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Visingsö castle at Näs

Remnants of Sweden’s first royal castle. It was built in the middle of the 12th century to serve as an impenetrable stronghold during feuds between the Sverker and Erik dynasties.

During the 12th and 13th centuries, kings often lived on Visingsö. It was here that Karl Sverkersson fell victim to his rival for power, Knut Eriksson, and several medieval kings ended their days on the island. Erik Knutsson died of a high fever, Johan Sverkersson died a natural death and Magnus Ladulås succumbed to illness.

The location was strategically chosen on a headland with a view in all directions. It was assumed that enemy attacks would come from the land side, so the defensive wall with its two towers faces north. During battles between the sons of Magnus Ladulås in 1318, the castle was burned to the ground. Today only a small part of it remains. Most of the castle ruins have been swallowed up by Lake Vättern.

At the ruin a stone was erected in memorial to Magnus Ladulås by Per Brahe the Younger in 1672.

Admission is free.