Kronhuset: An Oldest Building in Gothenburg


Kronhuset is not only an oldest building in Gothenburg but also houses shops related to arts and crafts, and the headquarters of Göteborg Wind Orchestra.

Gothenburg aka Göteborg was founded in 1621 and was one of the most fortified cities in Europe. The building (built for the Swedish monarch between 1642 and 1654, is the oldest surviving building) is located closer to Gustav Adolf Torg (Square) in central part of the city. It was built to serve as a storage and warehouse for military equipment as Sweden prepared for a war against Denmark.

The six-storeyed building in Dutch style was built of brick walls and ceiling and the rest out of wood with no supporting pillars (for easier movement of military equipment from guns to vehicles).

Once upon a time, the building also functioned as the Parliament of Sweden. Håkan Strömberg wrote in AN HISTORICAL GUIDE TO GOTHENBURG: “Gothenburg’s oldest buildings also serve as a reminder that the city was once a fortress full of soldiers. In Västra Nordstan lies Kronhuset, a five-story brick building which was completed in 1654. The building originally housed army supplies. By Stora Hamankanalen lies the Torstenson Palace from 1650. It was built for Lennart Torstenson, one of the 17th cenutury’s most influential Swedish noblemen. Torstenson’s Palace became the governor’s residence in 1700 and has been so ever since.

“The two buildings were both involved when King Charles X Gustav summoned Swedish Parliament to Gothenburg in 1660. Charles X Gustav has gone down in history for winning Skåne, Blekinge, Halland and Bohuslän from Denmark-Norway. After that, Gothenburg was no longer a border city, but a city in the middle of long Swedish west coast. The visit to Gothenburg in 1660 was not as successful. The king fell ill and died at the Torstenson Palace. The Parliament quickly appointed the deceased king’s son as the new king. The prince, Charles XI, was only four years old, but he was immediately celebrated in Kronhuset.”

Kronhuset and its surroundings have shops and cafes but in December, the area becomes live with a Christmas market.

Gothenburg was founded in 1621 by Gustav II Adolf when Sweden was bombarded by Danish threats. Stockholm decided in 1640 to build a warehouse for military equipment and Simon de la Vallée is believed to have made the drawings for the building. The six-story high brick house was built in two stages during the years 1642-1654 and it stands to this day but serves other purposes: music, arts and crafts, and also has a café. In front of the Kronhuset are galleries and shops offer antiques to chocolates.

Higab the real estate company owned 100 percent by the City of Gothenburg (Göteborgs Stad) manages the building.