Kristianstad - a Renaissance cityAddress: Stora torg, 291 33 Kristianstad Show map
Address: Stora torg, 291 33 Kristianstad
Kristianstad is a Renaissance city, founded in 1614 by King Christian IV of Denmark. The city was initially built as a fortress, surrounded by wetlands that provided a natural defence.
The original seventeenth-century street plan still survives in the city centre. And the finest architectural monument from the time of Christian IV, Holy Trinity Church – the most beautiful religious building from the Renaissance era in all of the Nordic countries – continues to dominate the skyline. The Regional Museum, located in what were once the royal stables, charts the history of Kristianstad and its surroundings under the Danish and Swedish crown.
In the 1800s the old defensive ramparts were replaced by tree-lined boulevards, earning Kristianstad the name of “Little Paris”.
Kristianstad has always been an important centre for trade, and its reputation as a bustling commercial centre was further cemented when it became one of the first municipalities in Sweden to introduce pedestrian precincts in the city centre.
The wetlands around Kristianstad that once offered protection against enemy attacks now provide a sanctuary for a unique diversity of flora and fauna. The seasonally flooded grasslands extend on either side of the River Helge å as it winds its way down to the coast. This natural environment is so special that Kristianstad Vattenrike has been awarded biosphere reserve status by UNESCO. International researchers and local residents out for a Sunday walk are continually making new discoveries in the rich wetlands. The area is home to breeding storks and white-tailed eagles, and rare plants flourish in the meadows that at certain times of year are flooded by the rising waters. At the heart of the biosphere reserve – yet close to the centre of Kristianstad, just a short walk from the Central Station – is the naturum Vattenriket visitors’ centre, the gateway to the region’s natural assets.
Explore Kristianstad at your own pace with the Visitor’s Guide (see link)