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Naval Port of Karlskrona

Naval Port of Karlskrona

Karlskrona is an outstanding example of a late-17th-century European planned naval city. The original plan and many of the buildings have survived intact, along with installations that illustrate its subsequent development up to the present day.

Port naval de Karlskrona

Karlskrona est un exemple exceptionnel de cité navale européenne planifiée caractéristique de la fin du XVIIe siècle. Le plan originel et de nombreux édifices nous sont parvenus intacts, tout comme certaines installations témoignant de son développement ultérieur, jusqu'à aujourd'hui.

مرفأ كارلسكرونا البحري

تمثل كارلسكرونا نموذجاً فريداً من المدن البحرية الأوروبية المخططة التي تميزت بها نهاية القرن السابع عشر. وقد حافظت حتى اليوم على مخططها الأصلي وعلى عدد من أبنيتها وبعض التجهيزات الشاهدة على التطور الذي شهدته لاحقاً.

source: UNESCO/ERI

卡尔斯克鲁纳军港

卡尔斯克鲁纳是欧洲17世纪末海军城市的一个突出典范。直到今天,它最初的设计和许多建筑连同反映它后来发展的设施都被完好地保存下来。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Военно-морской порт Карлскруна

Карлскруна – это выдающийся пример построенного по единому плану европейского военно-морского порта конца XVII в. Его первоначальная планировка и многие здания сохранились неизменными, а дополнения, привнесенные в городской облик позднее, иллюстрируют последующее развитие вплоть до наших дней.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Puerto naval de Karlskrona

Karlskrona es un ejemplo excepcional de las ciudades navales planificadas, características de finales del siglo XVII en Europa. Ha conservado intactos su trazado primigenio y numerosos edificios, así como algunas instalaciones ilustrativas de su desarrollo ulterior hasta nuestros días.

source: UNESCO/ERI

カールスクローナの軍港

source: NFUAJ

Marinehaven van Karlskrona

Karlskrona is een uitstekend voorbeeld van een laat 17e-eeuwse Europese marinestad. Het oorspronkelijke ontwerp en veel van de gebouwen zijn intact gebleven, samen met systemen die de verdere ontwikkeling tot vandaag de dag illustreren. Karlskrona werd opgericht in 1680 en is een uniek overblijfsel uit de tijd dat Zweden een belangrijke macht was. Het geheel wordt gekenmerkt door het consistente en langdurige doel om efficiëntie en esthetiek te cultiveren. Dit is nog steeds duidelijk zichtbaar in de infrastructuur en open ruimtes van de stad. Het marinehavencomplex van Karlskrona diende als model voor diverse vergelijkbare projecten in Europa.

Source: unesco.nl

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Naval Port of Karlskrona © OUR PLACE
Justification for Inscription

Criterion (ii): Karlskrona is an exceptionally well preserved example of a European planned naval town, which incorporates elements derived from earlier establishments in other countries and which was in its turn to serve as the model for subsequent towns with similar functions.

Criterion (iv): Naval bases played an important role in the centuries during which naval power was a determining factor in European Realpolitik, and Karlskrona is the best preserved and most complete of those that survive.

Long Description

The complex of the naval port of Karlskrona was the model for several similar projects in Europe. It is a unique relic of Sweden's time as a major power, and of the North European Baroque movement's attempt to create unity between the layout of the city, the manufacturing areas, and the surrounding countryside. The whole is characterized by the consistent long-term aim of cultivating efficiency and aesthetic, still clearly discernible in the infrastructure and open spaces

Karlskrona was founded in 1680 when Sweden was a major power whose territory included modern Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Skåne, Blekinge and Gotland and parts of north Germany. Karl XI issued a charter for the foundation of a new town on the islands of Wämö and Trossö, to be known as Karlskrona and to serve both as a port and as a naval base. Danish tradesmen's and merchants' area were forced into the new town, and the region was progressively assimilated into Sweden.

The naval installations that developed at Karlskrona, beginning with a shipyard and storage facilities, were initially supervised by Erik Dahlbergh, the Quartermaster-General, who was responsible for the defences of the Swedish kingdom. Naval architects and craftsmen were sent from Stockholm, and houses were built to receive them. The shipyard began with two building berths, two quays, two forges, and five warehouses; the first keel was laid down in December 1680 and the first ship launched the following year.

