Spend a day in the best little cruise port in Sweden! Away from congestion, lines and irritation. In Karlskrona you dock in the middle of the city, with walking distance to the major attractions and the city center. The anchorage for the larger cruise ships is located in the midst of the historical naval area of the city, with a few minutes transfer for the tenders.
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A visit to the charming town of Karlskrona is an exciting encounter with Sweden's proud navy traditions. Nowhere else is the naval history more present than in this port, that has been home of the Royal Swedish Navy since the 17th century. The presence of the navy has given the town its distinctive architectural qualities. In fact its unique layout with roots in the baroque and the well-preserved dockyards dating back from the 17th and 18th century have placed Karlskrona on UNESCO's prestigious World Heritage list. The dockyards are one of the few remaining docks in the world specially designed for the construction of sailing warships.
1. National Naval Museum
The museum dates back to 1752, when Adolf Fredrik, then the King of Sweden, decreed that a Ship's Model Room be established in Karlskrona. Ever since, the museum has been charged with the collection and preservation of artefacts, which document the history and development of the Swedish Navy. The Museum houses a unique collection of figureheads, which are displayed in a conservatory with the waves of the Baltic Sea on three sides.
2. Blekinge County Museum
Filled with exhibitions that tell the history of Blekinge – the history of the drudgery of the fishing boats and the hard work in the quarries, but also of the frivolity and parties of the 18th century upper class.
Municipal art gallery and regional museum. Originally built in 1847 as lodging for five hundred bosuns.
4. The Naval Base
The Karlskrona shipyard is one of few dockyards in the world where it is still possible to see buildings and docks specially designed for the construction of sailing warships. The most important of these buildings and installations are the Ropewalk, the Wasa Shed, the Polhem dock, the "five finger" dock and the Old Mast Crane.
5. The Admiralty Church
Holds a congregation of some 4,000 persons and is already laid down in the town plan from 1683. The church was consecrated in 1685, but the interior was not completed until several decades later. The well-known statue of "Old Rosenbom", a sailor from the 18th century, holding the poor box, stands outside the main door of the church.
6. The Fredrik Church
Originally called the Swedish, or the Great Church, it served as the town parish church, the cruciform building designed in the 1690s resembles a Roman basilica. The façade was probably inspired by the Santa Trinita Del Monti church at the top of the Spanish steps in Rome.
7. The church of the Holy Trinity (The German Church)
A considerable number of Germans were among those that had moved to Karlskrona and they were granted permission to build their own church. Work on the church, designed by Nicodemus Tessin the younger began in 1697. The interior of the church was destroyed in a fire in 1790, but was later rebuilt following Tessin's plans.
8. The Wachtmeister Palace
Built in 1795 for the admiral-general, it is the most famous and well-preserved private house in Karlskrona from the era. In the baroque garden, two yew trees date back to the 17th century. Today, the Palace is the County Museum. Much of the interior has been preserved.
9. Drottningskär Citadel
Located on the island of Aspö, a short free ferry ride from the city, the Citadel is one of the foremost historic military installations in Sweden. It has four bastions named Maria, Christina, Hedvig and Ulrika. There is a restaurant available in the summer season.
10. Kungsholm fortress
This was an active installation until the 1980s and is presently used as a training establishment. The fort has been manned for an unbroken period of more than 300 years. The botanical garden with plants and trees from all corners of the world is of particular interest. The plants were collected during the navy's sea training cruises and the tradition of bringing a plant or tree to Kungsholmen at the end of a cruise continues to this day.
Within easy reach are numerous interesting tours – to the famous crystal mills about an hour's bus ride from the city and exploring the archipelago where quaint fishing villages co-exist with the remains of naval installations. The area truly lives up to the nickname ‘the Garden of Sweden' with breathtaking views of a nature that is blessed.
The national currency is the Swedish krona (SEK, plural kronor). 1 USD is about 5.91 SEK, 1 EUR is about 9.43 SEK and 1 GBP is about 12.28 SEK.
Automatic teller machines take major credit cards. Most stores, restaurants and bars accept all major credit cards, although in some cases there is a SEK 5 fee or a lowest purchase limit (between 50 - 100 SEK).
Swedish is the national language of Sweden, but you will find that people, especially those below the age of 70, also speak English very well - an estimated 89% of Swedes can speak English.
112 is the phone number to dial in case of fire, medical or criminal emergency.
Most shops, at least downtown, are open all week, even on Sundays.
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