Discover Hultsfred on your own

Address: Stora Torget 5, 577 26 Hultsfred Show map

Address: Stora Torget 5, 577 26 Hultsfred

If you have a spare moment while visiting Hultsfred, we recommend you make a tour of the town on your own. During your short stroll, you’ll be able to see a bit of Hultsfred and learn something about the history of the place.

From 1320 Hultsfred was known by the name of “Huluszrydh”, meaning a clearing by a lake Hulingen. At that time it is likely that the area of “Huluszrydh” was owned by the husband of St Birgitta Ulf Gudmarsson Hjorthuvud until Birgitta became a widow and chose to donate her property to Vadstena convent. The name later changed to Hulingsyd, pronounced Hullsre, which later became Hultsfred.
The community of Hultsfred has a population of just under 5,300 people, increasing to five times that for one weekend every summer when it’s Hultsfred Festival time, the event that put Hultsfred on the map.

In 1320, Hultsfred was called Huluszrydh, the clearing alongside Lake Hulingen. The name evolved into Hulingsryd and from that came the pronunciation form, Hullsre which later became Hultsfred.
Between 1796 and 1918, the Hultsfred Plain was the Calmare Regiment’s permanent exercise area. This is where Moberg’s Rasken performed his military service and it was also here that Emil i Lönneberga got up to lots of mischief.
Since it arrived in 1874, the railway has played an important role in the region’s development. Hultsfred was an important rail intersection, where almost 250 people earned their living from the railway.
Hultsfred became its own köping (borough) in 1927, having previously belonged to Vena Municipality. The church was built in 1936 and in 1971 Hultsfred became the seat of a new large municipality.
For many years, the timber industry was a dominant feature of Hultsfred. The flagship building-supplies firm, Hultsfreds-Hus had some 1,100 employees around 1970.
Without its military exercise site, the railways and its emerging industry Hultsfred would never have become a densely populated area.
Hultsfred is now known for its association with music thanks to the Hultsfred Festival, Rockparty, RockCity and the provision of industry training facilities for the Swedish music industry.

1. Klubben (the Club)
This is where it all started. In January 1982 the association Rockparty, whose board had an average age of 17 years, organised its first concert. 160 people turned up and the evening was a great success. Over the years, the association has arranged a lot of concerts both at Klubben and in our sports arenas. Amongst the many artists who played in Hultsfred during those early years were Ebba Grön, Theatre Of Hate, Stiff Little Fingers, The Undertones, The Smithereens, Johnny Thunders and Echo & The Bunnymen.

2. Kvarteret Kopparslagaren (Coppersmith Block)
The row of buildings on Storgatan in downtown Hultsfred constitutes an architectural whole with its one-two-three-storey buildings positioned in the middle of their grounds. Glaspellehuset is the building with the greatest cultural-historical value in Hultsfred. During the years 2003 to 2006 reconstruction work was carried out on the building to give it back its original appearance from the early 1900s. Beside Glaspellehuset, there is a gallery in Kopparslagaren whose exhibitions attract many visitors. One of its many exhibitors over the years has been Paris-based artist Bengt Lindström.

3. Palace Hotell
Palace Hotell is Hultsfred’s best known hotel. A documentary broadcast on national TV opened the eyes of the entire country to the hotel’s director Maja Nyblom. Single-handedly she managed all the hotel tasks, including waiting at table, reservations and bookings, cleaning and gardening. Maja left the hotel in the summer of 2007, at the age of 95.

4. The Station House (Stationshuset)
The first railway station house in Hultsfred was built in 1874 along with an adjacent railway hotel. It was to the delight of both the locals and the Hultsfred Plain’s servicemen, chiefly because it contributed to very strong growth in the recently industrialised region. A fire destroyed that building and the current railway station house – nominated as Sweden’s most beautiful – dates from 1902. The station house is a heritage listed building. Both its exterior and interior are well preserved. Take a good look around the waiting room.