Karlskrona became a seat of government in 1683, the year in which Dahlbergh drew up the definitive plans for the town and its fortifications. By the time Gustav III took the throne by means of a coup d'état in 1772 it had become the third largest town in Sweden. Despite the political decline of the country (Gustav's assassination and the loss of Finland in 1809) Karlskrona continued as the main base for the Swedish Navy. The town has been damaged by fire, most severely in 1790. As a result, rebuilding of the destroyed buildings was carried out using stone and the original street layout was largely preserved.

The Second World War saw the modernization of some of the older fortifications and the installation of new facilities for defence against aerial attack. Since that time there has been a progressive diminution of activity in the naval area, although it still plays an active role in the Swedish defence system.

The plan of Karlskrona integrates strategic imperatives with the classical ideal. The Baroque layout with wide main streets radiating out from a central square lined with majestic public buildings is clearly discernible in the present-day town. It was planned by Erik Dahlbergh and Karl Magnus Stuart on the orders of the Lord High Admiral, Hans Wachtmeister.

The centre of the town is Stortorget (Great Square), at the highest point of the island of Trossö. Here are located the two main churches of the town, Heliga Trefalighets Kyrka (Holy Trinity Church) and Fredrikskyrkan, both dating from the first half of the 18th century, Rådhuset (the City Hall), from the same period, and later public buildings such as the Concert Hall, the City Library, and the Post Office.

The naval harbour is located to the south of the town, from which it was originally separated by an impressive enclosure wall, only small sections of which survive. To the south of the Parade Ground is Gamle Varvet (the Old Shipyard). This is made up of a number of fine buildings dating mainly from the late 18th century, commissioned by Frederic Henric af Chapman, Shipyard Admiral of Karlskrona from 1780 until his death in 1808 and many of them designed by this gifted master shipbuilder and architect. On the other side of Amiralitetsslätten is Artillerigärden (Artillery Yard), an area of reclaimed land housing barracks, ordnance storehouses, workshops, and a hospital. The point of land on which they were built is protected by the Aurora Bastion, dating from 1704.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

The naval port of Karlskrona was founded in 1680, at a time when Sweden was a major power whose territory included modern Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and parts of north Germany. The first step towards domination of the Baltic came when Sweden secured direct access to the North Sea ports and broke Danish control over Öresund Sound, the key to Baltic trade. When peace with Denmark was declared in 1658 with the Treaty of Roskilde, Skåne, Blekinge, and Gotland became Swedish territory.

A garrison and shipyard were installed at the small port of Bodekull, renamed Karlshamn in honour of King Karl XI. However, after a short Danish occupation (1676-79), it was recognized that this was not the ideal site for a naval base, and so in 1680 Karl XI issued a charter for the foundation of a new town in the east of Blekinge on the islands of Wämö and Trossö, to be known as Karlskrona and to serve both as a port and as a naval base. Tradesmen and merchants from this hitherto Danish area were forced into the new town by the withdrawal of their charters from the established towns of Kristianopel and Ronneby, and the region was progressively assimilated into Sweden.

The naval installations that developed at Karlskrona, beginning with a shipyard and storage facilities, were initially supervised by Erik Dahlbergh, Quartermaster General, responsible for the defences of the Swedish kingdom. Naval architects and craftsmen were sent from Stockholm, and houses were built to receive them. The shipyard began with two building berths, two quays, two forges, and five warehouses; the first keel was laid down in December 1680 and the first ship was launched the following year.

Karlskrona became a seat of government in 1683, the year in which Dahlbergh drew up the definitive plans for the town and its fortifications. By the time Gustav III took the throne by means of a coup d'état in 1772 it had become the third largest town in Sweden. There was a frenzied burst of activity at this time, with the building of a large fleet (accompanied by renewed building activity in the town itself) aimed first at Denmark and then Russia. Gustav's military adventures achieved very little, and he was assassinated by his political enemies among the nobility, who resented his assumption of absolute power. The loss of Finland in 1809 saw the end of the Swedish imperial dream.

Despite the political decline of the country, Karlskrona continued as the main base for the Swedish navy. A number of modernization and expansion projects took place during the 19th and 20th centuries, to keep pace with developments in naval and military tactics and technology (although the shipyard was slow to adopt new technologies, with the result that wooden hulls did not give way to steel until the 1880s). World War II saw the modernization of some of the older fortifications and the installation of new facilities for defence against aerial attack. Since that time there has been a progressive diminution of activity in the naval area, though it still plays an active role in the Swedish defence system. The town has been damaged by fire, most severely in 1790. As a result, rebuilding of the destroyed buildings, numbering over 400, was carried out using stone. However, the original street layout was largely preserved.

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation