Horns kungsgård (Horn’s crown demesne)
Öland’s nature in a nutshell
Horns kungsgård, which is located at the northern end of Öland, can be said to sum up much of Öland’s natural beauty and uniqueness. Most of Öland’s various habitats are represented here.
Ancient monuments tell a story
At Horns kungsgård, you can experience ancient history in the heart of the landscape. Foundations show us where Iron Age farmers lived and there are remnants of stone walls where they had their enclosed fields and meadows. The area’s alvar are home to a number of burial sites and there are traces of a fortified medieval manor at Hornsjön (Horn Lake).
In the 1550s, Gustav Vasa merged the farms in the original village of Degerhorn and formed the Horns kungsgård (Horn’s demesne). The farmers were forced to move. Kungsgården was designed to produce meat, cheese, skins and wool for the royal stores, while also serving as a model farm for the local farmers.
Today, conservation-compatible farming is carried out at Horns kungsgård, with includes the rearing of cattle. The landscape is very varied and has an impressive variety. There are cliffs, alvar limestone areas, wetlands, hardwood forests, oak pastures and hayfields. Many orchids thrive in the beautiful Skogsgärdesängen area, including the imagination-stimulating pyramidal orchid, the fragrant orchid and the heath spotted orchid. Collared flycatchers sing in the groves. At Hornsjön, which is Öland’s largest lake, one can see both the osprey and the Caspian tern. Great crested grebes breed there annually. On late spring evenings, one can listen to the great bitterns and see bats hunting over the water.
Bats and insects
The area is one of Sweden’s best bat locations and features 12 of the country’s 18 species. Rare species that can be seen here include the barbastelle and the nathusius’ pipistrelle. Beetles such as the stag beetle and the Capricorn beetle thrive in the large, old oaks.
Size: 829 ha, (2049 acres), of which 284 ha, (702 acres) is water-covered.
Year of creation: 1979, expanded in 2001
Purpose: To preserve the area’s rich flora and fauna as well as the valuable cultural landscape with its mosaic of arable land, meadows, pastures and woodland. The area is part of Natura 2000, the EU’s ecological network of protected areas.
About 3 km SW of Byrums Sandvik, about 5 km NW of Löttorp. From road 136: turn off towards Löttorp and drive west. After 4 km, when you see the road-sign “Horn 2”, follow the road northwards.
GPS coordinates to the parking lot WGS 84 decimal (lat, long): 57.18521 , 16.93898
Map: Naturcentrum AB, Stenungsund.
Download: the County administrative boards brochure over (in Swedish only) (1,9 MB): Horns Kungsgård
Download: the entire brochure (in Swedish only) (19 MB): Utflyktsguide Öland
© Lantmäteriverket, Ur Geografiska Sverigedata, översiktskartan Dnr. 106-2004/188”
Source: County Administrative Board, Kalmar