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a gift from the national property board sweden the custodian of swedish cultural heritage sites

kulturvärden Drama at Drottningholm Läckö Castle’s fairy-tale setting Vasa’s show of strength


Island hopping in the archipelago Inside a cold war relic on Hemsö Enchanting parks and gardens

Castles, gardens and other

swedish gems

Welcome to Sweden! Welcome to a country filled to the brim with cultural treasures and sites, some of which are hundreds, even thousands of years old. And welcome to Kulturvärden, a cultural magazine published by the National Property Board Sweden (in Swedish: Statens fastighetsverk or SFV for short). We are a government agency tasked with managing, protecting and developing the cultural properties owned by the Swedish people. We will also make them accessible to visitors as far as possible. In this special edition of Kulturvärden, we wish to present a small selection of things to see and do in Sweden. We’ll take you out to the archipelago, through parks and gardens, and from castles to cabins – beautiful, significant, historic or brand new. If you want more, you are welcome to visit our website at www.sfv.se or download our app, Sevärt – where you will find even more cultural heritage sites to visit. Get out and enjoy! Have a wonderful visit!

Happy reading, mia fernlund Editor-in-chief






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scary turns inviting Today’s Vaxholm is visitor-friendly


an in-depth look at the Cold War Time stands still at Hemsö fortress

Lady of the lake Magnificent Läckö Castle

royal palace 34

The Royal Palace gets a makeover

hall of state 5 An architectural masterpiece

gardens 6 Idyllic settings for a day out

drottningholm palace theatre 36 Showing scenes from the 1700s

skeppsholmen 32 Downtown archipelago

in the kitchen16 coastal pearls 20 way to go 52 Cooking spiced with cultural history

Navigating Sweden’s cultural heritage

Follow in the experts’ footsteps

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melker dahlstrand


For more information: visit our website at www.sfv.se or download our app, sevärt

Global thinking at the Museum of World Culture

Visit the Vasa Museum and see the warship that sank on her maiden voyage in 1628.

The world’s cultures have a meeting place in beautiful Gothenburg. Right next to the amusement park Liseberg and Universeum, a science centre for all ages, is the Museum of World Culture. It serves as an international living room that presents thoughtprovoking exhibitions on current global issues. Children and teenagers are particularly important visitors to the museum. But the entire family can enjoy culture and delicious food in an environment where the impressive architecture makes the building an experience in itself.

and life on board. Curious visitors can stand face-to-face with facial reconstructions of men and women of the crew who did not survive. The hungry visitor may opt to eat lunch in the restaurant, which offers a glorious view of the water. The Vasa Museum is the most visited museum in Sweden. It is located on Djurgården and is surrounded by numerous other museums, art galleries, restaurants, an amusement park, a palace, parks and gardens, all just waiting to be explored. arne persson

dick norberg

an international sensation awaits visitors on gorgeous, green Djurgården in Stockholm: the Vasa warship, which foundered and sank on her maiden voyage. Time on board the Vasa stopped on 10 August 1628. Each year, 1.2 million people come to the Vasa Museum to discover the uniquely well-preserved seventeenth century ship and her crew. Inside the museum, the warship stands at its full height, so that visitors can view it from all sides. The ship is surrounded by exciting exhibitions about the Vasa

morgan karlsson

A real man-of-war at the Vasa Museum

A hero’s tale in ornäs Loft

The heart of Dalarna is the scene of the heroic story of future king Gustav Vasa’s flight through Dalarna to escape his enemies. Here, in the winter of 1520-21, he carried out the very first Vasaloppet. In Ornäs by the lake Runn, where the pointy-leafed Ornäs birch trees grow, Gustav Vasa was betrayed and forced to flee through an outhouse. In the end, he defeated his enemies and founded the Kingdom of Sweden. And so, the Ornäs Loft was established as Sweden’s first museum in the 1750s. 4

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Bocksten Man at Varberg Fortress

Situated on the salty blue Western Sea, Varberg Fortress is a place to explore, eat and stay. The once harsh fortress, which connects Danish and Swedish history with its medieval origins, is now a welcoming place with a café, restaurant and hostel in the old jail cells. The fortress museum offers guided tours, which feature among other things the famous Bocksten Man – northern Europe’s most spectacular medieval discovery. During Medieval Days in July, medieval-clad crowds fill the entire area.

Submarines in Karlskrona

The old naval port in Karlskrona is now a world heritage site, as designated by Unesco. The Naval Museum is located on the island of Stumholmen and features museum ships, collections, and naval history from the eighteenth century to the present day. In the museum’s submarine wing, visitors can step aboard the submarine HMS Neptun, from the days of the Cold War. Next to the HMS Neptun is Hajen – the Swedish navy’s very first submarine, from 1904. Through sound and lights, visitors can experience the toughness of life aboard.

The majestic Hall of State Secular power in Sweden was once exercised from the Hall of State in the Royal Palace, a room designed by Sweden’s most important architects

When the royal palace of that time, the Tre Kronor Palace, was destroyed by fire in May 1697, the architect Nicodemus Tessin the Younger was tasked with designing the new palace, which was to be based on the baroque palaces he had visited during his studies abroad, primarily in Italy. All architectural decorations were symbolic glorifications of the absolute monarchy that existed in the super-power of Sweden in the late seventeenth century. Visitors to the Royal Palace can perhaps most clearly see this in the Hall of State, originally built for the Swedish parliament. But because construction of the palace was incredibly slow – the Swedish King Karl XII’s war brought the country to the edge of ruin – a great deal happened from the time construction began in 1697, to the time the palace was inaugurated in 1754. The Swedish constitution had changed, enhancing Swedish parliamentary power at the expense of royal power. But also, the actual construction process ended up being run by several of the eighteenth century’s most important Swedish architects who, after Tessin’s death, took the opportunity to make their marks on the palace by introducing fashionable trends of

their time. In some places in the Hall of State, visitors can see how Tessin’s Italian-inspired baroque style gained some clear elements of French-inspired rococo. The Swedish Parliament left the Hall of State in 1834. Located across from the Royal Chapel, the Hall of State is now used for the Royal Court’s parties and public events, such as concerts. The hall was restored before Crown Princess Victoria’s wedding in 2010. For example, the ceiling was repaired with the help of paint fragments from the 1700s, and while thick curtains once shut out daylight to prevent damage to the invaluable textiles in the Hall of State, natural light could now be let in through thin curtains with protective UV filters. words Andreas Heymowski, Accredited Architect, The Royal Palace in Stockholm. photo erik kampmann, sfv

Footnote: Architects who led the construction of the Royal Palace, in chronological order: Nicodemus Tessin the Younger (1654–1728), Carl Hårleman (1700–1753), Carl Johan Cronstedt (1709–1779) and Carl Fredrik Adelcrantz (1716–1796)

The newly restored Hall of State, set up for the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel in June 2010.

Linnaeus’ Hammarby is 15 km southeast of Uppsala.

Gardens of



From the Linnaean Gardens of Uppsala to the jewel in the crown of Stockholm’s parks, we show you where to spread your picnic blanket


passion for taxonomy turned Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778) into one of Sweden’s most famous scientists. With his 1735 treatise Systema Naturae, he gave the world a new common language for understanding and describing plants, animals, and minerals. He has occasionally been called Princeps botanicorum, the Prince of Botanists, and Systema Naturae had the same groundbreaking significance for biology that the periodical table had for chemistry. Three of the historical cultural sites where Carl Linnaeus lived and 6

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words Mia Fernlund worked are in Uppsala and its vicinity. Linnéanum – orangery building (which Linnaeus had built in 1742–1743) in the Uppsala Botanical Garden; the Linnaeus Garden and Linnaeus Museum (which was Linnaeus’ home and workspace from 1743–1778), and Linnaeus’ Hammarby, an estate outside of Uppsala that Linnaeus bought in 1758 and which remained in his family’s possession after his death. Hammarby was the Linnaeus family’s summer getaway, a refuge from the loud, unhealthy environment of Uppsala. They kept farm animals and cultivated vegetables, grains and

tobacco there. At Hammarby, Linnaeus was able to grow vegetables that couldn’t tolerate the overly moist soil of the botanical garden in Uppsala. Today, Linnaeus’ Hammarby is a well-preserved eighteenth century estate with housew ares, clothing, and art from Linnaeus’ home. It is a unique historical environment in which visitors can see Linnaeus’ workspace, which is precisely as it was when he was alive, the walls papered with floral illustrations. All Linnaean Heritage Sites can be visited. For more information see www.sfv.se or the Sevärt mobile app.

Åke E:son Lindman

All gardens are managed by the National Property Board of Sweden. More information and more gardens can be found at www.sfv.se

Haga Park and the Haga Park Museum

Georg Grundsten

Kitchen Garden at Hovdala

Hovdala Castle outside of Hässleholm dates back to the Middle Ages and played in important role in the war between Sweden and Denmark in the seventeenth century. Midsummer celebrations and harvest festivals are held here, and occasionally, there is a market in the courtyard. The beautiful late eighteenth century orangery, or green house, is a popular wedding venue. An organic vegetable garden was built in the 1990s based on the eighteenth century garden plan to emulate how the castle park would have looked at that time. It presently accounts for half of the park and contains classic herbs, vegetables and summer flowers. The kitchen garden supplies the popular restaurant with ingredients.

Angela Hellryd Dahlén

Crown Princess Victoria and her family live in Haga Palace, which was built in 1809. Right next door and within view are the Echo Temple and Gustav III’s Pavilion. In addition to castles and ruins, visitors can explore the Butterfly House and the Haga Park Museum, which has exhibits about the park and the history of the buildings. There is also a café in the Copper Tent.


With its winding walkways and gently landscaped grassy fields, Haga Park is an incredibly popular destination for Stockholmers and tourists alike. Situated at the northern tip of Stockholm, Haga is Sweden’s best-known English park. It was established between 1771–1792 based on King Gustav III’s visions and models in other countries.

Huseby Bruk, Småland

This ironworks in Småland dates back to the seventeenth century. The Stephens family planted a lovely utility garden here in the late nineteenth century, which was recreated in the early 2000s. Old pictures and invoices found in the manor house attic were used as references to buy seeds. Today there are fruit trees, vegetables, shrubs and berry bushes. Several plants originated from the Stephens family’s garden, such as the Huseby geranium. Today, visitors will discover a largely unchanged, late nineteenth century upper-class environment. The manor house is open to the public in summer, and to pre-booked groups during the rest of the year. The annual Christmas market is highly popular.

Landskrona citadel

Landskrona Citadel is home to Sweden’s oldest allotment garden, where visitors can stroll among vegetables, flowers and beautiful cottages. A café and a popular museum are also located here. Small allotment cottages were built within the fortress walls as early as 1864. At that time, the fortress was used as a prison and the prisoners worked on the plantations in the fortress area. Large parts of the citadel were developed in the early twentieth century; today, 122 plots are filled with dazzling flowers. In the 1960s, there were plans to remove the allotments and restore the fortress area, but thanks to public protests, they remained. s p e c i a l e di t ion k ult urvä r de n


A visit to a cultural historical site can be a gateway to history for curious kids and interested adults alike. A great deal depends on the guide’s ability to tell a story, to convey the tale in a way that touches people. This gateway leads to the gunpowder tower of Vaxholm fortress.

