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73km (45 miles) N of Simrishamn, 95km (59 miles) NE of Malmö, 126km (78 miles) SE of Växjö

Try to see all the towns we've recommended in the preceding pages. And then, if you have an extra day, head over to Kristianstad. With its former ramparts; moats; and broad, tree-lined boulevards, we always find a visit here rewarding. It's also the best base for exploring the country palace of Charles XV, one of the outstanding attractions of southeast Skåne.

Called the "most Danish of Sweden's towns," Kristianstad actually was a part of Denmark -- for 44 years. Its founder, Christian IV of Denmark, still makes his presence felt in many ways. In fact, the town, originally known as Christianstat, was issuing bank notes with a Danish king imprinted on them as late as 1898.

The city was founded in 1614 to defend the Danish kingdom against Swedish attacks. The fort laid out by Christian IV was northern Europe's most modern. The fortification period ended in 1847, and once the ramparts were leveled, Kristianstad expanded, building Parisian-style boulevards that earned it the name "Little Paris." The only parts of the fortification still left are portions of the northernmost system surrounding what now is the residential district of Utanverken. After a century and a half without the restricting fortifications, Kristianstad has expanded to become the largest town in the county, just as Christian IV had hoped.