Bohus Fortress lies along the old Norwegian–Swedish border in Kungälv, Bohuslän, Sweden, where the Göta river splits into two branches (20 km north of Gothenburg). It commands the surrounding area from a cliff 40 m high, with the river forming a natural defensive moat.
At the time of its construction in 1308 it was on the southern boundary of Norway and remained in their hands until 1536. It then became Danish until 1658 at which time it finally became Swedish. During its long history, the castle was besieged fourteen times but was never captured. The fortress was officially abandoned in 1786 and rapidly shrank as the local population were allowed to use the stone for their own construction projects!
We spent a pleasant hour or so strolling round the ruins which include a massive tower known as Fars Hatt (Father’s hat). The corresponding Mother’s cap (Mors Mössa) lay across the courtyard, swathed in scaffolding. Fars Hatt is surmounted by a large circular copper roof, green with verdigris. I spent several minutes trying to remove this apparent marker pin from Google maps while working on the weekend’s info pack!
From an underground perspective, two parts of the site were of particular interest. Beneath the Fars Hatt tower is a massive mediaeval dungeon around six metres deep. The only access to it was via a trap door in the floor above, through which we were able to peer. A second underground casemate by the gatehouse was opened especially for us by the castle staff. This was the inner part of a casemate that was rediscovered in the 1970s.