From theatre of war to

tourist magnet

Little did King Gustav Vasa know that the stronghold he built to scare off would-be invaders would one day become one of Stockholm’s top attractions words Mia Fernlund photos Melker Dahlstrand


mia fernlund

ost people come For over 250 years, Vaxholm Fortress was for the beauty, key to defending the entrance to Stockfood and activiholm. King Gustav Vasa consi-dered it the ties. Not many perfect place to lock down Stockholm by come here for a building a permanent fortress, originally a history lesson. simple wooden blockhouse, to protect the This is well entrance to the city. It was the location of understood one of the few routes through which larger by National Property Board (SFV) cultural ships could reach the Stockholm fairway. heritage expert Elisabet Hesseborn, who is at In addition to keeping enemies out, it was Vaxholm Fortress to perfect a guided outdoor a place to collect the customs duties of tour. It is included in SFV’s special focus on passing ships. destinations. Elisabet Hesseborn, “We want to share some knowledge about cultural heritage expert In 1598, the Polish King Sigismund the locations SFV watches over. We hope to was discouraged: his attack and his fleet bring the buildings to life and portray what life was like here, of 3,000 men were stopped. A Danish fleet of 8,000 to give visitors a story and a context, so that we may convey men attacked and failed in 1612, retreating as they were the fortress’s place in Swedish history,” she says. bombarded with artillery fire. In July and August of 1719, All sites have a core story: Vaxholm Fortress is the padlock it was the Russians’ turn to face the opposition. A Russian of Stockholm, and one of the nineteenth century’s biggest fleet attacked the Stockholm archipelago in the so-called building projects. Russian raids. The Russians burned villages and terrorised Here, the crown has exerted protection against foreign power civilians, in part to bring an end to the Great Northern and control by means of quarantine, customs, military prison War, which had been underway since 1700. Vaxholm and a labour institution since the sixteenth century. It is now a launched an attack in response, and the Russians did not a site for culture, adventure, military history and delicious food. try to take Stockholm again. s p e c i a l e di t ion k ult urvä r de n


Visit www.sfv.se/sights-andattractions or download the app Sevärt from the App Store or Android market.

‘Wherever we fortress children came upon one another out in the world, we felt like family, and had endless memories to talk about’ The fortress before us today was built between 1833–1863 by order of King Karl XIV Johan. After Sweden lost Finland in 1809, Stockholm needed a stronger defence. With 156 cannons and two-metre thick walls, the fortress was the largest and most laborious structure to be built in or around Stockholm since the Royal Palace. But war tactics changed during the long construction period. The task of the cannons – to blast holes into the hulls and shoot off the masts of attacking ships – did not hold up to the new battleships, which had lower profiles in the water, nor could the walls defend against the latest forms of grooved artillery. The fortress was therefore supplemented with a battery of armour in order to have low-lying cannons that could shoot closer to the waterline. But a test firing in 1872 confirmed that the fortress could not deter the new grenade launchers. The fortress was gradually disarmed, and in a defence decision taken in 1925, it was removed from the war organisation and used as a training venue and camp, as well as an operations centre until World War II. 10

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bengt nordgren


REARMED FORTRESS Major work following the takeover of the National Property Board in 1993. 1994 –1995 Renovation of quays, dock, and piers. 1995 – 2000 Rebuilding of the fortress’ removable wooden peace-time roof, which was torn down in the early 1970s. 1996 –1997 New marine-source heating system installed in the eastern wing and northern keep. Bed & breakfast fitted out in the northern keep. 2001–2002 Renovation of the fortress museum’s premises in the western wing.

“The history of coastal defence in the last 500 years is vividly described at the Vaxholm Fortress Museum. I absolutely recommend a visit there,” says Elisabet Hesseborn. To supply the fortress with food and other necessities, Gustav Vasa wanted a strategic settlement nearby. So the town of Vaxholm was built. The houses were to be made of wood, and could be taken down if necessary. Stone houses were forbidden until 1912.

2003 New conference facility with auditorium in the eastern wing and eastern keep. 2004–2012 Facade and window renovations. 2007–2009 New program for upkeep of Vaxholm Fortress. 2008 New wine bar/restaurant in the eastern wing with an outdoor patio on Mingården yard. 2011 Information and souvenir shop in what was once the guard’s premises in the southern fortification.

The first residents were poor, displaced farmers, and they fished for free and were given tax exemptions in Vaxholm. They were also able to use royal land without paying a fee. In return, they were required to accommodate and feed soldiers, load and unload royal ships, guard the fortress and offer guidance. The fortress had numerous contrasts: if the outside was to be as daunting as possible, the opposite was true

text Mia Fernlund picture Melker Dahlstrand

Vaxholm Fortress is on Kodjupet, one of the two fairways by Vaxholm that larger ships can pass through towards Stockholm.

of the inside. The large, open courtyard is surrounded by pink stucco facades, trees for shade, and a big spring. The officers› mess was in the western yard in the late nineteenth century. Most of the officers lived in the building, and the yard outside was practically their private garden. “Life at the fortress could be enjoyable or terribly difficult, depending on whether you were an officer, soldier or a royal labourer. It was truly the

difference between the good life, in warm lounges with plush, puffy sofas, versus jail cells with stone beds and moisture dripping down the walls,” says Elisabet Hesseborn. The officers and their families had solemn, formal social lives with established standards. It was unusual for them to go to Vaxholm, even though it took no more than five minutes to row there.

Diaries from the late nineteenth century reveal that the accommodations were pleasant but crowded, with cosy decor. Ingrid Palm, daughter of the major and commander of the royal workforce, Carl Palm, lived in the eastern wing until 1891. She writes: “There were still cannons in several of the rooms, which are called casemates. A tabletop was laid across the limber, just below the cannon muzzle, and there a was the cook’s workspace”. s p e c i a l e di t ion k ult urvä r de n


A striking difference lies between the raw, cold exterior of the fortress and the welcoming pink stucco facades of the courtyard buildings. In this particular part of the fortress, the inside was bleak as well: this is where the dungeons and latrines were located. Two tunnels are visible on the water: here, waves washed in and carried away the waste. The waterline was about 80 cm higher at that time.

The western courtyard outside the officers’ mess was a garden for the families of the officers, with lilac hedges and views of Vaxholm through barred openings in the wall. Just beyond the wall was where row boats carrying food and passengers went between the fortress and the town.

‘Life at the fortress could be enjoyable or terribly difficult, depending on whether you were an officer, soldier or a royal labourer’ even if the children had to put up with the smallest of spaces – the bigger rooms were reserved as a lounge, dining hall and gentleman›s room – they seem to have been satisfied. The Palm girls write: “The peepholes were so deep that we could stretch out completely, and see everything going on in the courtyard, all the exercises, the food arrangements, the dogs’ life and times. For us children, I do not believe it ever came up, that we were particularly mistreated in having to grow up on that island in the middle of the ocean. On the contrary, we held tight to our fortress, and wherever we fortress children came upon one another out in the world, we felt like family, and had endless memories to talk about.”

To be a prisoner or a royal labourer was anything but pleasant. In the mid-eighteenth century, there were labour prisoners and prisoners for life at the fortress. The fortress already had guards, and the prisoners provided cheap labour. Among other things, they rowed, cut stone, and worked as cleaners and builders. Harsh punishment awaited anyone who disobeyed or tried to escape. 16 prisoners lived in each 28 squaremetre room. The stench was unbearable, and so they burned juniper twigs. Scurvy and cholera hit prisoners the hardest. The prison at Vaxholm Fortress closed in 1842, and the royal workforce was established instead. It consisted of the unemployed

(vagrants), petty criminals, and punished soldiers. They were used as cheap labour to clear the national channel and build fortresses and railways in the nineteenth century. The last person to be executed in Sweden, on 5 May 1850, was no. 379 Lindqvist. He struck an officer, presumably with the intention to be killed and escape having to live the rest of his life as a royal labourer at Vaxholm Fortress. Today, the once unassailable fortress is a captivating destination. “Our tenants run a bed and breakfast, a restaurant, a café and, of course, the fortress museum. Rather than impeding visitors, the exact opposite is the point these days. Today, Vaxholm Fortress is a place that helps tell the story of Sweden,” says Elisabet Hesseborn. ✷

FORTRESSES, CITADELS AND CASTLES EXPLAINED There is often no good explanation for why one defence structure is called a fortress, and another a sconce or castellum. Sometimes a name is simply preserved from the time when the fortification was built, even if its significance changed later. Regardless, we’ll try to offer a few simple rules of thumb. A fortress is a larger defensive structure in a strategically important location, often consisting of many smaller structures. Boden Fortress, for example, consists of five forts and an almost countless number of smaller

constructions. A fort is a small, independent fortification. However, what distinguishes a fort from a castellum or a sconce is not always easy to know. Often, only tradition and the period in which the building was constructed determine what it came to be called. When a fortification is constructed to protect a city, it is sometimes called a citadel. Had Landskrona Citadel been in the countryside, it may have been called a fortress. One special little group comprises caponiers and redoubts. Their main

purpose was to defend the fortress itself and to shoot from outside anyone who tried to climb over the fortress walls. For example, the Rindö redoubt is next to Vaxholm Fortress. A castle is a fortified residence. It is impossible to draw a clear line between castles and palaces. A palace may very well be a castle, such as Gripsholm Castle. Lastly, a castle is most easily distinguished from other types of buildings precisely because it looks like a castle. Hans Landberg s p e c i a l e di t ion k ult urvä r de n


hemsĂś fortress Frozen relic of the Cold War words Tomas Eriksson photos Magnus Fond

A sharply sloping road with room for vehicle traffic leads visitors down to what was once Sweden’s most secret fortress, built to withstand a nuclear attack.

‘Here, visitors will find an interior that looks just as it did when the last soldiers left in 1989’


hile World War II raged on and the threat from outside was at its most evident, the decision was taken to build a top-secret fortress on Hemsö outside of Härnösand. The idea was formulated much earlier, and the land had been strategic for defence for centuries. The last time a hostile force was here was in 1721, when the Russian navy burned down Härnösand and travelled a fair distance up the Ångerman River. The top-secret fort was completed in 1957, and its task was to protect the coast from landing operations and secure transports along the Ångerman River. Room for an entire community was blasted out inside Storråberget and equipped with ammunition, fuel and enough food for 320 men for three months. The fortress ceased operations in 1987 and the cavern is now a major tourist attraction. Here, visitors will find an interior that looks just as it did when the last soldiers left in 1989. The dining halls and officers› messes are laid and ready, and there are even pictures of the Swedish king, who served part of his national service here in 1967. The beds – made in accordance with regulations – are surrounded by contemporary props. The fire control and command rooms are intact and feature the most advanced technology of the day, usually in the form of blinking green computer screens. The fort is open to the public during the summer and there is a restaurant.Tours of Hemsö are offered in six languages, including sign language. There is a restaurant by the fort. Find more information at www.sfv.se

The fortress is in the same condition it was in when the last soldiers left the cavern in 1989.