5. The Narrow Gauge Railway (Smalspåret)
The narrow gauge railway running between Hultsfred and Västervik is seventy kilometres long and not even one metre wide. It is also the country’s longest heritage site. The 71 km long narrow gauge line between Hultsfred and Västervik was opened for traffic in 1879 and is a demonstration of the workmanship required to construct such a track by hand in the undulating terrain. In the summertime you can travel in the orange-n-gold 50s-style railcars. You’ll find many interesting stops along the way.

6. Strandpromenaden (Strand Promenade)
This area was one of the earliest for the establishment of the local industries. Along the banks of Lake Hulingen, there were storage areas for bog-iron ore and coal. Over the years, the promenade also came to be the entrance to the public entertainment park’s very well attended festivities and is today a popular place to walk around.

Alkärret is an uncommon nutritional swamp forest. The reason for this is a tiny bacteria-like actinomycete. It gives rise to nodule formation in the roots of the alders (after which the swamp has been named), where it has an ability to convert nitrogen from the air and use it for its growth. The alder takes advantage of this and by way of the bacteria receives a nutritional supplement. The surplus of nitrogen means that the alder is the only Swedish tree species that can afford to drop green leaves. When the leaves decompose nitrogen is released to the benefit of Alkärret’s flora and fauna.
Typical to Alkärret are the plinths that its trees grow on. These plinths are important overwintering sites for beetles and other insects. The greenery of the marsh includes many mosses and ferns, such as lady fern and marsh fern, milk parsley, araceae and kingcups.
Alkärret is an attractive environment for birds like the lesser spotted woodpecker, wood warbler and wren. Some feed on alder seeds and buds, while others build nests and look for food in the dead trees.
The area contains about 40 to a greater or lesser degree threatened species.

7. Hembygdsparken (the Heritage Park)
Hultsfred’s big party area, the Hultsfred Plain was purchased by the healthcare authorities during the early 1900s. The Hembygd Association then wrote to the municipal government and appealed for new land to be used for future celebrations, and for a community park. In 1932, Åängarna (the River Fields) were purchased to be used for an athletics arena, a Hembygdspark and a community entertainment park. The Heritage Park contains several notable buildings, e.g., the Emarp station house, the stately Dalsebostuga farmhouse and the Bergebo croft house.

8.The Hultsfred Festival and ”This is Hultsfred”
Between the years 1986 and 2012, the area around the heritage park was used to accommodate the Hultsfred Festival (except for 2010, when the festival was cancelled). At first this was under the auspices of Rockparty and for the past two years, the international concert promoter FKP Scorpio. In 2009, Sonisphere was staged here with Metallica as the main attraction. Since 2013, the community entertainment park has been the site for the “This is Hultsfred” festival.

Can you imagine what this peaceful idyll looks like when 30,000 festival goers turn up?

The Hultsfred Festival
The non-profit making association Rockparty has arranged the Hultsfred festival for 24 years in this location. It was the biggest in the country, hosting 31,800 visitors on one occasion. Here is a small selection of all the artists who have played at the Hultsfred Festival during the Rockparty era:

The artists performing during FKP Scorpio years include The Prodigy, Morrissey, 2 Many DJs, Beach House, The Cure, The Stone Roses, The xx and Justice

This is Hultsfred is a music festival created in 2013. An association with the same name is working for a festival in Hultsfred, with the motto “if it’s not on, well it’s still on”. This is Hultsfred was a reaction to the decision by the Hultsfred Festival’s organiser FKP Scorpio to move the festival from Hultsfred to Sigtuna, north of Stockholm. The first This is Hultsfred included performers such as Sator, Miriam Bryant, Näääk & Nimo and The Nomads.

9. Artist, Bo Lundwall
Bo, who was born and raised in Hultsfred, has for many years devoted himself to animal and nature paintings. A part of his training took place at the Anders Beckman School in Stockholm and for several years he worked in Stockholm. Now he is back and has not only a studio but also a showroom in his home in Hultsfred.
Scandinavia’s beautiful and changing nature is a recurring theme in Bo’s art. He has contributed with his photographs in a number of books in Sweden, Norway, Finland, USA, Canada and Estonia.
Notable among his latest projects are his illustrations for the book, Däggdjuren i Norden (Scandinavian Mammals) and four bird postage stamps issued in April 2013 for the Åland Postal Service in collaboration with the WWF.
Bo is considered as one of Sweden’s foremost animal and nature artists.
Please call before visiting the studio.

