Örebro County is a county or län in central Sweden. It borders the counties of Västra Götaland, Värmland, Dalarna, Västmanland, Södermanland and Östergötland. It is frequently culturally divided into the hilly northern region of Bergslagen, where mining and metallurgic industry have been important since the Middle Ages, and the southern Mälardalen of lakes and farms
The major tourist destination in the town of Örebro, the castle was build as a defensive tower to protect the bridge over the Svea river and collect the tolls in the middle of the thirteenth century. It was expanded in the fourteenth century before becoming the renainances castle it is today under King Karl IX towards the end of the sixteenth century.
The castle serves as both museum and seat of the Governor of Örebro County.
Regular tours are run by the castle, which focus on the outside and providing history. If you are lucky you are taken on a tour of the dungeons, a dark room below the waterline where the condemned would wait for release or death, many chained to the wall.
One surprising fact from the tour was Beaver was a common food for Fridays in Sweden, due to it being classified as a fish and therefore not forbidden by Christians for Friday meals.
Other than the castle, Svampen, the water tower is perhaps the most iconic building in the Örebro skyline. A little outside of the main town, it gives lovely views around the area and to the lakes. Metal plates around the viewing gallery help explain what can be seen in each window.
From Olof Palmes torg in the south of the city to Svampen in the north a scale replica of the solar system can be found.
A large stone sphere in Olof Palmes torg, the sun marks the start of the solar system model.
A short distance from the Sun, a poster showcases Mercury can be fonud on the wall past The Royal Arms pub.
On the same building, but at the corner a second poster provides information on Venus
Earth & the Moon
Centrally located in Näbbtorget, a plinth with tiny steel models of the Earth and Moon can be seen. Showing the huge difference in scale between the Earth and Sun.
Another poster on the corner of Drottninggatan and Rudbecksgatan.
As we move from the four nearby inner planets to the larger and more distant outer planets, we walk to Nikolaikyrkan's garden to find the plinth holding Jupiter.
After crossing the river, at the souther edge of Järntorget, the model of Saturn can be found.
A relativly long walk to Olaus Petri kyrka will bring you to the model of Uranus.
Finally, take the elevator up Svampen and head to the southern edge to find Neptune, frozen giant and the last model in the solar system.
Just to the north of the city centre, and on the route to Stampen, Olaus Petri kyrka is a reasonably modern church from 1912.
Facing the castle, Örebro's Järntorget is a good sized quare with a fountain and one of the solar system models.
Central to Örebro, Nikolai Kyrkan was built in the 13th century and has been the site of a number of historic events relevant to Örebro.
Tucked away in a corner of the Radhus, the small penguin sculpture by by Linnea Jörpeland is not forgotten by the locals. During midsommar she worse a crown of fresh flowers.
Long and thin, Stortorget is lined by restaurants with outdoor seating in the middle. Offering views of Nikolai Church it is an important part of Örebro's social life.
Along the river to the east, Wadköping is a historic outdoor museum with a number of shops, restaurants an oudoor theatre and a puppet theatre. It is more vibrant than many of the outdoor museums in Sweden, and it is perhaps the most interesting thing to do in Örebro.
Spread across multiple venues, the museum's main building is currently undergoing extensive refurnishment and is closed.
The museum in the castle however remains open for visitors. Sprawling through the castle, you access it through the main tower entrance and climb up to the top floors. Exhibitions range from history to work by local artists.
One of the two parks facing the Castle, Henry Allards Park was refurbished in 1965 for the 700th anniversary of the castle. A few statues are scattered through the grounds and it is a favourite lunch spot for the city.
Outside the castle, the Castle Park was once the gardens and farm for the castle. Food was grown as well as flowers, something of a rarity for the time.
How the park is a municipal space full of greenery.
A large park seperating the city from Wadköping, its a good place to run, picnic or catch some sun. In 2004, it was named Sweden's most beautiful park.
Sat at the top of the former water-tower, The skybar at Svampen gives panoramic views around Örebro, more aimed at tourists and fine dining, its still a good place to come for afternoon fika or lunch.
A great Italian restaurant near to Jarntorget and the castle they have outdoor seating as well as indoor.
With a large inclosed outdoor seating area on Stortorget, Trattoria Italiano serves a range of good italian food. Multiple TVs in the outdoor space made it a popular spot during the Euros.
