|In 1563, during the Nordic seven-year war, Erik XIV attacked Halmstad. The townsmen bravely and succesfully defended the city and Halmstad didn't fall into Swedish hands.
To thank the inhabitants, Fredrik II gave them various tax concessions. When Christian IV eventually took the throne he also wished to show his gratitude to Halmstad.
The Lords of the country had had a heart in their coats of arms for three hundred years, and the King gave the city three crowned hearts. This was a warm Royal gesture and a slap in the face for Erik XIV. He had added Three Crowns to the national coat of arms, which symbolised Swedish supremacy over the three Nordic kingdoms, acc. S P Bexell)
StoraTorg is a natural centre point, where Carl Milles' fountain "Europa and the bull" has had pride of place since 1926.
A city centre that makes you happy ....
The beautiful old school ship "Najaden", lies berthed alongside Halmstad Castle. The castle was built in the 17th century by King Christian IV of Denmark, and is now the Governor's residence. "Råmärke" (95) by Carl Magnus stands in front of the castle.
On the opposite side of the river lies the Tropical Centre with exotic animals such as marmosets, humming-birds, Indian swamp crocodiles and snakes.
By the edge of Nissan you can admire Picasso's "Lady's head".
Walk down Kyrkogatan and stop at "Broktorpsgården". This is a well-preserved 17th century cross-timbered house. Inside the courtyard you can see how life was 300 years ago. Continue down to "Vallgatan" and enjoy the pleasures of one of Halmstad's real gems.
On Klammerdammsgatan is the old, but recently renovated "Mellgrenska huset" built of cross-timber and brick. In the main shopping street "Storgatan" you can see the unique 17th century "Kirsten Munks hus", built of green glazed brick, and not far away in the "Lilla Torg" (the small square) you will find the recently renovated "Fattighuset" (workhouse), now being run as a co-operative handicrafts centre.
"Norre Port" dates from 1601 and is the only remaining city gate. The E6 highway passed through it until the 1950's.
Before passing through the gate, you will meet "91 Karlsson", the much loved cartoon figure, who is possibly our most patriotic soldier, based wih the Halmstad Infantry Regiment. Constantly vigilant, and saluting with Norre Port in the background.