Jämshög, Blekinge, Exploring Sweden

Jämshög, Blekinge – Exploring Sweden

Jämshög is a locality in Olofström Municipality in the southern Swedish province of Blekinge. It is today home to around 1.600 inhabitants, living just a short distance south of Olofström, the seat of the municipality. This was, however, once the seat of the local parish. It was within the borders of Jämshög Parish that the writer Harry Martinson was born in 1904. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1974, a prize he shared with Eyving Johnson.

A Short History of Jämshög

Jämshög Parish had its origins in the Middle Ages and the first wooden church is believed to have been built in the 12th century. There have been at least three other churches since. The wooden church was replaced by a brick church in the 13th century. That church did not survive the wars between Sweden and Denmark in the 16th century. The church was rebuilt but was once more harmed when it in 1803 was devastated by a fire. The construction of the current church began in 1804.

The church and its parish acted as the local government until the Swedish Municipal Reform of 1862. This was when its responsibilities were split between the church congregation and the new civic government of Jämshög Municipality. The town of Olofström was extracted from the parish in 1941. Jämshög Municipality became a part of Olofström Municipality in 1967.

Things to Do and See

The center of Jämshög houses a few smaller businesses, including the traditional small-town pizzeria and a local inn. A bit to the northwest is the Halen Nature Reserve, which covers most of the area towards Olofström and Lake Halen. Then there is, of course, the church and the local heritage museum.

Jämshög Church

The former parish church dates back to the early years of the 19th century. It stands on a hill watching out over the small locality. The church is today a part of the Jämshög Congregation within the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden.

Jämshögs Hembygdsmuseum

Jämshögs Hembygdsmuseum is the local heritage museum. It tells of the area’s history, but also about its famous writers. This is where you can learn more about the area’s writers. There is, of course, the Noble Prize in Literature laureate Harry Martinson. He is not the only one, however. There are also the writers Sven Edvin Salje, Pehr Thomasson, and Axel de la Nietze.

How to Get to Jämshög

  • Flights: There are two airports nearby. These are Kristianstad Österlen Airport (KID) to the southwest and Ronneby Airport (RNB) to the east.
  • Car: Jämshög is located along Road 15 just south of Olofström.
  • Bus: Buses from Blekingetrafiken connect Jämshög with the surrounding area.

The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:

  • Stockholm – 525 kilometers (5 h 40 min)
  • Gothenburg – 269 kilometers (3 h 10 min)
  • Malmö – 136 kilometers (1 h 30 min)
  • Linköping – 330 kilometers (3 h 50 min)
  • Kiruna – 1755 kilometers (18 h 10 min)

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