Anders Bodin, cultural heritage specialist, SFV

Swedish fortresses are a selfevident part of the story of Sweden’s history and architecture, and thus an essential part of Swedish cultural heritage. “The more you study history, the clearer it becomes what an influence defence has had on financial and political life, especially in the form of unimaginable resources,” says Anders Bodin, cultural heritage specialist at the National Property Board of Sweden (SFV). Swedish defence facilities have

largely followed international trends. The seventeenth and eighteenth century bastion fortifications were inspired by French and Italian models. “What differentiates Sweden from other countries are the long coast and our hard-to-navigate archipelagos. Sweden also has access to strong bedrock, which meant that the Swedish military could excavate deeper and deeper into the mountains, using Alfred Nobel’s dynamite, in the early twentieth century.”

ANDERS BODIN’S THREE FAVOURITES: Hemsö Fortress because it’s extremely well-preserved from the days of the Cold War. Boden Fortress for the same reason. New Älvsborg Fortress which is the best preserved fortress from the Swedish Empire. It also tells a lot about the rise and importance of Gothenburg.


Kitchen culture Food and setting go hand in hand, of that there can be no doubt, whether the chef cooks at a 13th-century castle or runs the kitchen at the strikingly modern Moderna Museet. We meet three chefs at home in equally storied surroundings


as told to Viktoria Myrén photos Melker Dahlstrand

äckaskog Castle is an amazing place, but I often find that I have tunnel vision and fail to notice the surroundings until I meet a guest who says, ‘oh look at the light’! Then you look up, and there’s this unbelievable morning light sweeping over Ivö Lake and Oppmanna Lake. But I reckon I’m inspired indirectly: I’m thinking food, classic food. I try to work with ingredients that are connected to the region in some way. Lunch is traditional Swedish cuisine with a modern touch, and in the evenings, we serve a lot of game. I like that it feels hearty; I don’t want to serve sushi here. Parts of Bäckaskog Castle were established as early as the 1200s, when it was a monastery. At that time, you could fish through a hatch in the floor. A canal ran under the kitchen that connected the two lakes. They caught an absolute tonne of eel, around 200 in one day,

and the abbot got very fat. When he died, they couldn’t get him out through the door, so they had to essentially build him into the wall. There are hotel rooms above him, and they say you can hear the abbot breathing at night – although I’ve been fine during these twelve years. When I came to Bäckaskog, I started as a cook. I became head chef within a year, and now I’m one of four partners and I have my hands in just about everything. As early as junior high, I knew I wanted to be a cook. My father is a baker and a pastry chef, so it’s in my blood. I helped out regularly in the bakery, but since I don’t like early mornings, I became a chef instead. Hot food is closer to my heart than cold food, where you have to follow a recipe. I like to improvise and feel my way as I go. I also appreciate getting immediate feedback. It’s an incredible experience when you’ve worked for hours, toiled away, prepped and cooked a meal, and then guests say, ‘this is delicious!’ – that keeps me going.”

BÄCKASKOG CASTLE The castle is situated on an isthmus between Ivö Lake and Oppmanna Lake and has a history that stretches back to the thirteenth century. At that time, it was a Premonstratensian monastery. Later, it was a summer castle for the kings Oscar I and Karl XV. Today, the castle is a popular tourist destination and is used for conferences and courses.

‘It’s an incredible experience when you’ve worked for hours, toiled away, prepped and cooked a meal, and then guests say, “This is delicious!” – that keeps me going’ Patrik Johansson, Bäckaskogs slott

‘If ever there were a place that didn’t require serving the expected, it’s here at Moderna’ Malin Söderström, Moderna Museet

MODERNA MUSEET collects and exhibits twentieth and twentyfirst century art. There are 5,000 paintings, sculptures and installations, 25,000 watercolours, drawings and graphic prints, and 100,000 photographs here. The museum opened in 1958 in the old navy drill hall on Skeppsholmen in the heart of Stockholm. The new Moderna Museet, designed by the Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, opened in February 1998.


think I’ve always been a little scatterbrained. I seem to lack the desire to analyse or know the facts, which means I jump on things. But I also think that it’s good to challenge yourself and not get too comfortable. My first meaningful job was at the restaurant Paul & Norbert. I remember once, I was standing in front of the ticket rail where all the orders go up. I ended up in a vacuum, and didn’t see what the notes said. I learned to take one thing at a time after that blockage. Before the 2011 Nobel Dinner, which I was in charge of, my fear turned into a peaceful excitement as I became more sure of what to make. When I came to Moderna Museet in 2004, I had been dreaming of

cooking in an environment that people didn’t only visit for the food. I ate at restaurants with my parents a lot as a child; it was a bit formal. As an adult, I’ve felt that it’s wonderful to offer people that same thing: a complete experience that isn’t “just” about food in the belly. In 2012, we decided to give our dishes a Nordic touch, with pure ingredients, clean flavours, a lot of vegetables and a scaled down feel. For Christmas, we don’t necessarily serve a traditional Christmas spread. If ever there were a place that didn’t require serving the expected, it’s here at Moderna. I love Skeppsholmen and this view. I get happy every day when I look out at the water. It’s magical, and it’s something I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of.”

‘We have a dish on the menu from 1687, when the Danish owner Jens Mikkelsen was knighted with the name Ehrenborg’


Victoria Winberg, Hovdala Castle Café

was just going to come home from the Ritz-Carlton in Dubai and help out when my mom and her husband took over the Hovdala Castle Café – that was twelve years ago. I thought I could avoid being a chef. I studied hotel management in Switzerland, and the plan was to live in a major city and wear nice, clean clothes to work. But now I live in the country and I love having chocolate all over my belly! I like the creativity, preparing food that makes people happy. I like the colours and shapes, not to mention that I have a real sweet tooth. The environment here has an enormous influence on me and the food. It’s always quiet and peaceful. I think the historical buildings inspire visitors to unwind. You look around and contemplate, try to imagine what living here was like, what people ate, how they cooked food. We have a dish on the menu from 1687, when the Danish owner Jens Mikkelsen was knighted

with the name Ehrenborg: wild boar sautéed with root vegetables – there weren’t any potatoes then. The Ehrenborgs lived at the castle until the 1980s, but everything looks as it did in the past. This isn’t a castle with battlements and towers and people wearing crowns; instead, I can see my own ancestors in front of me, how they lived and worked. I think about nature a lot. Ever since the arrival of gardener Georg Grundsten, we’ve used lots of the crops that grow on the castle grounds. When I serve rapeseed salad in the restaurant and a guest exclaims, “oh this is wonderful, what is it?” then I’ll send them down to Georg and in the end, the guest knows how you cultivate, harvest and prepare it. The best thing about Hovdala Castle is the environment and that my husband works here. Guess where we met? He fixed a lot in the kitchen when I started. We got married in the local church, where the Ehrenborgs are buried – we stood on their bones, then had a party in the castle.”

HOVDALA CASTLE is one of the foremost landmarks from the Snapphane period, and came to its present location outside of Hässleholm in the 1500s. In 1998, the castle opened after a multiyear-long restoration process that restored the property with the rural empire feel that it had in its heyday in the early nineteenth century.

Voyage of discovery

You have to know the ropes in order to navigate Sweden’s east coast. With an increasing number of overseas sailors visiting Sweden’s shores every year, Ulf Tomner maps out its cultural pearls words Ulf Tomner SFV illustrations Olof Hedengren


sail from Denmark heading north over the southern Baltic Sea. The wind is brisk and I make good headway. The course is set for Utklippan, which is located far out in the Baltic, south of the eastern corner of Blekinge. At last, I catch sight of the Utklippan lighthouse, just a tiny spike on the horizon, and I reckon I have about four hours of sailing left. Utklippan is an amazing place with an exposed location far off the coast, an impressive lighthouse, beautiful houses and abundant wildlife in a lovely natural setting. Once there, you have to take the right channel among all the little islets and skerries. Old buoys painted white offer guidance here and there. Manoeuvring the boat into Utklippan’s blasted out rectangular harbour basin through the narrow passages is challenging. The harbour basin

is on its own island to the side of the main island, where the lighthouse and buildings are located. I moor, furl the sail, and wind up the ropes that lie in a mess after the day’s sailing. Smoked whitefish from the harbour kiosk, boiled potatoes and a cold Danish beer soon find their way to the cockpit table. I’m a happy sailor, sitting in the sunset and ruminating in my boat, which is built to sail quickly. Danish and German sailboats are moored all around me, and there are Polish, Finnish, Norwegian and English sailors in the harbour. There is no mistaking it: they all feel that Utklippan is an amazing place. I’m here right now because I’m about to embark upon a sailing journey along the east coast, where the National Property Board manages many incredible sites, and sailors in particular are a group I would like to help as they seek these places out.

'Long-distance sailors want reasons to sail. Culture and ' nature have major appealG


ong-distance sailors want reasons to sail. Culture and nature have major appeal, so the idea of a​​ cohesive system is alluring, particularly because our cultural environments are quite exotic for boats from abroad, which are growing in number with every year. These sailors are more used to guest harbours than natural harbours, and they sail very long distances. The Danish boat docked next to me planned a two-week trip that included Mälaren, Stockholm, Mariehamn, Kökar on Åland, then Gotland and home to Copenhagen. Now that’s what I call sailing. The next day, I set sail on the ultimate trip for anyone on a quest to see Swedish cultural heritage sites from the waters of the Baltic. It is a 14-day journey covering 240 nautical miles, with some really successful visits.

I leave Utklippan, travelling north along the east coast of Sweden, and reach the Kalmar Strait. Far away in the glow of the setting sun, I spot Kalmar Castle, which dates back to the twelfth century and can be considered a symbol of the seaway’s significance. At one time, this was the location of the border between Sweden and Denmark, until 1397, when Queen Margareta laid the foundation for a union between Sweden, 22

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Denmark and Norway. I moor near the castle in Kalmar’s guest harbour, which has great amenities. The journey continues north in the Kalmar Strait, and there is much to see here for sailors wishing to step ashore. Borgholm Castle ruin on Öland rises up from a dense, almost tropical deciduous forest, the sun glimmering off the ruin walls. Borgholm’s guest harbour is practical and well-organised, but a bicycle is incredibly useful when visiting the castle ruin and its surroundings. The island and national park Blå Jungfrun is in the northern end of the

Kalmar Strait. This tall, round island sports rocky beaches and a canopy of towering pines. According to Swedish folklore, this is “Blåkulla” – the place where all the witches fly by broomstick on Maundy Thursday to meet Satan and celebrate the witches’ sabbath. They say that if you remove a stone from the island, you’ll be cursed with bad luck until the stone is returned. But the island has no harbour and anchoring here is tricky, so better to put in at Oskarshamn and take the ferry to Blå Jungfrun. I sail northward in gentle winds on Kråkelundsleden, which runs from Misterhults archipelago towards Västervik. I pass mountainous, beautiful Idö, which has a beacon that is famous among sailors and can be seen from afar. Idö is a popular sailing harbour with several bays, magnificent cliffs and good protection. I also journey past Storkläppen, where it is difficult to tie up, as the weather report threatens brisk winds. I sail north, outside of the archipelago, to avoid the narrow archipelago route at night. I arrive at the stateowned island of Hävringe, which is by Bråviken’s entrance outside of Oxelösund. The fog is dense, and the threat of rain hangs in the air at the tiny port, which has three guest berths. There is a former pilot house here, which lends to a genuine archipelago feel together with the beautifully renovated beacon.

