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Kalmar collage.jpg
Aerial view of the Kalmar Cathedral, the water tower in Berga, Kalmar Castle, Öland Bridge and the old water tower in central Kalmar.
Kalmar vapen.svg
Coat of arms
Sweden Kalmar location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Sweden location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates: 56°39′41″N16°21′46″E / 56.66139°N 16.36278°E / 56.66139; 16.36278 Coordinates: 56°39′41″N16°21′46″E / 56.66139°N 16.36278°E / 56.66139; 16.36278
Country Sweden
Province Småland
County Kalmar County
Municipality Kalmar Municipality
Charter 1100
  City19.50 km2 (7.53 sq mi)
8 m (26 ft)
 (31 December 2010) [1]
  Density1,866/km2 (4,830/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
39x xx
Area code(s) (+46) 480
Website kalmar.se

Kalmar ( /ˈkælmɑːr/ , also US: /ˈkɑːlmɑːr/ , [2] [3] Swedish:  [ˈkǎlmar] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is a city in the southeast of Sweden, situated by the Baltic Sea. It had 36,392 inhabitants in 2010 [1] and is the seat of Kalmar Municipality. It is also the capital of Kalmar County, which comprises 12 municipalities with a total of 236,399 inhabitants (2015).


From the thirteenth to the seventeenth centuries, Kalmar was one of Sweden's most important cities. Between 1602 and 1913 it was the episcopal see of Kalmar Diocese, with a bishop, and the Kalmar Cathedral from 1702 is still a fine example of classicistic architecture. It became a fortified city, with the Kalmar Castle as the center. After the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658, Kalmar's importance diminished, until the industry sector was initiated in the 19th century. The city is home to parts of Linnaeus University.

Kalmar is adjacent to the main route to the island of Öland over the Öland Bridge.


The area around Kalmar has been inhabited since ancient times. Excavations have found traces of stone age gravefields. However, the oldest evidence for there being a town is from the 11th century. According to a medieval folk tale, the Norwegian king Saint Olav had his ships moved to Kalmar. The oldest city seal of Kalmar is from somewhere between 1255 and 1267, making it the oldest known city seal in Scandinavia.[ citation needed ]

In the 12th century the first foundations of a castle were established, with the construction of a round tower for guard and lookout. The tower was continuously expanded in the 13th century, and as such, Queen Margaret called an assembly there between the heads of state of Sweden and Norway, and on 13 July 1397, the Kalmar Union treaty was signed, which would last until 1523. Kalmar's strategic location, near the Danish border (at the time the Scanian lands, i.e. the provinces of Blekinge, Halland and Scania, were part of Denmark), and its harbour and trade, also involved it in several feuds. There are two events independently labelled the Kalmar Bloodbath, 1505: the first in 1505, when King John of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden had the mayor and city council of Kalmar executed; the second in 1599 by command of Duke Charles, later to become King Charles IX of Sweden.

Kalmar Castle today Kalmar slott.jpg
Kalmar Castle today

In the 1540s, first King Gustav Vasa, and later his sons Erik XIV of Sweden and John III of Sweden would organize a rebuilding of the castle into the magnificent Renaissance castle it is today.

Kalmar became a diocese in 1603, a position it held until 1915. In 1634, Kalmar County was founded, with Kalmar as the natural capital. In 1660, the Kalmar Cathedral was begun by drawings of Nicodemus Tessin the Elder. It would be inaugurated in 1703.

In 1611–1613, it suffered in the Kalmar War, which began with a Danish siege of Kalmar Castle. 1611 is mentioned as the darkest year of Kalmar's history, but by no means the only dark year; much blood has been shed in the vicinity of the castle. The last was during the Scanian War in the 1670s, so there have been 22 sieges altogether; however the castle was never taken.

After the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658, the strategic importance of Kalmar gradually diminished as the borders were redrawn further south. In 1689, the King established his main naval base further south in Karlskrona and Kalmar lost its status as one of Sweden's main military outposts.

