Port of Kalmar
Review and History

The Port of Kalmar is located off the Baltic Sea at Kalmar Sound that separates the island of Oland from southeast mainland Sweden. Occupying both the mainland and two small islands, the Port of Kalmar is the capital of Ian County, some 82 kilometers northeast of the Port of Karlskrona and about 350 kilometers southwest of Stockholm. In 2005, almost 61 thousand people lived in the Port of Kalmar, and over 233 thousand called Kalmar urban area home.

The Port of Kalmar is conducting a program to reduce its use of fossil fuel. A local trucking company has cut its use of diesel by 10%, paying for the cost of fuel-tracking devices within the first year. Once releasing steam and hot water to the environment as waste, the wood pulp plant now uses the waste to generate electricity and to heat homes. Bicycle lanes are used liberally throughout the Port of Kalmar, building codes call for thermal insulation and windows, and car dealers are promoting hybrids and fuel-efficient vehicles.

Port History

Archaeological evidence suggests that people have lied in the around the Port of Kalmar for thousands of years. Remains of Stone Age graveyards have been discovered.

A folk tale from the Middle Ages says that Saint Olav, Norway’s patron saint, moved his ships to the Port of Kalmar. The city’s seal, created in the middle 13th Century, is Scandinavia’s oldest known city seal. The foundations of Castle Kalmar were laid in the 12th Century when a round tower was constructed, and the town continued to grow through the 13th Century. Queen Margaret gathered heads of state from Norway and Sweden in the Port of Kalmar to sign the Kalmar Union Treaty.

When the provinces of Halland, Blekinge, and Scania were part of Denmark in the 16th Century, the Port of Kalmar was located near Denmark, and its harbor and merchants benefitted from that proximity despite conflict. Two tragic events are called “Kalmar bloodbath.” The first, in 1505, the mayor and city council of the Port of Kalmar were executed by order of King John of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. In 1599, the future King Charles IX of Sweden gave the orders for the second bloodbath in the Port of Kalmar.

During the 1540s, Sweden’s first King Gustav Vasa began rebuilding the Castle Kalmar into a beautiful Renaissance-style palace. His sons, Erick XIV and John III of Sweden continued the reconstruction.

In 1602, Kalmar was made a diocese, a status that continued into the early 20th Century. The Kalmar War began in 1611 when the Danes laid siege to Castle Kalmar, which has been the site of many battles during that century. In the 1670s, the last siege of Castle Kalmar failed.

The 1658 Treaty of Roskilde moved the border between Sweden and Denmark further south, and the Port of Kalmar lost some of its strategic importance. After the King located Sweden’s main naval base in nearby Karlskrona in 1689, Kalmar lost its status as a major military center.

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