17. 16. 15. 14. 13. 12.




That evening, I sail the 40 or so nautical miles to the island of Öja, home to the famous Landsort lighthouse and one of the biggest and best-known islands in Stockholm’s southern archipelago. The island is known colloquially as Landsort, rather than Öja. This part of the Baltic Sea is a bit outside of the fairways, and I am accompanied by two playful seals who watch me from behind. It is easy to spot the Landsort lighthouse, but the actual harbour bay is hidden, wedged between steep cliffs, often with heaving swells to enhance the drama. But with all the excellent navigation descriptions that are available, getting in is a breeze. Öja has a lot of wonderful things to offer sailors, and it’s easy for non-sailors to get here via archipelago ferry. Skvallerhamnen, as the harbour in northern Öja is called, has a guest marina with good service, though it is somewhat vulnerable to sea swells when the wind blows from certain directions. Bicycles are available for hire to get to the village and the Landsort lighthouse. The village has a hostel, café, chapel, and an openness that invites visitors to explore. The lighthouse is the main landmark, and walking up to the top is an interesting experience. Thought-provoking art installations surround the lighthouse, forming a wonderful contrast next to the archipelago landscape and the

beautifully situated cannon barrels that once defended the island. Walking distance from the guest harbour is the slightly more modern coastal artillery, a so-called ersta battery, which stands for ersättning tungt Artilleri (replacement heavy artillery). These days, it is a popular destination with guided tours down into the four-storey deep fortress, which was built to be able to withstand a nuclear attack.


arly the next morning, I cast off and focus on breakfast in the sunny tailwind on the journey northward across Mysingen. I arrive at Dalarö Fortress, which is surrounded by defensive walls and rises out of the middle of the fairway, capturing everyone’s interest. The walls are well-built and the stones are carefully pieced together. The place exudes a sense of history and is extremely wellmaintained. There is a dock to moor to for a visit, although it is somewhat exposed to wind and waves. My journey continues towards Stockholm, and I put in at Skeppsholmen, the archipelago island in the heart of the city, to get a physical sense of how it feels to visit Stockholm as a sailor. The results get me thinking. It would be nice to have an

8. 7.






1. 1. Utklippan 2. Karlskrona 3. Kalmar 4. Borgholm 5. Öland 6. Blå Jungfrun 7. Västtervik 8. Idö/Spårö båk 9. Hävringe båk

10. Öja/Landsort 11. Södertälje 12. Stockholm 13. Skeppsholmen 14. Vaxholms fästning 15. Siarö fort 16. Norrtälje a 17. Arholma

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official Stockholm guest harbour, with a good, obvious location and no waves from ship traffic. Even big private boats lack a dock or anchorage. Sailing out from Stockholm, I arrive at Vaxholm Fortress. The guest harbour is near the fortress, but on Vaxholm. Visitors must therefore take a ferry across the narrow sound. Many experienced Stockholm sailors miss the fortress because they want to head further out into the archipelago, and not take the time to stop. That’s a shame, because there’s a lot to see here. I move on by motor from Vaxholm, where there is so much boat traffic that it is not actually advisable to sail. Continuing across Saxarfjärden with hoisted sails, I travel up Furusundsleden to the guest harbour by Siarö

Fortress. A sauna and a nice dock for visiting sailors can be found here. A visit to the fort is a true experience spatially and emotionally. Through the years, the Swedish government has put a lot of money into building fortifications, and it feels authentic here at Siarö. Siarö is conveniently located by Furusundsleden for sailors on their way to Roslagen and Åland. I continue towards Arholma, a popular island in Roslagen with characteristically high cliffs to the north, where the proximity to the ocean is palpable. The Arholma Nord cannon battery is here, which is fascinating to visit and presented by excellent guides. The visit provides a surprisingly contemporary description of history. Sailors dock at the

Archipelago Foundation’s guest harbour, north of the village of Arholma. It takes about 30 minutes to walk along the road to Arholma Nord. Finally, I sail to the Söderarm archipelago for reflection. I moor at a beautiful island, grill up a steak, uncork a bottle of wine and conclude that Swedish cultural heritage sites are perhaps even more beautiful when you arrive by way of the water. It should be said that for a fair-weather sailor, this can be a trying journey at times. But for experienced sailors who thrive in pristine nature and appreciate natural harbours, the trip along the cultural heritage sites of the east coast is a grand adventure, and offers the chance to enjoy nature and culture along the way. ✷

'Swedish cultural heritage sites are even more beautiful when you arrive by water'

Ulf Tomner’s east coast route favourites Utklippan A destination and a starting point for international sailors visiting the east coast, with utterly unique rocky features.


Häradsskär A classic outpost situated near the sailing fairway with a lighthouse and harbour.

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Landsort An outpost with well-developed services. Exciting to visit, with cannons and a lighthouse.

Hävringe An outpost in outer Bråviken in an exceptional setting. However, the harbour is limited.

Siarö Fortress A remarkable defensive structure with a good harbour.

Arholma Nord A modern defensive structure from the Cold War.

design: Park benches Cultural heritage sites aren’t the kind of places you race around. To do them justice you simply have to stop and take in your surroundings. These park benches are works of art in themselves – just don’t blame us if your mind starts to wander and you lose all track of time.

Thielska galleriet park, Stockholm Louise Hederström designed this laser-cut metal bench, which was inspired by Elvis Presley’s chimpanzee, Scatter. Evidently, it can be seen in the appearance of the bench. The bold bench was placed in the park in summer 2012.

melker dahlstrand

bert leandersson

Huseby Bruk, Småland The beautiful bench frame was cast at Huseby’s ironworks, and was a part of the works in the late 1800s. The wooden slats were specially ordered according to the old dimensions. The bench is one of several that were placed based on old photographs. Florence Stephens sat here often, gazing out at the gardens.

Tullgarn Palace Park, Södermanland This bench, designed by German architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel for the Roman Baths at Potsdam, came to Tullgarn in the mid-1800s, probably through Queen Dowager Josefina – Oscar I’s wife. Today, it stands in the centre circle of Fransyskan, a starshaped bosquet.

melker dahlstrand

Tåudden, Marstrand A beautiful place to rest your legs and admire the gorgeous view. This bench is one of several that were placed around the island in the 1970s for friends of Marstrand. This one is said to be built by Bror Andersson, called Brother Bernard, who also did a lot of work on the paths.

pelle wahlgren

words mia fernlund

Once upon a time, in the castle of

läckö A powerful Swedish nobleman lived like a king. Except this is no fairy-tale. Today you can visit his magnificent palace on the shores of Lake Vänern words Elisabet Hesseborn photos Åke E:son Lindman and Melker Dahlstrand

On 3 July 1672, the painter Johan Hammer was tasked with adorning the King’s Hall with a tribute to the Swedish victories during the Thirty Years’ War. There were nine major battle paintings and 17 small ‘skirmishes’.

‘Läckö Castle was to be both an ancient family seat and a modern baroque palace’

I Count Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie inherited the countship and the castle in 1652 from his father and fashioned Läckö after the baroque ideal of the seventeenth century.


t is the thirteenth century, and goods, people, and animals sail across the water. These are uncertain times, and Brynolf Algotsson counts his money. He is the bishop of Skara and owns a great deal of land. He decides that he needs a safe, elegant place to live, something worthy of a distinguished man of God. This is a major period of castle building in Swedish history, and his castle, with a ring wall made of granite and brick, is built on the cape by the major fairway. The location is perfect: easy to defend and easy to reach from his cathedral in Skara. From here, he can manifest the church’s power as well as his own. And here, the church’s tax revenues can be safely stored. Then comes the seventeenth century, and bishop Brynolf Algotsson has sailed into history. The castle has grown, burned down, and been rebuilt as needs have changed. And the people here had already been working, quarrelling, laughing – everything that people do – for 400 years. In Uppsala, there is a blond, handsome, upstanding 13 year-old boy who will become a

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diplomat and a courtier. He has studied Latin since the age of five. Now, in 1635, he is in university, studying ancient literature, rhetoric and modern languages, as well as dance and music. The boy is the future Count Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie. He is a member of one of the finest noble families in Sweden, and as a full-fledged courtier, he holds a high office with Sweden’s ruler, Queen Kristina. Perhaps she simply likes the attractive count? He should get married, she says to herself, and the charming Maria Eufrosyne of Pfalz is the perfect candidate. She is the queen’s cousin, and there could not possibly be a better match for Count De la Gardie. The Thirty Years’ War is over at last. Government money has run dry, and the nobility have been given fiefdoms: royal land in return for their financial support. Soon comes the sad news: the field marshal, Count Jakob De la Gardie, is dead! He was a father, role model and master of Läckö. Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie takes over. In mid-March of 1654, with snow still frozen in the cracks, he meets his vast countship: a huge castle and an expansive landscape that is still characterised by laborious and archaic farming practices. a

The dazzling little garden was built in the mid-1600s and became part of the spiritual setting. It also served as a kitchen garden. The 1600s were known as the ‘Little Ice Age’ and an advantageous microclimate formed inside of the protective walls.

Spires and towers meet twigs and flowers Läckö Castle is one of Sweden’s most popular tourist destinations, with over 350,000 visitors annually. Next to the beautiful castle with its interiors, fascinating history and gorgeous surroundings, the organic kitchen garden attracts many visitors as well. For over twenty years, it has been run by gardener Simon Irvine, who makes sure the garden changes shape and theme each year. Many visitors return year after year to find inspiration, or to discuss what they’re growing in their garden patches at home with Simon. But Läckö also draws visitors with opera, concerts, theatre, markets and excellent food. With its new Naturum, Läckö now has a welcome meeting place that links natural and cultural history. The National Property Board’s tenant, Stiftelsen Läckö Slott (Läckö Castle Foundation), is responsible for program activities at the castle and in the garden.

‘Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie is an unparalleled spendthrift, spending enormous sums on his furniture, his gardens, and his construction company’

Protecting natural and cultural values A natural starting point for a visit to Läckö Castle is Naturum Vänerskärgården Victoriahuset, with design inspiration from Lake Vänern’s delicate reeds and raw driftwood. The building, designed by White Arkitekter, was built as a symbolic gift to Crown Princess Victoria on her thirtieth birthday. With its lovely location, it is a beautiful and welcome complement to Läckö Castle. In addition to the exhibition on nature and culture by Läckö Castle, Victoriahuset has a Visitor Centre, a reading corner, a restaurant and a conference facility with accommodation. Sweden has about 30 Naturum information centres, most of which are in or very near popular areas, typically national parks and nature reserves. A Naturum provides information about the nature and culture of an area in a factual and entertaining way.



agnus Gabriel De la Gardie wants to start building immediately. Unlike his predecessors, he has no need for defence. He needs to make a statement, to declare that he belongs to an old family, that he has financial and political ambitions. That Sweden is a major, successful power. He wants both an ancient family castle, and a modern baroque palace, a lavish setting for a highly educated and extremely wealthy individual. For a prince. This will require greater uniformity and symmetry, concludes the honourable count, and he tasks the builder Matthias Holl with designing a proposal for the renovation. The new master of Läckö would spend 20 years adding on to his castle. He has the residential suites decorated in accordance with the times – lighter, comfier, and easier to heat, with ceiling paintings, panelling, tapestries and beautifully carved mantels. A proper library for a gentleman, and rooms for parties and entertainment.