A small cafe in the centre of town, it was one of the few cafes open during the Midsommar break.
Fantastic bakery in Wadköping, providing locally sourced goods. Keep an eye out for the birds, as they are always on the lookout for some crumbs!
Originally this church was likely a farm church to Kägleholms, from around 1670, and over the years several famous people from history have owned land on the island and therefore also had patronage rights to the church, including Birgitta Birgersdotter - "the holy Birgitta". https://www.svenskakyrkan.se/glanshammar/odeby-kyrka
An important farm, originally called Tuna, it dates from 1541, but was not completed as a manor until 1680. It was never rebuilt after burning down in 1712 and was abandoned for many years. The interior and exterior were both reputed to be lavish and the on-site signage indicates the ownership of multiple dressers, a particularly fancy piece of furniture at the time.
Ulf Månsson, a lawyer and the son of the original owner of the property was married to Birgitta Birgersdotter, the famous Saint Birgitta. In 1541, the famous king, Gustav Vasa bought the property and renamed it to Kägleholm.
The roof was added in 1942 as part of archeological work.
As a visitor, you are free to explore the roofed ruins, which are largely below ground. The building sharing the green is a private residence, so visitors are encouraged to be respectful of the space.
Easy to miss on the side of road, the Nasta Runestone has little option to park, but a few meters before the stone, there is a side road, with enough space to leave a car if you don't spend too much time there.
A small information board provides details on the stone, and its Viking age heritage. It is worth the effort to stop, particularly on route to Kägleholms.
The stone reads:
In Old Norse:
Þorhæiðr let ræisa stæin æftiʀ Lyðbiorn, sun sinn nytan
and translated to English
Þórheiðr had the stone raised in memory of Lyðbjôrn, her capable[bright and cheerful] son.
It was somewhat damaged in 1840 when a local farmer decided to improve the inscription.
A popular and well maintained national park, about three hours northeast of Gothenburg, Tiveden offers hiking, camping and water-sport opportunities that are well worth exploring.
The trail is a loop near to the Vitsands entrance, and comes off trail 4 (which circles the lake).
Tärnekullerundan was perhaps the best trail in the park that we hiked despite being 1.3 kilometres long. It cuts through some beautiful terrain, and its highlight is Vitsandsgrottorna, the white sand caves. About halfway around the park, the caves at first appears to be a collection of boulders with a small shelter you can get into. Still, you then realise to continue with the trail; you have to climb up a rock pile and through a rock archway, which then presents you with great views over the north entrance to the park.
The trail then curls back around through a small crevice and woodland before coming back to the main trail and where you started.
In terms of terrain and hiking, there is a lot for your time in such a small trail.
The grotto is made of boulders brought to the area in the last ice age, approximately 10,000 years ago, and gives you a chance to climb up then and through to the next portion of the trail.
Squire Hunter’s trail is fairly short, twice the length of Tärnekullerundan, and does not have the same variety of terrain to make it as interesting, but it does have two particular things to make it worth white. Firstly it is a good bridge onto trail 9, rather than using the purple trail, and secondly, there is the famous Boulder.
Near the trail's northernmost point is Junker Jägeres Boulder, a massive ice age boulder that stands alone and proud in the forest. The story goes that Squire Hunter lost his beloved maiden at this boulder, though older residents of the area remark this supposedly historic story seem to have its roots in Tiveden’s rise as a tourist destination rather than in any local myths. Regardless, it is a sight worth seeing, standing tall and proud in the forest.
Connecting to both the purple (4) and white trails (7), Sigmansrundan is a medium length trail through primary undergrowth and old-growth forest. It is fairly easy, and you can move quickly through it. There is a mix of lichen and dry areas along with fairly humid forests. We found a likely looking large rock, climbed up and had lunch there, watching people walk past us.
Approximately halfway along the trail is Stigmansrundan, or Bandit’s Pass. A cleft through the rocks. From the literature, I was expecting something similar to the Crevice in the Höga Kusten trail, but in truth, it is a pass so large they’ve built the main road through the forest along it cutting through the park offering cars easy access to the main entrance.
