Castles in Scania

Malmö Castle

Malmö Castle (Malmöhus) was founded in 1434 by King Eric of Pomerania. This structure was demolished in early 16th century. The castle acquired its present appearance following major reconstruction in the 1530’s, when King Christian III ordered the building of a modern fortress, splendid Renaissance castle and county governor´s residence, all on the one site. Historically, this fortress was one of th ...
Founded: 1434 | Location: Malmö, Sweden

Kärnan

Kärnan is a medieval tower, the only part remaining of a larger Danish fortress which controlled the entrance to the Baltic Sea. The origins of the fortress is disputed but Danish legend places its origin to the reign of the legendary King Fróði. However, this legend has not been supported by archaeological proof. Dendrochronological dating has shown that the core was built in the 1310s, when Eric VI of Denmark was Ki ...
Founded: 1310s | Location: Helsingborg, Sweden

Bosjökloster

Bosjökloster (Bosjö Abbey) was originally a nunnery, founded in 1080 by the Benedictine Order. The oldest preserved document that mentions Bosjö Abbey was written by Pope Lucius III in 1181, when he confirmed its privileges. According to local legend, the land was donated by Tord Thott, the first known ancestor of the Scanian noble family Thott. The abbey was transformed into a castle in the 16th century, a ...
Founded: 1080 | Location: Höör, Sweden

Landskrona Citadel

Landskrona Citadel was initially built 1549–1559 as a purely defensive fortification with two complete moats, the inner with a width of 70 metres. The outer (complete) moat is between 40 and 70 metres wide, and has cross fire bastions for artillery and guns. Outside the outer moat, a third narrower moat covers the northwest and northeast. There also exist remains of a fourth moat (between the two outer moats). The forti ...
Founded: 1549-1559 | Location: Landskrona, Sweden

Rosendal Palace

Rosendal Palace was built 1615 by Privy Council Anders Bille. The Bennet family has owned the palace for centuries. The castle consists of main building and wings with towers in corners.
Founded: 1615 | Location: Helsingborg, Sweden

Barsebäck Castle

Barsebäck Castle has existed in various versions at its present location since the 12th century. It received its current shape during a major renovation and rebuilding in 1889 and 1940. The current main structure is a three-story 19th-century reconstruction in Dutch Renaissance style, made to resemble the many original Renaissance castles still remaining in the Scanian landscape. After the Scanian War, Barsebäc ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Barsebäck, Sweden

Löberöd Castle

The early history of Löberöd estate is unknown, but the oldest parts were built in the 1620s. Then the owner was Anna Brahe. Her nephew, a member of the Ramel family, inherited Löberöd when Anne, a childless widow, passed away in 1635. The manor was in the possession of the Ramel family until 1799. The northern wing and the eight-sided turret were built in 1798-1799. About twenty years later an oranger ...
Founded: 1798-1799 | Location: Löberöd, Sweden

Pålsjö Castle

Pålsjö Castle was built in the late 1670s and the French style park dates from the 1760s. The first known owner was Sten Torbensen Bille, who died in 1520. The estate was destroyed in the Scanian war (1676–1679) and rebuilt soon after by Magnus Paulin, the Mayor of Helsingborg. During the Helsingborg battle in the Great Northern War (1700-1721) Earl Magnus Stenbock had his headquarters in Pålsjö ...
Founded: 1676-1679 | Location: Helsingborg, Sweden

Svaneholm Castle

Svaneholm Castle (Svaneholms slott) was initially erected in the 1530s by the Danish knight and royal advisor Mourids Jepsen Sparre. Original murder-holes in the oldest castle walls are still preserved. During the Middle Ages the residence was called Skurdorp (Skudrup), which was fortified and situated next to the parish church, where remains still can be seen. During the mid-15th century it was owned by guardsman Hennin ...
Founded: 1530's | Location: Skurup, Sweden

Ovesholm Castle

The first known owner of Ovesholm estate was Åke Holm in 1580. In 1620 Ove Urup built an earlier main building near to the current site. In 1774 it was donated to Henning Reinhold Wrangel and his son Carl Adam Wrangel af Adinal built the present castle between 1792-1804. Carl Adam also created a notable library and collection of art and sculptures to Ovesholm. The latest enlargement was made by Axel Hugo Raoul Hamil ...
Founded: 1792-1804 | Location: Kristianstad, Sweden

Glimmingehus

Glimmingehus, is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the noble ...
Founded: 1499-1506 | Location: Hammenhög, 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

Vittskövle Castle

Vittskövle Castle (also spelt Widtsköfle) is one of the best-preserved Renaissance castles in the Nordic countries. It has had medieval precursors, but the present castle was built by Jens Brahe in 1553. It is the largest castle in Skåne with approx. 100 rooms. Location and shape were decided out of consideration for defence and the tiled four-winged castle was built on piles in the marsh and supplied with ...
Founded: 1553 | Location: Vittskövle, Sweden