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The power of God has been granted at Läckö, and castle society is built on a firm order. The Count and Countess command a grand household. Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie is an unparalleled spendthrift, spending enormous sums on his furniture, his gardens, and his construction company. He is also a family man who loves his wife and children, whom he loves to spoil. Today it is 29 August. What year? Well, 1670 of course, mutters Kierstin Mickelsdotter. She is a lady-in-waiting and a member of the huge staff at Läckö. And guests are expected tonight, as usual. The count throws fabulous parties, and Kierstin sighs as she signs for yet another linen cloth from the linen chamber. Perhaps she thinks the count will need something for his headache in the morning. She does not only have excellent skills when it comes to caring for linens, comforters and sheets. She also takes care of a variety of household remedies, and gathers herbs and spices for medicines for castle dwellers and servants. Läckö has three gardens located around the castle that combine beauty and utility. Fruit trees, herb beds and vegetables grow

The surroundings of Läckö. The white wings hosts an office and a café, once a stable. Naturum seen on the left houses an exhibition on the nature surrounding Läckö, as well as hotel room, conference rooms, a sun terrace and a restaurant with an incomparable view of the castle and Vänern.

next to flowers, topiary bushes and garden woodwork. But these gardens are not only for plant cultivation; they are also spaces for spiritual cultivation. The small walled garden is a secluded place right next to the church, a fragrant Eden that inspires peaceful reflection on the passage of time. Now, in 1670, tulips, grapevines, and walnut trees grow in addition to domestic plants. Otherwise, it is bare around the castle. But further out are fields, meadows, and a barn, as well as a brickyard, sawmill, fish ponds, workshops, a harbour and shipyard, forest, pastures and a deer park for hunting and recreation. More forest and pastures are found out in Ekens Archipelago. Owning livestock is a demonstration of a landowner’s power. The count has vast quantities of livestock. The entire estate is a large enterprise that includes 12–13 farms in a network of production, logistics and consumption. In 1681, the story concludes. The master of Läckö left, never to return. King Karl IX forced the Swedish nobility to return the property and farms that had been bestowed by the Crown. After Magnus De la Gardie,

the castle fell into a slumber. It became worn and dated, but today, we are happy for that. The beautiful residential suites remain, and they let us experience the castle as it was in its heyday – when there was a real prince, a king in his own kingdom. These days, the castle offers guided tours, exhibitions and opera. The archipelago landscape and nature surrounding the castle are exhibited in the newly built Naturum Vänerskärgården Victoriahuset information centre, which also houses a restaurant. Each year, the little castle garden is planted with a new theme, the results of which can be enjoyed in the restaurant kitchen, just as they were in the time of Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie. The ladies and gentlemen of the castle have come and gone. But the smoothly polished rocky cape is still there. Should you take roads on your travels that pass the southern portion of Lake Vänern, take the opportunity to visit that cape, with its castle that became a palace. Its whitewashed towers and walls can be seen far beyond the ancient waterway. The shingled roofs of the spires shine like beacons in a baroque red hue. Like in a fairy tale. Once upon a time... ✷

The Hunting Hall is one of the lounges on the fourth and top floor, and consists of several living and guest rooms.

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östra brobänken


långa raden

tyghuset holmamiralens väg


västra brobänken flaggmansvägen holmamiralens torg

A piece of the

archipelago in the heart of the big city words Mia Fernlund

kastellet kastellholmskajen


Back to the future: App reveals Skeppsholmen's secrets

The National Property Board’s “Skeppsholmen app” will guide you around the islands. Download information and short videos about the history, people, and buildings on Skeppsholmen and Kastellholmen. The yellow-marked places in the image above indicate the locations of the various info stations. The app is called Skeppsholmen and is available for iPhone and Android. Skeppsholmen has a few free wifi spots where you can also download the app and videos. The videos are also available at www.sfv.se.


keppsholmen is an archipelago island in the heart of the capital – with museums, restaurants, seagulls and rippling waves. In the sixteenth century, Skeppsholmen was called Lustholmen, meaning “Pleasure Island”. The name is still fitting today. Royals came here to relax in the 1590s. Today, many visitors come here to enjoy the beautiful setting. Listen to the waves lapping and stroll along the roads, quays and parks. Enjoy a picnic, coffee and a sweet, or lunch at one of the island’s many restaurants. Wander past buildings with names that tell the history of the island and the society of that time. Admiralty House, repslageriet (the ropeyard), styckekranen (the gun crane) and drabanthusen (lifeguards’ houses) are just a few examples. Essentially everything on Skeppsholmen and Kastellholmen today is from the time of the navy. It began in the 1640s, when Queen Kristina designated the islands as a base for the navy’s warships. She had a convenient view of her creations from the Royal Palace.

The sign locations for scanning QR codes to play videos and stories. Free wifi spot. The Sevärt app has a QR code reader.

The navy was a requirement for the great power of Sweden, which had provinces around the Baltic Sea and a long coastline to defend. The naval base meant that Skepps­ holmen and Kastellholmen were closed to unauthorised people for three hundred years. From the 1940s, more modern facilities took over as naval bases, and in 1969 the military’s time on the islands was over. Today, the islands are open for the public to explore. Once again, Skeppsholmen and Kastellholmen are places for art, music, boats, architecture and recreation. Kasern III (Barracks III) serves as a hub for the Royal Institute of Art, and the folk high school is located on the North and South foundations. A brand new building was inaugurated for Moderna Museet and the Swedish Museum of Architecture in 1998. In 2010, parts of the previously top-secret rock shelter beneath the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities opened up. All of this is thanks to a story that began in the seventeenth century.

Melker Dahlstrand

Josef Swietek strikes off a piece of the plinth stone. Josef came to Stockholm from Poland to work as a stonemason in the palace restoration.

New Suit for the palace words Tomas Eriksson

‘Even during the restoration process, the building will be inviting, and a true experience for the nearly two million people who visit the Royal Palace each year’

T Erik Kampmann

Åke E:son Lindman

he Royal Palace is for this purpose. The second is that one of Sweden’s stonemasonry is largely obsolete in most-visited Sweden. But problems are for solvattractions. It was ing. Lake Constance in Switzerbuilt in 1697– land has sandstone that is similar 1754, and age is in many respects to the stone from beginning to take Gotland. It is equally easy to work its toll in certain places. The palace with, more durable, and it has the facade will be restored in stages over same colour development over time, The Royal Palace of Stockholm the next 25 years, but the building from light grey to yellowish-grey. will remain open to visitors. And stonemasons from primarily Denmark and Germany The architect Nicodemus Tessin the Younger, who was tasked were more than willing to take on this prestigious assignment. with building a new royal palace in Stockholm in 1697, had a The assignment is also particularly special for the stonemaweakness for sandstone from the Swedish island of Gotland. sons, who have been asked to make their own interpretations The stone is ideal for cutting into beautiful ornamentation, as of the originals, rather than copies. evidenced by many wonderful details of the Royal Palace. But it “Not entirely free interpretations, but they may add a crumbles easily, which has led to extensive restorations approxipersonal touch to certain details. We’re encouraging that mately every hundred years. Now, it is time again. because it should be clear that just like when the palace was It started when a stone fell down from the facade, after built, the stones are hand-cut, and not cast or machine-made”, which an extensive survey of damage was undertaken. The says Malin Myrin, the National Property Board’s project results showed that the architecture of the baroque palace manager for the restoration work. was in acute danger, and that wind and weather had already Work on the new facade will take approximately 25 years, erased it to some extent. This means that the National Propand is expected to cost around EUR 100 million. The process is erty Board now faces the largest restoration in Sweden. The complicated and laborious, which is part of why it is going to palace’s approximately 30,000 square-metre facade, which take such a long time. frames the 660 windowed rooms, will regain its architectural “But the main reason is that we chose to only close off acuity through an approach that includes a return to traditional small areas of the building at a time, so that even during the materials and methods, which entails a significant amount of restoration process, the building will be inviting, and a true newly cut stone.The restoration presents several challenges. experience for the nearly two million people who visit the The first is that Gotland no longer has enough sandstone left Royal Palace each year”, says Malin Myrin. ✷

The soft and easily shaped Gotland stone was Tessin’s favourite material. The problem is that it is fragile and cracks easily when exposed to wind and weather. It is now being replaced by a similar but more durable stone from Switzerland. s p e c i a l e di t ion k ult urvä r de n


Class act Drottningholm Palace Theatre is the world’s best-preserved eighteenth-century playhouse. The curtains were first raised here in 1766 and have gone up every summer since the 1930s. To this day, plays and operas still make use of the original stage machinery, including trapdoors, wind, thunder and wave machines

Drottningholm Palace Theatre has been undergoing conservation and restoration since 2004. Painting conservator Carmen Romero is one of the many skilled craftspeople hired by the National Property Board, which manages the building.

The woodwork around the windows was repainted during the most recent restoration.

Drottningholm Palace Theatre paved the way for theatre arts performed in Swedish.


ogether with Drottningholm Palace and the surrounding palace park, the popular palace theatre is a national landmark and included on Unesco’s World Heritage list, which means that even internationally, it is classified as highly culturally historically valuable. It is partially by chance that the theatre is used today. Drottningholm Palace Theatre had been forgotten for more than a century, until theatre historian Agne Beijer veritably stumbled upon it while there for a totally different purpose. It was on a late winter day in 1921 that Agne Beijer travelled out to Drottningholm Theatre in search of a painting, when he discovered a theatre stage beneath a thick layer of dust. The theatre had served as a furniture warehouse for decades, and the loges were used in the 1800s as sleeping quarters 38

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for the court. Agne Beijer said himself, “Over and over in the darkness, we bumped into wooden frames sticking out with strangely carved profiles.” He had just found set pieces on the stage floor. What was uncovered was essentially a completely intact eighteenth century theatre. It stood unused for most of the nineteenth century, with all of its sets and machinery. All that needed to be restored were the ropes for the stage machinery, and the lighting: for safety purposes, the candles were replaced with electric lights. It was King Gustav III’s mother, Queen Dowager Lovisa Ulrika, who had the theatre built next door to Drottningholm Palace. It was built in 1764–66 according to a design by Carl Fredrik Adelcrantz, after the original theatre from 1754 burned down. Carl Fredrik Adelcrantz is also known for designing the Chinese Pavilion, and the Confidencen theatre at Ulriksdal Palace. Drottningholm

Palace Theatre is a unique rococo theatre in that it retains most of its original finishes. When the property was sold to the State, King Gustav III had full right of disposal and accepted the challenge of bringing the Swedish language to the public by placing himself centre-stage. When he took power in 1771, he dismissed his parents’ French theatre troupe and replaced it with a Swedish opera, in which the lyrics were performed in Swedish. But when Gustav III was assassinated in 1792, the curtain fell on the theatre. Like the rest of the palace complex, the theatre is now managed by the National Property Board, which has been carefully maintaining and preserving the interior of the 4,000 squaremetre building since November 2004. Looking at Drottningholm Palace Theatre today, which opened in 1766, the building looks more like a barracks or a utility building. It was built with

