Founded in 1614 to defend the Danish kingdom against Swedish attacks, Kristianstad was actually a part of Denmark for 44 years, and therefore is still called today most "Danish of Sweden's towns." The fort laid out by Christian IV was northern Europe's most modern. The only parts of the fortification still left are portions of the northernmost system surrounding what now is the residential district of Utanverken. The town is known for its famous town plan and its Renaissance church. The surrounding countryside offers a wide range of outdoor activities. Only a short distance from the town, the long beaches offer good opportunities for sailing, windsurfing and swimming and the forests, lakes and rivers are ideal for hiking, canoeing, fishing and bird watching. Within 25 km there are six golf courses.