Top Historic Sights in Ystad, Sweden

Explore the historic highlights of Ystad

St. Mary's Church

St. Mary’s Church (Sankta Maria kyrka) is the oldest building in Ystad. The construction was began around the year 1200. The Romanesque style church was enlarged in the 1400s. The tower collapsed in a storm in 1648 when the nave was also damaged. The church was restored to double size. There is a big altarpiece made of oak in the early 1400s and two medieval crucifixes. The pulpit is a great sample of Scanian Baroq ...
Founded: ca. 1200 | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Ale's Stones

Ale's Stones (Ales stenar) is a megalithic monument which consists of a stone ship 67 meters long formed by 59 large boulders of sandstone, weighing up to 1.8 tonnes each. According to Scanian folklore, a legendary king called King Ale lies buried there. The carbon-14 dating system for organic remains has provided seven results at the site. One indicates that the material is around 5,500 years old whereas the remaining s ...
Founded: 500-1000 AD | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Ystad Abbey

Ystad Abbey was inaugurated in 1267 by the Fransiscan Order. Along Vadstena it is the best preserved medieval abbey in Sweden. Dissolved at the Reformation, the Abbey was handed over to the towns people and soon fell into disrepair. The eastern part and gatekeeper’s house has survived to present days.. In 1912 it became home to the local museum, which holds changing temporary exhibitions in a wing of the abbey and ...
Founded: 1267 | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Marsvinsholm Castle

The Marsvinsholm estate was spoken about as Bosöe, Borsöe and Bordsyö in the beginning of the 12th century. By the middle of the 14th century it was owned by members of Ulfeld family. The possession were transferred to Otto Marsvin around 1630, who built the castle 1644-1648 and renamed it after himself. The name is derived from an Old Norse word for porpoise. The castle was in the beginning built on poles ...
Founded: 1644-1648 | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Stora Herrestad Church

Stora Herrestad Church was built in the first half of 12th century to the Romanesque style. It has been enlarged and the tower added later. The baptismal font was carved of sandstone and dates from the early 1200s.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Marsvinsholm Church

Marsvinsholm Church was built in 1862-1867 according the plan of Christian Zwingmann. It replaced medieval Balkåkra, Snårestad, and Skårby churches. The red-brick church was influenced by Italian pre-Renaissance churches and it is the largest in Scania.
Founded: 1862-1867 | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Sövestad Church

The choir and apse of Sövestad Church date from the 12th century. The brick vaulting and tower were added in the 15th century. The altarpiece is made of white limestone and alabaster. It was donated by Otto Marsvin and Mette Brahe (who lived in Krageholm Castle) in 1626. The crucifix and pulpit date from the 1729.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Vallösa Church

Vallösa Church was built in 1882 to replace the too small Sjörup old church. It represents neo-Gothic and Romanesque styles. The pulpit was brought from the Borsöe chapel of Marsvinholm castle. It was carved around 1630 by an unknown, probably German artist.
Founded: 1882 | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Krageholm Castle

The history of Krageholm estate date from the 14th century when it was owned by family Due. Later in Middle Ages it was moved to Tott and Brahe families. In 1642 it was given to Otto Marsvin. The estate was damaged in the war with Denmark during the reign of Carl XI. In 1704 the estate was sold to Carl Piper. The present appearance was built in 1720s. The main building and two annexes are surrounded by moat and park. St. ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Löderup Church

The oldest parts of Löderup Church date from the 12th century. The defensive tower and vaulting were probably added in the 15th century. The major restoration was done in 1860s. The oldest artefact in the church is the font which was made around 1160. The pulpit date from 1604.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Balkåkra Church Ruins

Balkåkra stone church was built around 1200. It was abandoned in 1867 when Marsvinholm church was completed. The restoration was done in the 20th century. Today it is occasionally used for worship services.
Founded: ca. 1200 | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Sjörup Old Church

The old church of Sjörup waas built between 1150-1170 by “stone master Carl”. The tower and sacristy were added around 1270. The church was left to decay in the 19th century when it was noted to be too small. The restoration was started in 20th century. There is a rune stone called Sjörupstenen in the churchyard, dating from the 10th century.
Founded: 1150-1170 | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Bjärsjöholm Castle

Bjärsjöholm or Bjersjöholm Castle is a Renaissance castle from the 16th century. Originally consisting of four brick buildings built around a courtyard, the present castle consists of two buildings, with a newer addition close by. According the excavations there has been a manor already in the Middle Ages. The site is first mentioned in 1344. Since the 14th century it has been owned by families Munk, Rotfe ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Bellinga Castle

Bellinga Castle was first mentioned in 1346 and in the 16th century it became a seat farm of Sövdeborg. Since 1860 it has been owned by Piper Family. Elizabeth Piper and her husband Carl Fredrik Hochschild built then the present, manor-style main building. Today Bellinga is in private use and not open to the public.
Founded: 1860s | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Skårby Church