‘ When visitors step inside this time capsule, it exudes a sense of the eighteenth century’

limited means from the king’s cash fund and C.F. Adelcrantz’s resources, and it was done simply. But skilled decorators helped to create magic. Agne Beijer established the theatre as a theatre museum, and since the 1930s, drama has been performed here once again. But before that, palace architect Ivar Tengbom and Agne Beijer were tasked with “putting the theatre in order”. Traces of improvement work from the 1800s were removed from the chambers, loges and the house. Fallen plaster was repaired, the roof was repainted, and the windows were caulked. The method differs from the more conservative approach taken by the National Property Board today, along with Drottningholm’s current palace architect, Erland Montgomery, who says, “When visitors step inside this time capsule, it exudes a sense of the eighteenth century. It has a patina that we are trying to take care of, which is very Swedish. In other countries, people value form, but here, we value the worn

surface itself, the slowed aging process. We treat the 1700s in particular with the utmost care, which entails preserving the surface layer. When it comes to the nineteenth and twentieth century restorations, we assess each task based on the surface at hand. But our goal has been to carry out the work as non-invasively as possible, in all respects.” Patina (wear and tear) that becomes decay threatens the survival of the building. It has therefore been analysed, and work in recent years on the Drottningholm Palace Theatre interior has been based on knowledge of its extent. After a practical trial in which the process was tested full-scale, it was decided that retouches to the darkened oil paint, painted on in the 1900s, should be removed. The woodwork was dry-cleaned, turning the earlier shade of dark grey more of a whitish-grey. This pilot study came to be the basis for similar issues during the ongoing a preservation process.


Visit www.sfv.se/sights-andattractions or download the app Sevärt from the App Store or Android market.

Marie Edman Franzen, technical manager, is responsible for the restoration of the Drottningholmsteatern. s p e c i a l e di t ion k ult urvä r de n


‘ In other countries people value form, but here we value the worn surface itself’

The fundamental idea is that the surface layer should be maintained and preserved for generations to come. Behind the deep stage is the theatre’s magnificent Prima Donna’s Dressing Room. It was perhaps around Christmas of 1890 – although some would date the visit to as recently as the 1920s – that, while visiting the Prima Donna’s Dressing Room, the famed architect Ferdinand Boberg painted a watercolour documenting the space in detail. The room’s walls are papered with seamed sheets adorned with hand-coloured tree motifs and birds of paradise in colourful plumage. Parts of one sheet have come loose, exposing whitewashed wall. The mantelpiece’s fine rocaille decoration in limestone from Gotland emanates a rococo sensibility. From an archived catalogue, we know that the stove in the Prima Donna’s Dressing Room was one of the two “better cut” ones from 1765. The patina and wear illustrated in the watercolour may appear to be bordering on dilapidated, but that is no longer noticeable. The ceiling, walls and stove were repaired in the newly preserved Prima Donna’s Dressing room in autumn 2010. Restoring a cultural heritage building is a craft that requires care. Painting conservators dry-cleaned the ornate mantelpiece with a sponge, and the damaged parts of the stove base were repaired with lime mortar. The distemper painted stucco trim on the

ceiling moulding was also brushed clean. The original paint on the door and woodwork had come loose, and the flakes have been attached to the surface with a special age-resistant acrylic glue developed by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

Paper conservator Helen Skinner restored the exceptionally wellpreserved original wallpaper from the 1700s. “In the Prima Donna’s Dressing Room, I used a soft brush to clear the cornice clean from dust and flecks of ceiling paint. Then I went over the wallpaper using a similar method. I also removed grime with a soft, so-called soot sponge. I left the defects I found in the rag paper alone, because they’re part of the original execution of the wallpaper. Most of the flaws in the wallpaper consisted of tears and little holes, particularly in two corners where the wallpaper wasn’t completely stuck to the wall after being damaged by knocks from people and furniture. The wallpaper was reattached, but the holes were left untouched.” Painting conservator Carmen Romero stands on a stool in the theatre, her arms outstretched in the bright light. She is reaching up to the magnificent grey-painted papier mâchécovered bracket, one of a pair supporting one of the balconies in the front

Architect Ferdinand Boberg 1860–1945

Ferdinand Boberg was one of Sweden’s elite architects at the turn of the last century. Among other things, he designed palaces, homes and industrial buildings, often with soft shapes and opulent sandstone ornamentation. Rosenbad, the seat of the Swedish government, is just such an example. Boberg designed the department store Nordiska Kompaniet on Hamngatan in Stockholm, and Waldemarsudde, which is now a museum. In the early 1900s, he began documenting cultural spaces, such as this one at the theatre, which is included in his series of drawings called Swedish Pictures. 40

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of the theatre. Some of the brackets that were damaged when props were brought in will be reconstructed. She carefully scrapes off an earlier repair using a tool that looks like it belongs in a dental office, and eventually produces a small ball, which she unfurls. It is a piece of newspaper wrapped around a sweet wrapper! The paper ball is replaced with a newly made mass of paper, made of rag paper, just like the original. At last, the bracket regains its lost festoon, making it an exception to the preservation strategy laid out by the reference group. In this case, form is emphasised, and a missing detail is replaced so as not to disturb the viewer’s sense of detail. All of this painstaking work is a step towards preserving Drottningholm Palace Theatre for as long as possible. This also includes limiting daily wear and tear. Thirty years ago, after an analysis of wear, the number of performances and rehearsals was restricted. The staff is also continually instructed on maintenance and conservation. Hopefully, the treatment of the theatre’s finishes will last for at least 50 years after 20132014, when the work is expected to be complete. This will allow us to continue to enjoy performances in a unique eighteenth century theatre out on Drottningholm. ✷

Ferdinand Broberg’s painting of the Prima Donna’s Dressing Room...

...is remarkably similar to the loge we see today.

Important dates at Drottningholm Palace Theatre

1766 Inauguration of Carl Fredrik Adelcrantz’ theatre. The ornamentation and decorative paintings in the theatre are by Jacques Adrien Masreliez. Master painter P. Hallongren painted most of the decor and the balcony’s illusionpainted doors in the fore. 1777 Gustav III makes use of Drottningholm Palace and its theatre, following Queen Dowager Lovisa Ulrika. There are 22 loges around the theatre. They were equipped with fireplaces and stoves in order to serve as housing for the theatre company, which performed plays that Gustav III had often written, directed, and produced himself. 1791 On behalf of Gustav III, Louis Jean Desprez completes the theatre with the addition of a salon, which was called the DÊjeuner Salon in the 1800s. 1792 Gustav III was assassinated, and the life of the theatre came to a halt. 1922 Reinauguration of the theatre, which theatre historian Agne Beijer discovered the year before. 1991 The Unique Drottningholm Palace Theatre, with its preserved set pieces and practically original stage machinery and finishes, such as the wallpaper and painted surfaces, contributes to UNESCO designating the Drottningholm Palace area a World Heritage site.

Scandinavia’s ‘Queen Mother’ Her predecessor and enemy Albrekt of Mecklenburg called her Kung Byxlös, or ‘King Trouserless’. But it was Margareta who would have the last laugh as the de facto queen of Sweden, Denmark and Norway, whose three crowns she joined under the Kalmar Union words Thorsten Sandberg illustration Beata Boucht

a woman, her great-nephew, and a castle on the east coast of Sweden. There you have the two protagonists and the scene of act one in the historical event known as the Kalmar Union, a union between Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, which also included Finland, Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands, Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands. The year was 1397. The woman was Margareta; she was around 40 years old and the reigning queen of Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The young man was named Erik, and at just 14, he had already been crowned king of Norway and hailed as king of Sweden and Denmark. The scene, of course, was Kalmar Castle, the foundation of which had been laid in the twelfth century on a peninsula outside the Kalmar harbour. The castle was initially a tower with intermediate walls; the 1350s brought the addition of wings and another ring wall with a smaller fortified tower. 42

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But then the summer of 1397 arrived. Queen Margareta had summoned church leaders and noblemen from all over the Nordic region to Kalmar Castle. Her goal for the meeting was to establish a union between Sweden, Norway and Denmark, and to have the social leaders in attendance sign the agreement. At the same time, Erik would be crowned king of the three countries. A steady, radiant stream of people arrived to Kalmar in the week before the meeting. The halls and chambers of the castle were filled with beautifully attired spiritual and secular leaders, whose servants swarmed in the background. One must assume that the people of Kalmar turned out en masse, curious to see the guests from far and wide. During those days, Kalmar Castle and the town on the Kalmar Strait was the political centre of Scandinavia, and Queen Margareta was the axis around which everyone and everything revolved.

leadership was permeated with energy and skill, and when When the queen, the archbishops of Lund and Uppsala Olof died in his late teens, she was granted the title Regent – who carried the royal crown – and Erik, future king of of Norway. The House of Mecklenburg’s entitlement to the the union, strode up to the podium in the knight’s hall of crown was ignored, which, naturally, deeply angered her the castle, it was also a personal triumph for Margareta. The future antagonist, Albrekt. crowning of her young relative and the establishment of the The Swedish political scene was in the spotlight of union document, with signatures and seals, was the climax Margareta’s political game when, in 1388, she began a of Margareta’s years of work to make Scandinavia stronger dialogue with Swedand better politiish nobility who had cally equipped to face ‘She maintained ultimate power of the unified grown tired of King the powerful world Albrekt of Mecklenaround it. With Erik countries until her death fifteen years after burg. The magnates as an instrument, who gathered at she strengthened the that historical event in Kalmar.’ Dalaborg Fortress in personal union between Dalsland promised to her kingdoms, but she support her as regent of Sweden if she threw out Albrekt and maintained ultimate power of the unified countries until her his German vassals, and end the lawlessness in the country. death fifteen years after that historical event in Kalmar. Margareta was hailed as Sweden’s sovereign lady and ruler. But who was Queen Margareta? She, who her predecessor on In the military clash that followed the next year in the the throne, Albrekt of Mecklenburg – whom she defeated on the Falköping region, about 120 kilometres northeast of Gothenbattlefield in 1389 – had called King Trouserless. He emphasised burg, Margareta’s forces won a decisive victory over Albrekt, the patronizing epithet by sending her a whetstone and suggestwho was imprisoned. ing she sharpen her needles and stick to sewing rather than It was time for Margareta to make Albrekt pay for his politics. It is assumed that Birgitta Birgersdotter, subsequently King Trouserless remark. Legend has it that she forced him known as Holy Birgitta, may have been behind that “pinprick”. to wear a fool’s cap with a multi-metre long train as punishMargareta was Danish, born in 1353 on the Danish island ment for the insult. He was held captive for years before the of Zealand, and daughter of Valdemar Atterdag, the king dethroned king could return to the Mecklenburg duchy. who pillaged Visby on Gotland. At six years old, she became Albrekt died in spring 1412. engaged to Norwegian king Håkan Magnusson, who ascendQueen Margareta died of the plague in autumn the same ed to the Swedish throne in 1362. year, aboard her ship in Flensburg Harbour in the midst of At seventeen, Margareta gave birth to her first and only negotiations to regain the Schleswig duchy. Since 1413, her child, Olof, who was elected king of Denmark in 1376. When final resting place has been Roskilde Cathedral on Zealand, Margareta’s husband Håkan died in 1380, ten-year-old Olof burial site of Danish monarchs. The Kalmar Union survived succeeded him as king of Norway, though with his mother her by more than a century and went to its grave in 1523, as regent in her son’s name. At that point, Margareta began when Gustav Vasa became king of Sweden. ✷ to show her political prowess in earnest. In the 1380s, her s p e c i a l e di t ion k ult urvä r de n


Seats of power

The Gripsholm Castle was once a popular summer retreat for King Gustav Vasa and his sons. Over time, the Castle also came to serve as a royal prison. Two of King Gustav’s sons, Erik XIV and Johan III, took turns in keeping each locked behind the impressive brick walls.