10. Hulingsryd’s Nature Reserve
The reserve is located north of Lake Hulingen and offers a grove-like river environment, lush riparian woodlands, dry pine forests, open grassland and wet alder marshland.
Currently, large areas are covered in forest, but only 100 years ago the landscape was notable for its fertile meadows and open natural pastureland. The region contains a number of old pasture oaks from that time.
The riparian woodland is a lush environment with alder and oxbow lakes. The area is dominated by black alder, oak, aspen, maple and willow. The undergrowth is at times dense and almost impenetrable. The high humidity favours a multitude of lichen, mosses and fungi. The kingfisher and lesser spotted woodpecker thrive in the environment.
The Silverån River flows through the reserve, teaming with perch, roach, bream and pike. If you are lucky you may even spot an otter.

11. The Hultsfred Plain
The Hultsfred Plain is the old military exercise area for the Kalmar Regiment, which performed manoeuvres in Hultsfred as early as 1685. But it was not until 1796 that the area became the regiment’s permanent exercise site. Ten or so buildings remain from those times. Today, a culture trail some 2 kilometres in length with 23 information boards gives you a good picture of the old regimental area. The old quartermaster’s store now houses an exhibition on two floors telling the history of the plain from moorland to housing estate. Outside stands the eight-tonne memorial stone to the military manoeuvre site.

In the association’s building – originally a barracks – can be found the Hultsfreds Forskarstuga (Research Lodge), which contains masses of information about the Hultsfred Plain, the soldiers, their families and their crofts.

Three exhibitions paint a picture of Hultsfred in the 1950s: the hair dressing salon, the general store and the young family home.

12. Karl XI’s Redoubt
In 1688, Karl XI visited Hultsfred to inspect the Kalmar Regiment on the Hultsfred Plain. During his visit, he requested a star redoubt would be erected. The redoubt was sited in a pine grove and is 35 metres square.

13. The Hultsfred Church
The Hultsfred Church was consecrated on Ascension Day 1936. This means that the municipality’s largest populated area has the youngest church. In 1955, Hultsfred became a separate parish in the Vena pastorate, and its mother church in 1962. Architect Eli Kjellin successfully created a modern church from a classic blueprint. The timber industries around Hultsfred were responsible for much of the interior. When the church was built it lay on the outskirts of the community. But with the growth of Hultsfred, the church now stands almost in “the middle of town".

14. The Hultsfreds-Hus Museum
Hultsfred-Hus was founded in the 40s. Then Södra Skogsägarna came to Hultsfred and took over Hultsfreds Träförädling, Standardhus and Svenska Idealhus. Hultsfred-Hus’ business was at its height during the period from 1965 to 1973 when it was producing 2,000 timber homes per year. Altogether, since the start of Standardhus in 1928 up until 1993, 60,000 houses have been constructed, which of itself is probably a record in Sweden. Now there is a museum exhibiting house models, drawings and office machines from the 50s and 60s.

15. Svenskt Rockarkiv (Swedish Rock Archives)
Today the archive collections contain almost half a million items relating to Swedish popular music. Here you will find recordings, pictures, posters, video recordings, books and curios.
During the early 1990s there was a risk that Swedish rock music history would not be properly preserved. Many companies were bought up by overseas concerns or went bankrupt. The Svenskt Rockarkiv was founded so that music enthusiasts and researchers would be able to experience and enjoy the swinging story behind Swedish rock music.

Rockparty - an exhibition
At Rock City has the Svenskt Rockarkiv has assembled an exhibition that tells the story of the Rockparty Association and the Hultsfred Festival. It showcases various aspects of the festival that the Rockparty Association has arranged in Hultsfred from 1986 up until the Festival and Rockparty went bankrupt just before the festival in 2010. Among posters, photos and memorabilia texts there are also a lot of items that the performers left behind in their dressing rooms.

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About this activity

  • Phone number
    0046 0495-24 05 05
  • Phone number (booking)
    0046 0495-24 05 05
  • Street address 1
    Stora Torget 5
  • City (address)
    577 26 Hultsfred

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