In Hässleholm there are many tourist attractions that you should not miss during your visit. Join a tour down in the underground halls of the cave Tykarpsgrottan. Or discover Hovdala castle which during the 17th century had an important role to play with its location in the borderline between Sweden and Denmark. On several locations there are guided tours in summer and also exhibitions, theatres, concerts and much more.
Photo: Hanna Nathell
Photo: Sven Persson/swelo.se
Photo: Lina Holmberg
Photo: Johan Funke
Several hundred years ago the Swedish-Danish border district of north-eastern Skåne, Göinge, was the scene of relentless battles for domination and freedom. The neighbouring countries, Sweden and Denmark, had been in a long-standing state of feud with each other, and thousands of people died in the struggle for ascendancy over the Baltic. In the wars with Denmark, the snapp-hane rebels fought for what they believed in – protecting their homeland, their farm and their family. Skåne became Swedish in 1658, and for many people in Skåne this meant poverty, higher taxes and a loss of former freedoms. The snapphanes believed that the King of Denmark could best preserve their rights, and so they took up arms against the Swedes.
In these beautiful former borderlands, you can still hear the echoes of history in legends and tales that are documented in fortifications, castles, churches and homesteads.
Opinions are divided about why these partisans were called ”snapphanar”. Some claim that there is a direct link to the flintlock of the guns that were used at the time. In other words, a ”snapphane” was a person who was quick (swed. snabb) at cocking the spring-loaded hammer (hane) before firing the gun. A similar gun is on display at Hovdala Castle and the story is that it once belonged to the ”snapphane chief” Lille-Matts.
Other sources claim that ”snapphane” originates from the German word ”schnappen” which means to rob, plunder or ”highwayman”. Why the German language should have anything to do with these battles is however unclear. By calling somebody a ”snapphane” the Swedes were perhaps trying to show that they did not consider the Scanian opponents to be proper soldiers,
but rather as robbers, troublemakers or traitors.
Several well-known events are yearly arranged in this area, such as Hovdala Medieval Days with a Knights Tournament, Hästveda market, music festival Torsjö Live, Snapphane Rally, Christmas fairs in Tykarpsgrottan (the Tykarp´s cave) and Skånejul at Hässleholmsgården. Would you like to know more about what happens, you can find inspiration and information in our event calendar.
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