Using money from the properties taken from the Roman Catholic Church after the Reformation, King Gustav Vasa and his sons built castles and fortresses around Sweden. Historian and author Tomas Blom explains how the Vasas showed everyone just who was in charge.

urban jĂśrĂŠn

words Tomas Blom

Kronoberg CASTLE

Västerås CASTLE


astles or fortified houses have been built in Sweden since the Middle Ages, but most of the buildings from that era are now gone. They were built for protection and defence by spiritual or secular leaders, but even medieval kings lacked enough resources to build castles on a large scale. That changed in the sixteenth century, when Sweden underwent fundamental changes due primarily to the efforts of Gustav Vasa. The unpopular nobleman Gustav Eriksson was a fairly unsupported claimant to the throne. To the rest of the world, he had long been regarded in many areas as the rebel who violently overthrew the kingdom’s lawfully elected king,


Nyköping Castle

were reinforced with stone from the demolished monasteries in Norrmalm. The Royal Palace became the centre of the royal administration, with a chamber for tax collection and the legendary Herr Eskil’s state room, where King Gustav is said to have stowed away tons of silver from the Sala silver mine, as well as massive quantities of confiscated valuables from the ravaged Catholic churches. The royal family resided at the castle, which was not called Tre Kronor until the time of Johan III. However, they did not live there permanently. As new castles were completed, the court could move around, several times a year. One popular retreat was Gripsholm Castle. Sten Sture the Elder, the previous owner, donated the castle to a Carthusian monastery, but King Gustav seized it

‘The mighty castle on a hill in the city of the archbishop became the site of what was presumably the most lavish celebration ever to have taken place in the country up to that point’ Christian II. Given that background, it was essential for King Gustav to use any means to assert his legitimacy, his Godgiven right to the throne. He wanted to show his subjects who was in charge, and he spared no means to tighten his grip on power. During his reign, for the first time, Sweden had an efficient, nationwide administration in the form of a network of royal bailiffs. The system required bases to function, castles and fortifications that served as tangible reminders of the king’s presence. Internal and external enemies threatened the new regime, and the Vasa castles that were erected in key strategic points guaranteed that King Gustav and his sons could retain their power in the future. The Reformation brought with it enormous properties from the church and monasteries to the benefit of the nobility – especially the king. This freed up resources for large-scale construction, particularly from the 1540s, when King Gustav overcame initial setbacks in the form of popular uprisings and persistent Lübeck creditors. But before then, he had been forced to tackle the Royal Palace of Stockholm. Just a few years after the newly elected king took over his capital city in 1523, the castle’s living quarters burned down. The king complained bitterly that the fire robbed him of everything except “a baker and a shirt”. At that point, the old palace was built out significantly: the keep was made taller, and the walls 46

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early on by claiming inheritance rights, a process he repeated on countless occasions – with no one contradicting him. German builders were commissioned to design a magnificent new castle, which was completed in 1545. The summer residence was a safe distance from the capital’s risk of infection and rebellious peasants from Småland. Over time, Gripsholm also came to serve as a royal prison. Two of King Gustav’s sons, Erik XIV and Johan III, took turns keeping each locked behind the impressive brick walls.

One of the castles that held out the longest before the rebel Gustav Eriksson’s siege was Kalmar Castle. Its proximity to the Danish border gave the castle major strategic importance, and in the 1530s it was completely renovated, with four corner towers and a curtain wall. In 1557, it came into the possession of hereditary prince Erik, the first Swedish man raised to be king. He created his own Renaissance court there, with educated men and musicians. He hired the most skilled craftsmen to beautify the interior of the castle, and he lived life’s joyful days an agreeable distance from his stingy father. Even today, the results of Erik’s fondness for splendour are evident, but it was actually his brother, Johan who had the old King’s Chamber adorned with its magnificent intarsia pieces. The stucco frieze along the walls, which features among other things a dramatic wild boar hunt, was probably done by

Gävle Castle



2 3

Antonius Watz from 1572–73, while the painting and gilding came a few year later. Västerås Castle was the site of two of the most important events of Gustav Vasa’s reign. There, he pushed through the Recess of Västerås in 1527, which marked the establishment of Protestantism in Sweden. And there, in 1544, it was decreed that the crown should be inherited by his sons. The actual construction of the castle began in the late fourteenth century, but Gustav Vasa added on to it, as did his son Johan, who declared building his greatest desire. Toward the end of his life, King Gustav visited Västerås often, perhaps to remind himself of his great successes. One might say that Erik XIV’s path begins and ends at two Vasa Era castles. His spectacular coronation in June 1561 took place at Uppsala Cathedral, and the subsequent celebration was at Uppsala Castle. Its construction began in 1549. It was furnished by King Erik, and then restored after a fire by his brother Johan. The mighty castle on a hill in the city of the archbishop became the site of what was presumably the most lavish celebration ever to have taken place in the country up to that point. The king’s path between the castle and the cathedral was lined with red English cloth – a pure luxury – and the assembled congregation feasted on whole roasted ox stuffed with sheep, goose, and other poultry. Beer and wine flowed from wells, and there was laughter and tourneying for three days.


t was different at Örbyhus Castle sixteen years later. Kung Erik’s reign ended abruptly in 1568, when he was deposed by his brothers Johan and Karl. As a prisoner, he and his family were transported from castle to castle for the next several years. In Västerås in 1573, he was separated from his wife Karin Månsdotter – King Johan thought they had far too many children, and did not want any more claimants to the throne. He was constantly worried that his captive brother would be freed, and had him taken to Örbyhus the following year. There, he was locked in a chamber that still allowed him to be seen. He stayed there until February 1577, when he died of what may have been arsenic poisoning – by order of his brother. The castle came into the ownership of King Gustav in 1548. He could hardly have imagined what would take place a beneath its vaults in the future.


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1 Gävle Castle Gästrikland 2 Örbyhus Castle Uppland 3 Uppsala Castle Uppland 4 Tre Kronor Castle Uppland 5 Turku Castle Finland 6 Örebro Castle Närke 7 Västerås Castle Västmanland 8 Gripsholm Castle Södermanland 9 Nyköping Castle Södermanland 10 Skaraborg Castle Västergötland 11 Vadstena Castle Östergötland 12 Linköping Castle Östergötland 13 Stegeborg Castle Östergötland 14 Jönköping Castle Småland 15 Kronoberg Castle Småland 16 Kalmar Castle Småland 17 Borgholm Castle Öland

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Bloodbath took place in the castle Vadstena Castle has gone down in courtyard, in which the severe duke took history because of a notorious “racket” revenge on the Swedish noblemen who there in December 1559. King Gustav’s supported the defeated King Sigismund eldest daughter, Katarina, was married in his power struggle against Karl. to Count Edzard of Ostfriesland. On the way home, the party stopped One might ask: why did the Vasa at Vadstena as guests of the bride’s kings want so many castles? One brother, Duke Magnus. Present on popular belief is that the king and his the trip were the bride’s younger sister, court had to travel around simply to be Cecilia, and the groom’s brother, Count able to eat and drink up all the taxes Johan, who was discovered climbing paid in kind by the people around the into Princess Cecilia’s room on a ladder. country. That is not quite accurate. Alarms were sounded, and Prince Erik Recent research indicates that most caught the count in the act, “his hose taxes were paid in minted or unminted scarcely on”. It was an absolute scandal silver. A likelier reason might be that and cast a shadow over King Gustav’s hygiene at the time was insufficient, to final year. The castle also harbours say the least. All of the court servants, another sad story. Duke Magnus, the Gustav Eriksson Vasa (1496–1560) broke chambermaids, housekeepers, pages, second youngest of the Vasa sons, grew Sweden out of the union with Denmark, stable boys, henchmen, maids and increasingly mentally unbalanced over introduced Protestantism, and went down farmhands, personal physicians, musitime, something not unique to him in in history as a sometimes nation-builder, cians, scribes, and everyone else who his family: King Gustav and his sons sometimes absolute despot. comprised the Vasa court would have were known for their violent temperamade a mess and significantly worn down the castle’s primitive ments. But in the case of Magnus, and perhaps in the case facilities for personal hygiene and well-being. In other words, of Erik, it was likely full-blown insanity. Legend has it that there would have been good reasons to decamp now and then, Count Magnus threw himself out of a castle window, into and seek out a cleaner environment. The various castles also the arms of a “mermaid” who had emerged in the moat. He had different advantages. For example, Gripsholm had a huge nearly drowned in the process – but now we may be entering orchard, a remnant from the monastery. King Gustav’s family the realm of folk songs... spent an impressive 41 weeks there between 1547 and 1549, perhaps long enough for the apples and pears to ripen. HowAnother remarkable Vasa castle is Örebro Castle, a ever, the general preference was to stay at the Royal Palace of medieval fortress that Duke Karl turned into a Renaissance Stockholm when everyone came together for royal births. castle. There, he established something as unusual as a school for “diligent and needy pupils.” Otherwise, the duke primarily lived In a time without mass communication it was surely also at Nyköping Castle, from where he ruled his duchy with power important for the Vasa kings to simply be visible to the people and skill – in anticipation of sooner or later becoming king. by travelling around the country to occupy their castles, and He also continued his brother Johan’s expansion of Linköping Castle, which was turned into yet another Renaissance castle, let the royal banners fly from the towers as a symbol of the face of power. ✷ with magnificent gables and a minstrels’ gallery. The Linköping

Erik XIV (1533–1577), educated and artistically gifted, but mentally unbalanced, made the mistake of marrying a peasant. Dethroned by his brothers.


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Johan III (1537–1592), dethroned his brother and took over the crown, interested in religion, tried to find a middle path between Protestantism and Catholicism, big castle-builder.

Karl IX (1550–1611), youngest of the brothers, but extremely strong-willed and severe, managed to keep his nephew Sigismund from becoming king and finally won the throne.

göran billesson

jens arnér

roger lundberg

1. Linköping Castle

2. Örebro Castle

3. Borgholm Castle

4. tre kronor

1. The bloodbath at Linköping was exacted by King Karl IX, as a revenge upon the nobles who supported King Sigismund.

2. Örebro Castle served as a prison before its restoration in the eighteenth century, which was the first of many more; the most recent was in the 1990s.

