Massive stars die in powerful stellar explosions, so-called supernovae. In most cases, a neutron star or a black hole is expected to form in the center. The ejected material in these explosions expands out into the surroundings for tens of thousands of years, forming a supernova remnant. If a rapidly rotating neutron star, i.e. pulsar, has been created in the center, a pulsar wind nebula (PWN) will form around it.

This thesis focuses mainly on the composite supernova remnant SNR 0540-69.3, as well as the pulsar PSR B0540-69.3. This object has a dynamical PWN for which detailed observations have been done using various ground-based and space-borne telescopes. The thesis also includes a detailed study of the Crab-like supernova remnant 3C 58, which allowed us to detect optical emission from the pulsar + PWN system. This made it become the third PWN, after the Crab nebula and the 0540 PWN, to be seen in the optical.