The Printzensköld stones

In Storegade in Rønne there are memorial stones in the pavement of the street, where the Swedish commander Johan Printzensköld was killed in 1658, during Sweden's occupation of Bornholm

A symbol of a won battle

The memorial stones that can be seen in Storegade in Rønne have been lying there since the man’s memory. They are located where the Swedish commander Johan Printzensköld was shot and killed. The stones are today a symbol of the fight for freedom that took place back in 1658 between Swedish soldiers and Bornholm rebels when Bornholm had been ceded to Sweden earlier that year. The 3 stones are each a memorial stone for Printzensköld, his dog, and for the year Bornholm became Danish again. As early as the 18th century, the inscription on Printzensköld and the dog’s memorial stone was almost worn away, and therefore it is not possible to get information about what was written on the stone or how old it is.

Experience the stones in Rønne. If you walk along Raadhusstræde and further down to Storegade, you will find the stones in the pavement in the middle of the T-junction. The stones tell an exciting story from the time when Bornholm rebels won Bornholm back from the Swedish troops.

The story behind The Printzensköld Stones

The Swedish era on Bornholm covers several wars between Denmark and Sweden. When Bornholm was ceded to Sweden in 1645, Bornholm nevertheless remained Danish after several negotiations. In 1658, after a revenge war at Roskildefreden, Denmark had to cede Bornholm to Sweden, which later the same year triggered a rebellion on the island.

In 1658, the Swedish commander Johan Printzensköld arrived on Sweden’s new island Bornholm with 116 men. He was appointed to manage the island. After half a year with a weakened crew as a result of illness and death, Printzensköld tried to reach out to Sweden to get reinforcements to Bornholm, because of the lack of crew and provisions. A group of dissatisfied Bornholm rebels heard about Printzensköld’s plan and followed him on his way to Rønne. In Rønne, Printzensköld is obtained and apprehended in the mayor’s courtyard, where a large riot occurs before he is dragged out into the street. He did twist loose and ran away, but was shot on Storegade in Rønne by grocer Villum Clausen.

Experience the story on Bornholms Museum

Villum Clausen’s pistol that shot and killed Printzensköld was reportedly loaded with a silver button. Several – mainly Swedes – were allegedly killed with silver buttons, but these killings are presumably mixed with myths about the killing of witches that could only happen via silver buttons. It is therefore still doubtful what the ammunition in the gun was.

Get a piece of the story at Bornholms Museum. You can take a temporary time travel back to 1658 and experience a realistic exhibition of the deceased Printzensköld. The murder weapon that is displayed as Clausen’s at Bornholms Museum is from the 17th century.


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Storegade 17

3700 Rønne

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