3. Borgholms Castle on Öland. 4. Tre Kronor Castle, Stockholm, painted in 1661 by Govert Camphuysen.

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Häradsskär N58°09' O16°59'

The lighthouse in Häradsskär in Gryts archipelago was built in 1863, and was the first in Sweden to have a revolving light. It is one of eleven Swedish lighthouses designed by Gustav von Heidenstam, ten of which remain. The Häradsskär lighthouse still shines on the waters of the Baltic Sea.


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The archipelago and the sea have a certain draw. Thousands of islets, islands and skerries dot the entire coast of Sweden, and by boat, we can get almost anywhere. Step ashore at a fishing village, and wander further out to discover smooth, polished rock and little sandy beaches. Climb to the highest point, look at the lighthouse or beacon, and check out harbour seals and black guillemot. Simply step ashore onto some of these islands and skerries – and enjoy. Many of the islands have always belonged to the Swedish state.

They are called crown islands, and are managed by the National Property Board. Many crown islands are old fishing villages or former pilot and lighthouse stations, often with high natural and cultural value, o​ r military facilities of national interest. Thanks to the right of public access, which gives visitors the unique opportunity to roam freely through the Swedish countryside, large parts of the archipelago are open for exploration. Find more information at www.sfv.se and in the Sevärt app.

melker dahlstrand

words Mia Fernlund

design: Lighthouses The National Property Board manages lighthouses along the Swedish coast. Today they are just as likely to catch the eye of tourists as ships

Hävringe Båk N58°36' O17°19'

One of Swedish maritime's oldest seamarks is the wooden beacon on the island of Hävringe in Oxelösund's outer archipelago. Built from 1750-52, the hexagonal beacon can be seen from afar, crowned with a globe and pennant. Hävringe Beacon is the only beacon left of its kind.

Pater Noster in Hamneskär is 10 km outside of Marstrand. The lighthouse was lit in 1868 and tended to by staff who lived on the island. It was deactivated in 1977 and replaced by the caisson lighthouse Hätteberget. After being repaired on land, the lighthouse was replaced and lit again in 2007.

bert leandersson

Pater Noster N57°54' O11°28'

Nidingen N57°18' O11°54'

The kilometre-long, narrow island of Nidingen is outside of Onsala in Kungsbacka Municipality. Built in 1624, the lighthouse is one of Sweden's oldest, and its only double lighthouse. Nidingen is the country's most ill-fated lighthouse: the island is surrounded by around 700 wrecks. 2014 kulturvärden 51


The lighthouse in Godnatt, the pentagonal fortress tower in the Karlskrona archipelago, is still in use. The tower has two battery floors and a basement. Each level had room for eight cannons, but it was not long before Godnatt was only used as a lighthouse.

anna webjörn

Godnatt, N56°09' O15°36'

åke e:son lindman

words national property board sweden

pearls of wisdom National Property Board employees work with Swedish cultural heritage every day. We asked them to share their favourite places with us

To find our gems – visit www.sfv.se or check out the Sevärt app.


hans schub

my favourite place is the Väderöarna islands, way out in the ocean beyond Fjällbacka in the Bohuslän archipelago. It’s such a wonderfully scenic trip from the mainland, innkeepers offer an impressive welcome, and the environment is simply unrivalled. Sweden’s westernmost islands, with the open ocean to the west, and the islands closer to the mainland are the typically bare islands of the west coast. A dip in the clear, slightly salty west coast sea is refreshing and...I could just keep praising Väderöarna, because the area is a favourite. Of many. Jan Naumburg, project manager

Melker Dahlstrand



Roma Abbey and crown estate


situated on the shore of Lake Vättern, Vadstena has exciting tales from the Middle Ages up to today. Royal, religious, and disease-related history can all be found here – celebration, contemplation and care. And all that human destiny! The great thing about Vadstena is that it is beautiful, exciting and interesting, whether decked out for spring, with thousands of spring snowflakes in the old abbey garden, in a summer dress, or in autumn trousers. All year long, you can enjoy a hot cup of coffee and homemade cinnamon buns by the fire at Pilgrimscentrum. The castle and the abbey museum both offer guided tours. You can touch a cannon or hear voices from the past, and then sleep and eat well in the old abbey buildings. Elisabet Hesseborn, cultural heritage specialist


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the crown estate with a gallery, exhibitions, glassworks and a shop with handicrafts from Gotland. You can also take the chance to visit Tingstäde Fortress, and the Coastrider’s House is fairly close as well. Lie Evaldt, business manager

Melker Dahlstrand

when i’m on Gotland, a visit to the Roma Abbey and Roma crown estate is a must. Apart from the incredibly beautiful landscape and gorgeous buildings, this is the location of the Roma Theatre, which has performances in the abbey ruins, as well as

growing up, we always drove by Visingsö on the way to our summer home. We often stopped by Brahehus, and I would look out at Lake Vättern to the island that, according to history, had been tossed out by Vist the giant, because his wife needed a grassy stepping stone in order to cross Vättern. Having now had the chance to step ashore this mythical island of my childhood memories as an adult, I can verify that this is indeed a gem worth recommending. Here, visitors will find the ruins of Per Brahe’s Visingsborg Castle, a beautiful herb garden, and a crown estate. Natural beauty and peacefulness are here as well. Walk or ride a bike along pretty trails that lead through the fantastic oak forests, where the oaks stand up straight, as if at attention, waiting for the navy to build new ships. This is no ordinary oak forest! Maria Nyberg, information officer

the exotic decor inside the Chinese Pavilion may seem like an odd bird, but the fact is that in the late eighteenth century, it was the height of fashion to have a Chinese pleasure palace on one’s palace grounds. Similar chinoiserie was found in all the royal castle parks at that time. Some are preserved, but most have disappeared The Chinese Pavilion is made of brick and has therefore been able to withstand the power of the weather. Inside the palace, you can try to count the dragons. In China, the dragon is a positive symbol related to the much-needed rain, which supplied rice paddies with all the water they needed. The five-clawed dragon also symbolised the emperor of China. The empress was symbolised by the phoenix. So go out and explore the dragon world. Karin Gold Cox, cultural heritage specialist

Gomer Swahn

Chinese Pavilion at Drottningholm Palace Park

The Swedish fika break – a tradition we love to share

Åke E:son Lindman

wherever swedish people go, we always look forward to a fika break: a moment to rest with a cup of coffee in our hands. It’s a social institution, and as we all know – habits travel. Wherever the Foreign Ministry of Sweden and Visit Sweden work to present Sweden, exhibitions, seminars and other gatherings are often combined with a visit to a little Swedish café, where you can have freshly baked cinnamon buns and just-brewed coffee. It’s simply a tradition we love to share. Scandinavian coffee spots with Swedish cinnamon buns and cookies have recently been spreading throughout London and New York. According to Le Figaro, one of France’s biggest newspapers, one of the trendiest places in Paris for a break is The Swedish Insitute’s café in the famous Marais quartier. At the Swedish hotel and conference centre Voksenåsen, you can combine coffee and cookies with a remarkable view of Oslo. So after your vacation in this land of cinnamon buns, look around your hometown: you might just have a Swedish fika place nearby! Elisabet Lorenz Werner, information officer

Kulturvärden Special English edition National Property Board Sweden (Statens fastighetsverk) publishes Kulturvärden to spread knowledge about Sweden’s cultural heritage sites. We have created this special English edition to give tourists the opportunity to enjoy our exciting destinations. The remit of the National Property Board is to ensure the survival of the cultural properties that we Swedes own together and to preserve them for future generations. Publisher Ann-Charlotte Spegel-Berg Editor-in-chief Mia Fernlund Editorial production Rejäl Kommunikation AB

Editor Tomas Eriksson Art Director Pompe Hedengren Designers Johan Björnsrud, Frans Tverin Language Consultant Graeme Nadasy English translation Semantix Project Manager Lena Severin Text Anders Bodin, Tomas Blom, Tomas Eriksson, Lie Evaldt, Mia Fernlund, Karin Gold Cox, Elisabet Hesseborn, Andreas Heymowski, Hans Landberg, Viktoria Myrén, Jan Naumburg, Maria Nyberg, Thorsten Sandberg, Ulf Tomner, Erika Volpe Photography Jens Arnér,

Göran Billesson, Melker Dahlstrand, Magnus Fond, Georg Grundsten, Angela Hellryd Dahlén, Mia Fernlund, Urban Jörén, Erik Kampmann, Morgan Karlsson, Bert Leanderson, Åke E:son Lindman, Roger Lundberg, Bengt Nordgren, Dick Norberg, Arne Persson, Hans Schub, Gomer Swahn, Pelle Wahlgren, Anna Webjörn Illustration Beata Boucht, Olof Hedengren Repro Jeanette Andersson Printer Norra Skåne Offset www.sfv.se issn 1104-845x Cover Läckö slott Foto: Folio Bildbyrå AB

Contact us Customer service www.kulturvarden.prenservice.se or +46-770-457152 Editorial department kulturvarden@sfv.se or +46-8-696 70 00. Mailing address Kulturvärden, Box 2263, 10316 Stockholm. s p e c i a l e di t ion k ult urvä r de n


– Excuse me, where the castle? –Ursäkta, var ärcan mittI find slott? –Ursäkta, var är mitt slott?

– Here! –Här! –Här! På Statens fastighetsverk jobbar att göra så at enkelt som möjWhat do you want to do today? Visitvia för fortress, eat det lunch a ligt för dig att ta del av vårt gemensamma kulturarv. Nu kan du till och castle, or why not enjoy the view from a lighthouse? We’ll help På Statens fastighetsverk jobbar vi för att göra det så enkelt som möjmed ta med dig några slott i fickan när du åker på semester. Börja med youför find you how tokulturarv. get there.Nu kan du till och ligt digdestinations att ta del avand vårtshow gemensamma Allatt you need to do is download Sevärt, our och app Android. for iPhone and väljer du Sevärt, vår iapp för när iPhone I Sevärt med taladda med ner dig några slott fickan du åker på semester. Börja med Android. Search theenmap oreller browse theBesöksmålsgeneratorn list and point, and we’llhjälper dig besöksmål från lista karta. att ladda ner Sevärt, vår app för iPhone och Android. I Sevärt väljer du take an exploration nature and culture! attyou hittaon nya Så of ladda nerBesöksmålsgeneratorn Sevärt och bege dig ut på upptäcktsbesöksmål frånguldkorn. en lista eller karta. hjälper dig Welcome! färd i ditt kungarike. att hitta nya guldkorn. Så ladda ner Sevärt och bege dig ut på upptäcktsNational Property Board Sweden P.S. Omkungarike. du inte har en smartphone hittar du sevärdheterna på färd i ditt www.sfv.se/sevart P.S. Om dudon’t inte har du sevärdheterna P.S. If you haveena smartphone smartphone,hittar you can find sights at på www.sfv.se/sevart www.sfv.se/sevart

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Kulturvarden english edition 2014  

A gift from The National Property Board Sweden, the custodian of Swedish cultural heritage sites. This is a special edition to give Tourist...

Kulturvarden english edition 2014  

A gift from The National Property Board Sweden, the custodian of Swedish cultural heritage sites. This is a special edition to give Tourist...