14th to 16th century

King Eriksson expands and the castle falls into conflict.

Nobody knows exactly how old the castle is. Probably the oldest part of the castle is a medieval stone house that later grows with a defense tower over 30 meters high. The tower is in turn surrounded by a seven meter high and three meter thick curtain wall.

However, there is another thing we know for sure. A larger castle was added in the mid-14th century, probably built by King Magnus Eriksson. The castle is then called Örebrohus and consists of three three-story residential wings placed around the old tower.

The Middle Ages will not be a peaceful time for Örebrohus. By 1568, the castle would be besieged a total of nine times. In 1434 Engelbrekt occupies the castle and moves in to use it as his own residence.

Others who have succeeded in the difficult task of conquering the castle include the bloodthirsty King Christian II, perhaps better known as Christian the Tyrant, and Gustav Vasa who, on his march to the throne in 1522, finally took the battered castle after a nine-month siege.

16th to 17th century

Gustav Vasa faces succession and Duke Karl inherits his father's house

Gustav Vasa never rebuilt Örebrohus. But both the city and the castle remain important during his time on the throne. The Church Council in Örebro in 1529 was a milestone on the road to a Protestant Sweden, and on New Year’s Day 1540 Gustav Vasa effectively introduced the patriarchy during a ceremony in the then Rikssalen at the castle.

When Gustav Vasa dies 20 years later, his youngest son inherits the castle. Duke Charles, later King Charles IX, began a massive rebuilding and extension of the castle in 1573, but it was not completed until 1625. More than 50 years later.

Duke Charles himself is primarily responsible for the building’s appearance. He draws his inspiration from the Renaissance castles he visited during his travels in France and elsewhere. The old medieval castle is transformed into a magnificent Renaissance castle with a main building as high as the old tower. The castle is provided with a powerful cannon tower at each corner, plastered in a yellow-white tone and richly decorated. At the entrance, Duke Charles erected a strong gate tower and a drawbridge, and the entire castle is surrounded by a curtain wall that is still partly preserved on the north side of the castle.

Even before the castle is fully built, it is once again the center of attention. During the period 1606-1617, a total of six parliaments were held at the palace, under the leadership of Charles IX and his son Gustav II Adolf. Perhaps the most important is the Riksdag of 1617, when the predecessor to Sweden’s current parliamentary system was adopted.

18th to 19th century

The governor moves in, Lasse-Maja slips out and Bernadotte gets the crown.

During the latter half of the 17th century, the castle began to fall into disrepair and, despite being in a very poor state of repair, was not renovated until the end of the 1750s.

Örebro Castle is now being transformed into an austere classicist castle with an almost flat roof. The curtain wall is demolished and replaced by stone bridges and terraces, all still preserved today. Now they are also building an exclusive floor for the governor – a residence that is still used by the governors of Örebro County.

The castle had several uses during this period, including a prison and jail, a rifle depot and a granary.

It is here in these clashes that the jailbird Lasse-Maja wreaks havoc with his pranks and improbably gets in and out of the dark dungeons of the castle.

In 1810, Örebro is once again in the limelight when Napoleon’s marshal and not-so-best friend, Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, is elected to the Swedish throne at a parliamentary meeting in Örebro. That alone is a long and winding story in itself. The palace then serves as the residence of the royals, while St. Nicolai’s Church at Stortorget in Örebro is the national hall where the progenitor Bernadotte becomes Karl XIV Johan.

20th century

The castle gets its current look

A historical-romantic reconstruction at the end of the 19th century gave Örebro Castle its current appearance. The corner towers are getting new domed roofs, according to a slightly romanticized view of what the towers looked like in Duke Charles’ time. The plaster is knocked off and the two western towers are raised one floor.

The interior of the castle has been rebuilt several times since then. In the 1920s, the County Administrative Board takes over larger and larger parts and uses them as offices. At the end of the same decade, the governor’s apartment was renovated and the old 18th century furnishings were brought out. At about the same time, the Hall of State, the Hall of Arms and the Engelbrekt Room were decorated.

At the beginning of the 1990s, the county administration leaves the castle, which is now undergoing extensive interior renovation. The small offices are being restored to the large halls they once were and plastic paints are being replaced with lime paints. It was time to restore the old.

The castle today

Thousands of visitors every year

Today the castle is a living and open heritage site in the heart of the city. Beautiful to look at, fun to experience. The castle’s historic halls, dark dungeons and the children’s own tower all year round.

Do what tens of thousands of other visitors do every year. Book your own event at the castle, take a fascinating tour, visit a popular history exhibition or participate in some of the castle’s other festive activities for companies, associations, adults and children.