Helsingborg is a coastal city located near the center of Sweden. It is the closest point to Denmark in all of Sweden, and was a major center of the Danish economy in the 1400s, as they controlled both points of the narrow gap between the two landmasses and were able to levy a steep fine on all ships wishing to pass for trading. An old city, Helsingborg is full of historic landmarks and tourist attractions.
Kärnan, the only remaining tower of a great castle that guarded the entrance to the Baltic Sea during the High Middle Ages, is a great piece of European history. The rest of the castle was torn down after the Swedish king ordered it dismantled because it had failed to hold back the Danish army during the Skåne war of 1676.
Unlike poor Kärnan, Sofiero castle was not torn down in a fit of rage by a king. Purchased in the late 1800s by the royal family as a manor house, the castle exists today as a tourist attraction. It houses a restaurant and houses a small modern art gallery. The main attraction of the castle is the lush garden and massive lawn that accompany the estate. Open-air concerts with world-renown artists are occasionally held, and garden tours are open to the public in the summer months.
Mariakyrkan, or St. Mary's Church, is one of the oldest churches in Helsingborg. Built in the 12th Century, the original edifice has been expanded upon several times throughout history. From the time it was built until the 14th Century, the church stood as the largest city churches of Denmark. The building contains much of its original decoration, along with several ancient epitaphs.
Olympia, the football stadium located in Helsingborg, was first opened in 1898. Renovated in the 1990s, the stadium is capable of holding over 17,000 spectators. Helsingborg is home to its own internationally-competing football team, and the Olympia stadium has been host to two FIFA World Cup matches.