the ruin

Next to the guest house you will find Sweden's best preserved 14th century fortress, Bohus Fortress.

The building of Bohus Fortress began in 1308 by the king of Norway, Haakon V Magnusson as a defence of the south Norwegian border. It is told that Bohus was one of the largest, strongest and most massive fortresses in the north. First and foremost Bohus was a military reinforcement for the Norwegian kingdom's armoured infantry but also an administration centre for the area. It dominated the skyline on the top of the rocks surrounded by deep natural moats, and sonn enough was sought on as the strongest in the north.

Early 1300s it also became headquarters for the government as well as a Royal residence every time the the Swedish/Norwegian union king Magnus Eriksson and his wife Blanche av Namur passed through. During the duration of the medieval timeperiod the fortress is also host to countless of government meetings, deliberations and grand feasts with the ruling men and women of the north.

During the 14-1500s the Norwegians started to claim taxes from boats passing on the rivers. This was called the Bohus tax. This was one of the main reasons the city of Lödöse was moved south in the 1470s to build up New Lödöse (Nylöse). The city we now know as Göteborg.

After being a Union for a long time, Nordic countries split apart. Sweden left the Kalmar Union in 1523 under the leading of King Gustav Vasa, but Denmark-Norway were to remain the strongest power in the region for yet a hundred years.  It was a time of war and battles, during the Northern Seven Years' War, Bohus was besieged six times by the Swedes, but with no victory. In year 1566 the Swedes manage to reach one of the four towers and raised the Swedish flag on Röde Torn, the Red Tower. But the defenders lit the gunpowder in the ground storage of the tower, which exploded. The Swedes in the tower “were thrown up in the sky like crows and other birds and no one got out alive”. 

Bohus needed to be restored after so many sieges, so under the Danish King Christian IV (1677-1648) Bohus transformed into a magnificent Renaissance castle, with fortified bastions, as a defense against newly developed artillery. The town Kungahälla was moved upstream to the island of Fästningsholmen in 1613, partly due to the fact that the Swedes had burned down all the houses during the latest war. The relocation would prove to be unlucky, because the town moved to a even more exposed location as when Bohus fortress was under siege again during 1645. Soon would the Norwegian-Danish period come to an end.

With the Roskilde Treat in 1658, Bohuslän became Swedish, even though Bohus fortress did not get a peaceful existence. Since its foundation the fortress has been besieged 14 times, but has never been conquered. After the Swedes became lords of Bohus, it was Danes and Norwegians who besieged the fortress without success. The worst siege ever happened  in 1678, when 15 000 Danes and Norwegians bombarded the 800 Swedish and Finnish defenders during two long summer months.

Nowadays the fortress is one of Kungälv's largest tourist attractions with its mighty walls, damp casemates, dungeons and interesting displays.

The text is borrowed from Bohus Fortress Official and Kungälvs Musei Vänner.

Detta bildgalleri kräver att du har javascript aktiverat och Flash installerat.

Du kan ändra denna text. Håll muspekaren över

kongelfs gästabud - a renaissance festival

On the 14th -16th of August 2015 there will be an historical festival going on at the fortress for three days.  Read all about it and buy tickets on www.bohusfastning.se

Activites with Våghals

Read more about our activities under conference.


In our concept we offer everything from a medieval avtivity to modern business happenings.
We do all our activities with a lot of energy, heart and warmth.


We litterary burn for our job!