Kalmar Cathedral

Kalmar Cathedral today Kalmar cathedral Kalmar Sweden 001.JPG
Kalmar Cathedral today

The new city of Kalmar was built on Kvarnholmen around the mid-1600s. The transfer from the old town was largely completed by 1658. The new, fortified town was planned following current baroque patterns. Cathedral and town hall face each other across the new main square, Stortorget.

The cathedral was designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Elder and is one of the foremost examples of baroque classicism in Sweden. Its design reflects the complex interaction between the new style, liturgical considerations, tradition and the fortress-city requirements. The work began in 1660, but it was interrupted on several occasions, including when the Scanian War (1675–1679) raged. Construction resumed, and Kalmar Cathedral stood finished in 1703.


In more recent times, Kalmar has been an industrial city with Kalmar Verkstad making steam engines, trains and large machinery, later bought by Bombardier who closed the factory in 2005. A shipyard, Kalmar Varv, was founded in 1679 and closed 1981. Volvo opened their Kalmar factory for building cars i.e. 264, 740, 760, 960 in 1974, but closed it 1994 and due to further relocation of industry jobs in the 1990s and 2000s around 2000 industrial jobs were lost. Kalmar has a university with over 9,000 students and a research facility for Telia Sonera.

Kalmar has embarked on a comprehensive program to reduce fossil fuel use. A local trucking firm, which employs nearly 450 people, has installed computers that track fuel efficiency and have cut diesel use by 10 percent, paying off the cost of the devices in just a year. The company is now looking to fuel its future fleet with biodiesel. [4]

A large wood pulp plant harnesses the steam and hot water it once released as waste to provide heating, through below-ground pipes, and generates enough electricity to power its own operations and 20,000 homes. [4]

Bicycle lanes are common; for example, the Kalmarsundsleden, [5] and cars line up at Kalmar city's public biogas pump. Building codes now require thermal insulation and efficient windows for new construction or retrofits. Street lights use low-energy sodium bulbs, and car dealers promote fuel-efficient and hybrid vehicles. [4]

In 2011 Guldfågeln Arena was initiated. It is the new stadium of the football team of the city, Kalmar FF. The capacity of the stadium is 12,000 people and it is currently one of the newest stadiums in Sweden. The stadium was also built to host concerts and did so in the summer of 2011 when Swedish artists Håkan Hellström and The Ark performed.


Kalmar has a cold oceanic climate. [6] It is somewhat continental with warm summers and cold winters which normally averages just above the freezing point during days and goes somewhat below it at night. It has some of the hottest temperatures recorded by Swedish cities for most months, with an all-time record of 35.2 °C (95.4 °F). [7] The average summer temperatures however are quite normal for southern Sweden.

Climate data for Kalmar (2002-2018); precipitation 1961-1990; extremes since 1901
Record high °C (°F)11.6
Average high °C (°F)2.0
Daily mean °C (°F)−0.6
Average low °C (°F)−3.5
Record low °C (°F)−31.0
Average precipitation mm (inches)37.0
Source #1: SMHI [8]
Source #2: SMHI Monthly Data 2002-2018 [9]


Main sights

General views


The following sports clubs are located in Kalmar:

Notable people

Twin towns – sister cities

Kalmar is twinned with eleven cities: [10]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 "Tätorternas landareal, folkmängd och invånare per km2 2005 och 2010" (in Swedish). Statistics Sweden. 14 December 2011. Archived from the original on 10 January 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  2. "Kalmar" (US) and "Kalmar". Oxford Dictionaries UK Dictionary. Oxford University Press . Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  3. "Kalmar". Merriam-Webster Dictionary . Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  4. 1 2 3 Going green: Entire Swedish city switches to biofuels to become environmentally friendly Archived 6 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  5. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 September 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. "Kalmar, Sweden Climate Summary". Weatherbase. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  7. "Monthly Weather Data - July 2014 (all-time records section)" (PDF). SMHI. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  8. "Precipitation Normals 1961-1990" (in Swedish). Swedish Metereological and Hydrological Institute (Kalmar code 6641). Archived from the original on 28 September 2018. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  9. "Yearly and Monthly Statistics" (in Swedish). SMHI. 14 April 2017.
  10. "Våra vänorter". kalmar.se. Archived from the original on 27 April 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2014.

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