‎Skårby Church was built in the mid-1100s. The first record of donations for the new church was dated to 1145. The medieval construction is well-preserved, only small changes and additions have been made between 1300s-1500s and in the early 1700s. The interior is covered with significant mural paintings. The bleacher date from the 17th century, the altar was made by Matthias Stenberg in 1734 and the pulpit was ...
Founded: ca. 1150 | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Snårestad Church

The original Snårestad church was built in the 13th century. It was abandoned in the 1860s and partially demolished. The village decided to build a new church to the same site and it was completed in 1925. The baptismal font, dating from the 12th century, is located to the new church. There is an unknown hill structure near the church. It may has been an ancient fortification or burial ground. Archaeologists have fo ...
Founded: 1925 | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Öja Church

Öja Church was built in 1895 to replace the previous medieval church. Most of the artefacts were moved from the previous church. The font date from the 12th and pulpit from the early 17th century. The small bell was casted in 1498 and the big one in 1599.
Founded: 1895 | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Hedeskoga Church

Hedeskoga Church was built in the mid-1100s, probably by local stone master Carl. The tower was added in the 15th century. The tympanum in a south portal is a unique detail. The pulpit date from 1652 and altar from 1714. The great bell has a mark "1471".
Founded: ca. 1150 | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Bromma Church

Bromma Church was built in the late 1100s. The tower and vaulting were constructed in the 1400s. The church was partially reconstructed in 1852. Also well-preserved mural paintings were found and restored then. The altarpiece was made between 1564-1627.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Borrie Church

Borrie Church is one of the oldest and smallest in Scania. It was probably built in the early 1100s in Anglo-Saxon style. It consisted of a nave, chancel and apse. The tower was added in the 13th century and demolished in the 19th century. The church was abandoned and left to decay before the reconstruction made in the 19th century.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Bjäresjö Church

Bjäresjö Church was built in the mid-1100s. The new nave was added in 1760 and it was enlarged in 1892. The church is very attractive due colourful and intricate frescoes from the Middle Ages. These have been somewhat heavily restored so that some of the detail has been lost, but the effect is still stunning and gives the visitor a real feeling of what the place would have been like hundreds of years ago. The i ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Stora Herrestad

The guest house in Stora Herrestad is one of the oldest in Scania, and dates back to the 1600s. The old stable, which now serves as our banquet room, was used by travellers on their long journeys and the old main building, where the restaurant is now located, was the courthouse. In the 1780s the old main building was destroyed by fire, but was then rebuilt as an inn during the 1800s. The courthouse was relocated across t ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Högestad Church

The beautiful stone church of Högestad was built in the 12th century. The tower was added in the 14th century. The church bell date also from the 14th century. The pulpit was made in 1726. There are also fine medieval frescoes in walls.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Baldringe Church

Baldringe Church was built in the late 1100s or in the beginning of 1200s in Romanesque style. The restoration was made in 1880s and some medieval mural paintings were removed. The bell tower was also added then. The baptismal font, made of limestone of Gotland, date from the 1200s as well as the triumph crucifix. The pulpit and altar were made in the 1600s. There is also a Viking Age runestone, so-called Baldringestenen, ...
Founded: ca. 1200 | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Charlottenlund Castle

Charlottenlund castle (or manor) lies in the countryside about eight kilometres west of Ystad. The present stately home was built in 1849 and is influenced by the medieval Romanesque style. It is surrounded by beautiful landscaped gardens. It possesses an excellent collection of art from the Nordic world. There is also a fine library. Guided tours are offered to groups by arrangement.
Founded: 1849 | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Högestad Castle

Högestad was the property of Lund Archbishop in the Middle Ages. After Reformation it was returned to the Crown. In 1635 the estate was acquired by Palle Rosenkrantz. He built the present main building. In 1682 Högestad was once again returned to the King of Sweden and in 1706 Carl XII of Sweden decided to sell it to Carl Piper. Today Högestad is one of the largest farms in Sweden.
Founded: 1635 | Location: Ystad, Sweden

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Castel del Monte

Castel del Monte, located in the municipality of Andria, rises on a rocky hill dominating the surrounding countryside of the Murgia region. A unique piece of medieval architecture, it was completed in 1240. The castle’s location, its perfect octagonal shape, as well as the mathematical and astronomical precision of its layout all reflect the broad education and cultural vision of its founder, Emperor Frederick II.

As a leader of modern humanism, the Germanic Emperor brought scholars together in his court from throughout the Mediterranean, combining Eastern and Western traditions. The castle’s unique design, an octagonal plan with octagonal towers at each angle, represents a search for perfection. Interior features reflect Eastern influences, such as the innovative hydraulic installation used by Frederick II for bathing in accord to the typical Arabic customs.

The site is of outstanding universal value in its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity. Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, reflecting the humanist ideas of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.