One of the longer trails in the park is winds between rift valleys and faults formed a thousand million years ago. Much of the hike is through mossy wet spruce forests, but at one point, you reach Tjádersogen. As you walk the trail, which goes up and downhill quite frequently, you’ll also pass by a number of lakes, mostly with a brown colouring for the lack of nutrients and leached iron from the rocks. To one side, if you are paying attention, you’ll see a former tar making ditch with a small signpost drawing attention to it…
Also known as the Forest of capercaillie, this pine section of the trail is the preferred home to the largest gallinaceous bird, the capercaillie.
Near where the trail meets Trail 1 is the Outdoor Church, where, in the eighteenth century, to avoid the ban on church meetings not organised by the church, the faithful met in the woods for their ceremonies. There is not much to see, but it is an important place nonetheless.
The longest single trail in the park, the purple Trehörningsrundan, circumnavigates the lake. Entering from Vitsands it would be easy to assume it is an easy and often walkwayed hike, but it is actually one of the most challenging to complete. Whist near to the entrances it is quite accessible, in other areas, you will be scrambling up rocks, hiking up and down steep inclines, and taking in some of the best views in the park. All of the other trails intersect with Trail 4, and so you’ll likely be completing parts of it regardless of other plans.
A short walk from the Vitsands entrance is Käringaudden, one of the two places you can camp in Tiveden’s national park. Please expect to be sharing the campsite with others, but there is a good amount of space to use, though much of it is on a slight incline, so it is best to pay attention to how you align your tent. There is wood, and tools for cutting provided firewood, a good-sized fire pit with benches and a drop toilet (though its only a ten minute walk back to the vitsands entrance which has nicer toilet options. The campsite is on the main trail and easily found, and fronts onto the lake giving nice views in the evening and mornings, though of course, this does bring with it additional mosquitoes.
Approximately a twenty-minute walk from the Ösjönäs entrance is Mellannäsudden campsite, you have to hike a short trail through knee-high undergrowth before reaching it, and it is the mirror image of Käringaudden, being on the south of the lake. Again there is a drop toilet, fire pit with benches and wood supply. There seems to be more camping space here than at Käringaudden, but it also had more visitors, perhaps because it is more secluded.
A short walk off the trail and easily accessible via car was the Giant's Kettle, a stone formation in a shaped bowl, large enough for a giant to cook in. There is not much else here, and so it is worth a visit if you are passing by, but better to make an effort to see Junker Jäger’s stone.
Perhaps the most challenging trail in the forest for its size, you will be climbing two challenging hills just under five kilometres long. Stora and Lila Trollkyrka. The trail shares a long section with trail 5 (Blue) and gives you the chance to see the two famous hills and a few other sights.
On the bank of a river is Metesjon, a well equipped rest area with drop toilets, recycling bins, a fire pit, benches and a rain shelter. It is also accessible by road. It would be easy to mistake this spot for a campsite given the facilities. It is only an easy kilometre hike from the main entrance, making it a somewhat strange location to stop.
Stora Trollkyrka is an upwards climb along the trail; you’ll be clambering up rocks and finding handholds where you can. Strangely when you reach the top, there is a well-built staircase to take you to a viewing platform. Unfortunately, the trees in the local area have all grown so tall you actually don’t get much of a view over the surrounding countryside.
Harder to find than Stora Trollkyrka, Lilla Trollkyrka gives a great view over the imaginatively named Lake Vättern. Used by early sailors as identification points, no one is sure why Lilla and Stora Trollkyrka as so named.
Just before the end of the trail, Oxaberget offers a rocky outcropping giving a view over the main entrance and the lake. Worth pausing here for a breath and to appreciate the view.
Fagetärn Lake is famous for its vivid red water-lilies, which bloom in the summer months. The story goes a farmer killed his daughter in sacrifice for good crops, and her hearts blood stains the lilies to this day.
When we were there, there were no red lilies, just the normal yellow and white ones which was a disappointment, but does not detract from this beautiful spot. A good path runs around the edge of the lake allowing for access even with some mobility challenges.
A small cafe on the lakeside, offering tea and coffee as well as local tourist information. The cafe also does periodic barbecues, bringing in a good local crowd.
A cafe in the middle of a small village, with limited signage on the way, is set in a charming house converted to an open plan cafe with a large outdoor space. The Cafe offers a range of speciality teas and coffees to buy on-premises or in packets to take away as well as a great selection of home-baked cakes.
The staff and friendly and often exchange students working in the cafe during their summer break. It's a lovely spot for a bit of a break from hiking and camping and well worth the trip.