During the twelfth century a round defensive tower was built on Kalmarsund and a harbour constructed. At the end of the thirteenth century King Magnus LadulÄs had a new fortress built with a curtain wall, round corner towers and two square gatehouses surrounding the original tower. Located near the site of Kalmar's medieval harbor, it has played a crucial part in Swedish history since its initial construction as a fortified tower in the 12th century.

One of the most significant political events in Scandinavia took place at Kalmar Castle in 1397, when the Kalmar Union was formed - a union of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, organized by Queen Margaret I of Denmark. During the Swedish rebellion against Denmark in 1520, the fortress was commanded by Anna Eriksdotter. [2]

The fortress was improved during the 16th century under the direction of King Gustav I and his sons King Eric XIV and King John III, who turned the medieval fortress into a castle fit for a renaissance king. Kalmar Castle suffered heavy damage during the Kalmar War of 1611-13 and was badly damaged by a fire in 1642. Repairs were begun but from the end of the seventeenth century the castle was allowed to fall into disrepair.