Kristinehamn was first known as Bro. It was a trading centre and market place located around the bridge that led the main road between Sweden and Norway over the Varnan river. In the 1600s-1800s it was the most important port of shipment for the iron from Bergslagen mining region. In 1642 Bro was garanted a town charter by Queen Christina´s regency and the name of Kristinehamn in her honour. At that time, abourt 200 people lived here.