The New Älvsborg Fortress has an amazing history that stretches from its establishment in the seventeenth century to the modern day. On three separate occasions the Danes stood at the door with anything but good intentions – however, all three times they left empty-handed.
During the time the fortress acted as a prison, some of Sweden’s most feared criminals were held out on the island. In the second half of the nineteenth century the fortress became a popular destination for those living in Gothenburg who wanted to breathe in the fresh sea air, smoke cigars and drink punch.
We at Strömma are proud to be able to offer what we believe to be Sweden’s most significant and well-preserved cultural heritage, which is best experienced in situ.
Lieutenant Colonel Johan Abraham Lillie
Johan Abraham Lillie was the deputy governor at the New Elfsborg Castle, as it is also known, in 1719, when governor Gadde travelled to the Medevi health resort. Lillie was an experienced soldier who had taken part in campaigns in both Germany and Norway. During the battle in 1719 it was largely due to his efforts that the fortress was saved from the Danish hero Tordenskiöld (lit. “thunder shield”).
Songs and poems have been written to celebrate Lillie and his men, and the governor has even been honoured in his own proverb: “The Danes shall pluck no Swedish lilies”.
Major Gustav Krook (1782–?)
In 1814 Major Krook began his duties as governor of Elfsborg Fortress. By this time the number of prisoners had risen to over a hundred, and the military importance of the fortress had diminished considerably.
Krook was the governor with the longest time of service by far of all the governors of Elfsborg, retiring in 1843. He is, however, most well known for his unusual ideas and ways of expressing himself.
For example, Krook established the manufacturing of shoes and sold these shoes for much cheaper prices than they cost to produce. Many people enquired about how such a business could support itself. Krook calmed his critics with these words: “It is the volume that does that!”
Governor Krook welcomes you!