Ronneby is a locality in the province of Blekinge in southern Sweden. It is the oldest town in the province and has a history of being a part of two countries. Established when the area was a part of Denmark, it lost its status as a town under Swedish rule. It is close to the coast of the Baltic Sea with the river Ronnebyån creating a connection with the coast. Ronneby has in recent centuries been famous as an industrial town with many manufacturing companies.
A Short History of Ronneby
Ronneby’s history can be traced back to the 8th century with settlements along the shores of what is today the river Ronnebyån. The oldest surviving town privileges date back to 1387 when the former privileges were renewed. This makes Ronneby the oldest town in the province of Blekinge.
This was initially a town in Denmark. Blekinge, as well as other parts of what is today southern Sweden, was for centuries a part of the Kingdom of Denmark. Many wars have been thought between Denmark and Sweden during the centuries and Ronneby has not been left unaffected. The Ronneby Bloodbath occurred in 1564 during the Northern Seven Year’s War. On a Monday in September of that year, the Swedish army massacred the population of the town. Ronneby was pillaged and accounts tell of a river turning red from the around 2000 men, women, and children who perished.
The town was rebuilt but as a result of the Peace Treaty of Roskilde in 1658, it was ceded to Sweden. Ronneby lost its town privileges in 1680 with the establishment of Karlskrona. Many of the merchants were forced to move to the new town. It wasn’t the end of Ronneby but the focus for the remaining inhabitants moved from trade to manufacturing.
It would take until 1882 before Ronneby received new town privileges. Ronneby once more lost its status as a town during the municipality reforms of 1971 when it became the seat of the local municipality. It is, however, still referred to as a town on many occasions.
Things to Do and See in Ronneby
Ronneby is an old town with a lot of history. Its location also means that nature is never far away and excursions both to the surrounding area and nearby localities are easy.
Old Town Hall
The Old Town Hall, or Gamla Rådhuset in Swedish, is a building dating back to 1890. The building did for some time house the local administration as well as the police. The New Town Hall replaced it in 1970. The Old Town Hall is still owned by the municipality but is rented out to the organization IOGT-NTO.
Munktrappan is the stairs leading up to the church. These were inaugurated in 1907, 25 years after Ronneby once more became a town.
Heliga Kors Kyrka
Heliga Kors Kyrka, the Ronneby Church, has its origins in the 12th century. It was completed in the 15th century and is home to the largest collection of renaissance art in Blekinge.
Möllebackagården is the local heritage museum. This homestead dates in parts back to the 18th century and exhibits the life and traditions of the area during the centuries,
Naturum Blekinge is adjacent to the famous park Brunnsparken. It is the gateway to the park and to the nature in Blekinge. With its exhibitions, it teaches its visitors about the region’s flora and fauna.
Brunnsparken is a park a bit to the south of the center of Ronneby. It was established at the beginning of the 18th century and today covers an area of around 100 hectares. The park is by many considered to be one of the most beautiful parks in Sweden and includes many walking paths for all ages.
The Japanese Garden
The Japanese Garden is a part of Brunnsparken and is a more recent addition to the historical park. Inspired by Zen Buddhism and its many gardens, this is a garden that not only has flowers and plants but also incorporates non-living objects such as stones and water.
Ronneby Old Water Tower
Ronneby Old Watertower, or Ronneby gamla vattentorn in Swedish, is an impressive tower watching out over the center of the town. It was built in 1902 on the hill known as Pepparbacksberget. The old water tower is today in private ownership.
Tjusningen is a statue in the park outside of the Old Town Hall. The artist Per Hasselberg created it in 1880 and it consists of a boy with wings holding a bird.
How to Get to Ronneby
- Flights: The closest airport is Ronneby Airport (RNB) 7 kilometers away. The airport has a few domestic routes as well as seasonal charter flights.
- Car: Ronneby along road E22 between Karlskrona and Karlshamn.
- Bus: Buses from Blekingetrafiken connect Ronneby with the surrounding region.
- Train: Öresundståg service Ronneby Station. Destinations include Karlshamn, Karlskrona, Kristianstad, Lund, Malmö, and Copenhagen.
The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:
- Stockholm – 510 kilometers (5 h 54 min)
- Gothenburg – 323 kilometers (3 h 54 min)
- Malmö – 177 kilometers (1 h 53 min)
- Linköping – 308 kilometers (4 h 1 min)
- Kiruna – 1733 kilometers (19 h 45 min)
Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden