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The Mediaval Town

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Kärnan in Helsingborg. The first castle complx was circular and is marked next to the tower.

In 1310 Erik Menved let build a new tower for the castle. This was square with very thick walls. The tower is more than 30 metres high.

Castles
At the same time Erik Menved led a very aggressive policy and he strengthened the fortifications in the kingdom. This was evident in the Sound region, where a number of castles were renovated or built.
The old circular defence tower in Helsingborg was exchanged for the square Kärnan. This tower construction became a massive and impenetrable castle. The walls were more than 4 metres thick and the tower´s height was 30 metres. It had to be able to withstand the art of war of the times. Falsterbohus was also rebuilt and this castle also had a square tower. The rebuilding of these two castles started around 1310. Falsterbohus took over the tasks of the Skanør Castle and Helsingborg and Kärnan developed into the crown’s most important fortification in Scania. Erik Menved also expanded the Lindhold Castle in Southern Scania. This castle also had a square tower.
In Bornholm Hammershus is gradually developed into the largest castle in the North. In Vordingborg a castle complex is built to the defence of the country´s south border and in Kalundborg in in West Zealand the old fortification of Esbern Snare is enlarged. Finally in Valdemar Atterdag´s time (1340-1375) an administrative centre with a central castle is built in Gurre in North Zealand.
Castles
Castles
Kärnan, Helsingborg
Kärnan, Helsingborg
Kärnan in Sections
Kärnan in Sections
The Interior of Kärnan
The Interior of Kärnan
Hammershus
Hammershus
The Goose Tower
The Goose Tower
Vordinborg Castle
Vordinborg Castle
The Castle Hill
The Castle Hill
Gurre Castle
Gurre Castle
Gurre
Gurre
Gurre Complex
Gurre Complex
Gurre Castle
Gurre Castle

The Expansion of Market Towns
The Scanian market lost more and more importance and the centre of gravity of the trade was moved from Skanør and Falsterbo to Malmo and Copenhagen. One idea behind of the Kalmar Union was that a united North would better withstand The Hanseates and king Erik of Pommern (1412-39) thus led a policy, which would strengthen the market towns of the Sound region. Several towns were given market towns rights, Helsingborg in 1414 and Elsinore in 1426. In addition Landskrona was founded in 1413, first of all to trade with Holland and England.
The Kalmar Union
The Kalmar Union
The coronation of Erik of Pomerania
The coronation of Erik of Pomerania

Erik of Pommern and the Sound Duty
One idea behind of the Kalmar Union was that a united North would better withstand The Hanseates and king Erik of Pommern (1412-39) thus led a policy, which would strengthen the market towns of the Sound region. Several towns were given market towns rights, Helsingborg in 1414 and Elsinore in 1426. In addition Landskrona was founded in 1414, first of all to trade with Holland and England.
In 1429 the Sound duty was introduced, which was to compensate for the lost income form the Scanian market. It was natural that the charging of the duty was placed in the narrowest part of the Sound and therefore the fortification Krogen was built in Elsinore.

Helsingborg and Malmø
Helsingborg receives market town rights in 1414. Special provisions deal with the sale of herring in the autumn and the ferry passage between Helsingborg and Zealand. Helsingborg was, with its good situation and strong fortification, which was one of the royal fortifications along the coast, originally much larger than Elsinore, but in time Elsinore becomes, mainly because of its affiliation with the Sound Duty and the foreign trade, the third largest town in the realm after Copenhagen and Malmo. Malmo is a relatively new town and its original name, Elbogen, testifies to the hanseatic influence in the area.
Helsingborg
Helsingborg
Landskrona
Landskrona
Malmo
Malmo
Helsingborg in the Year 1400
Helsingborg in the Year 1400

Helsingborg-Elsinore
Helsingborg and Elsinore had most in common of all the towns in the Sound region as the two towns had a joint market trade. Traders from Helsingborg were allowed to sell goods in Elsinore and vice versa. This was impossible in other towns. Traders from Lund, Landskrona and Helsingborg were not allowed to trade in each other´s towns.
That this was allowed in Helsingborg and Elsinore was due to the fact that they were dependant on each other. The accession of meat, butter and milk was larger in northwestern Scania than in North Zealand and thus the Helsingborg citizens needed customers and the Elsinore citizens needed these goods.

©  Øresundstid 2009