The destruction of the town of Vä was the motivation for the new town. Not only was the new town going to replace what was left of Vä (which had been burnt down and rebuilt several times), but it was also going to be an important commercial center and as such, strongly fortified. Thus Kristianstad became the first Scandinavian town to be founded according to the ideals of the Renaissance with a grid system, ramparts and bastions. It was fortified against Swedish attacks (remember Skåne was still under Danish rule). Kristianstad was split by Helge River, giving it two main sections and two city gates. Christian IV also built the town’s most expensive treasure, Heliga Trefaldighetskyrkan (the Church of the Holy Trinity) — one of the more beautiful Renaissance churches. When Skåne became Swedish (in 1658 following the Treaty of Roskilde), Kristianstad lost its importance as a border fortification but kept playing an important role during the Skåne War; the fortress was in Danish hands between 1676 and 1678.
As Kristianstad’s significance as a fortress waned, it became instead an important military town, as major rebuilding began to create a military depot in southern Sweden. Soon Kristianstad’s ramparts were replaced by tree-lined boulevards just as in Paris. The beautiful Tivoliparken was laid out by a Danish landscape gardener and it features a rose garden with over one hundred different roses, an herb garden, ponds, several little fountains — one of which features a sculpture by Carl Milles (his own favorite it has been said) — as well as a café. A theater in the Art Nouveau style was built in 1906, adding further beauty to the city. During the last half of the 19th century a railway station, law court, county governor's house, Masonic lodge, town hall and school were built. Kristianstad is now the seat of Kristianstad Municipality and has about 33,083 inhabitants.
To this day, Kristianstad has kept its initial coat of arms of King Christian IV of Denmark, possibly the only city in the world with a coat of arms depicting a foreign king’s or queen’s coat of arms.