Tre Kronor was the royal castle of Sweden since the middle of the 13th century.
However, on May the 7th, 1697, a large fire broke out that completely demolished it.
The fire started on the wind and quickly spread to all parts.
Most of Sweden's national library and royal archives were destroyed.
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Before the advent of hand pumped fire engines, the firefighters had to pass water buckets to
each other to extinguish a fire. This required close access to water and a sufficient
number of participants.
The royals and the court was evacuated while the servants tried to prevent the fire from
spreading and save as much as possible of the possessions.
The architect Tessin and his builder Buchegger had started building a new castle but were
restricted by the architecture of the old castle. They were found at the wind when they tried to
prevent the fire from spreading to the new part and had their new plans ready shortly afterwards.
Did they have an incentive to start the fire?
The spread of the fire
The castle of Tre Kronor was mainly built of wood and copper. The fire started on the wind and
when the copper plates were heated, they set the roof on fire and the fire then spread quickly to all
The fire marshal and two soldiers were found to have neglected their duties and sentenced to
run the gauntlet. However, neither the reason, nor any motive for the fire was identified. The royal family
had to move to another castle and could not return to the new castle until 1754.