wikimedia