Kulla Gunnarstorp Castle

In the late 1400s Kulla Gunnarstorp was known as Gundestrup and it belonged to the Pardsberg family. In the mid-1500s it was acquired by Jörgen Brahe, who built the older castle which still exists. After him it has been owned by famous Sparre, De la Gardie and de Geer families. The newer castle was built by Baltzar von Platen in 1865-1868. This was designed by Danish architect Christian Zwingmann. Today the estate is ...
Founded: 1550s | Location: Helsingborg, Sweden

Borgeby Castle

Borgeby Castle is built on the site of an 11th-century castle or fortress. Excavations on the site may relate it to Harald Bluetooth. It may be reconstructed similar to the Trelleborg type with a diameter of 150 meters. Construction must have been in several phases with two separate ditches. The buildings on the site burned down during the Viking time. Excavations in 1998 found evidence of a mint. This is thought to proof ...
Founded: 1100s | Location: Lomma, Sweden

Trollenäs Castle

Trollenäs Castle is known since the 14th century, and has been in the ownership of only two families, Thott and Trolle. Originally known as Näs Castle, it was renamed after Trolle family in the 18th century. The current building goes back to 1559 and was in the late 19th century renovated by architect Ferdinand Meldahl to resemble a French Renaissance castle. There is also a medieval church, Näs old church, near the c ...
Founded: 1559 | Location: Eslöv, Sweden

Vannaröd Castle

Vannaröd castle was completed in 1890. It was built by Christian Barnekow, who was married with Scottish Agnes Sofia Montgomery. The architecture of Vannaröd is inspired by the castle in Scotland, where Montgomery was born. Today it is a restaurant.
Founded: 1890 | Location: Sösdala, Sweden

Övedskloster Castle

In the Middle Ages Övedskloster was a Premonstratensian monastery. In the 16th century Reformation it was moved to Danish Crown. The original castle was destroyed by fire in the beginning of the 17thc century.The current Övedskloster Castle was built in 1765-1776 by Hans Ramel. It was designed by Swedish architect Carl Hårleman. The main building represents the French Rococo style and is built of red sands ...
Founded: 1765-1776 | Location: Sjöbo, Sweden

Hovdala Castle

The oldest parts of Hovdala castle date from the 16th century, although it was first time mentioned already in the 12th century. There are so-called anchoring irons visible on the facade of one of the buildings are marked with the date 1511. Hovdala's gate tower, built in the early 1600's, served as a formidable entrance for the complex. This four-storey structure, with three-foot walls, withstood intensive fighting durin ...
Founded: ca. 1511 | Location: Hässleholm, 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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Monastery of São Vicente de Fora

Monastery of São Vicente de Fora (Monastery of St. Vincent Outside the Walls) is a 17th-century church and monastery in the city of Lisbon. It is one of the most important monasteries and mannerist buildings in the country. The monastery also contains the royal pantheon of the Braganza monarchs of Portugal.

The original Monastery of São Vicente de Fora was founded around 1147 by the first Portuguese King, Afonso Henriques, for the Augustinian Order. The Monastery, built in Romanesque style outside the city walls, was one of the most important monastic foundations in mediaeval Portugal. It is dedicated to Saint Vincent of Saragossa, patron saint of Lisbon, whose relics were brought from the Algarve to Lisbon in the 12th century.

The present buildings are the result of a reconstruction ordered by King Philip II of Spain, who had become King of Portugal (as Philip I) after a succession crisis in 1580. The church of the monastery was built between 1582 and 1629, while other monastery buildings were finished only in the 18th century. The author of the design of the church is thought to be the Italian Jesuit Filippo Terzi and/or the Spaniard Juan de Herrera. The plans were followed and modified by Leonardo Turriano, Baltazar Álvares, Pedro Nunes Tinoco and João Nunes Tinoco.

The church of the Monastery has a majestic, austere façade that follows the later Renaissance style known as Mannerism. The façade, attributed to Baltazar Álvares, has several niches with statues of saints and is flanked by two towers (a model that would become widespread in Portugal). The lower part of the façade has three arches that lead to the galilee (entrance hall). The floorplan of the church reveals a Latin cross building with a one-aisled nave with lateral chapels. The church is covered by barrel vaulting and has a huge dome over the crossing. The general design of the church interior follows that of the prototypic church of Il Gesù, in Rome.

The beautiful main altarpiece is a Baroque work of the 18th century by one of the best Portuguese sculptors, Joaquim Machado de Castro. The altarpiece has the shape of a baldachin and is decorated with a large number of statues. The church also boasts several fine altarpieces in the lateral chapels.

The Monastery buildings are reached through a magnificent baroque portal, located beside the church façade. Inside, the entrance is decorated with blue-white 18th century tiles that tell the history of the Monastery, including scenes of the Siege of Lisbon in 1147. The ceiling of the room has an illusionistic painting executed in 1710 by the Italian Vincenzo Baccarelli. The sacristy of the Monastery is exuberantly decorated with polychromed marble and painting. The cloisters are also notable for the 18th century tiles that recount fables of La Fontaine, among other themes.

In 1834, after the religious orders were dissolved in Portugal, the monastery was transformed into a palace for the archbishops of Lisbon. Some decades later, King Ferdinand II transformed the monks' old refectory into a pantheon for the kings of the House of Braganza. Their tombs were transferred from the main chapel to this room.