Castles in Scania

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

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

Svenstorp Castle

Svenstorp Castle was built in 1596 by Beata Hvitfeldt, a powerful lady-in-waiting to the Danish King Christian IV. Her architect was Hans Steenwinkel. In November 1676, the Danish king, Christian V, stayed at Svenstorp before the Battle of Lund. The night after the battle the Swedish king, Charles XI, whose troops had won the battle, stayed in the same room and the same bed. Since 1723, the castle has been owned by the Gy ...
Founded: 1596 | Location: Lund, Sweden

Kronovall Castle

The two-storey main building of Kronovall Castle was built originally in 1760. The present French Baroque style appearance date from the 1890s when the castle was renovated. Since 1991 Kronovall was owned by family Sparre. Today it is the office of local winery company and open by appointment.
Founded: 1760 | Location: Tomelilla, 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

Trolleholm Castle

Trolleholm Castle (Trolleholms slott) was originally named Kattesnabbe and later Ericholm. It has been known since 1424, and was a monastic estate in the late Middle Ages. Trolleholm belonged to members of the Thott family (1533-1680) and Trolle family (1680-1806). Frederik Trolle (1693-1770) gave it its present name in 1755. The castle was reconstructed in the 1760s according the design of Carl Hårleman. The presen ...
Founded: 1760s | Location: Svalöv, Sweden

Trolle-Ljungby Castle

Trolle-Ljungby Castle, enclosed by a moat, is one of most magnificent Renaissance buildings in Sweden. In the Middle Ages it was a fortified manor house, owned by Bille family. The current castle was erected in 1629 to the grounds of the previous castle, which had been burnt down in 1525. The west wing was added in 1633 and the east wing in 1787. The stone bridge in the northern side dates from 1806. The current owner of ...
Founded: 1629 | Location: Fjälkinge, 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

Snogeholm Castle

Snogeholm farm dates from the 16th century and it was owned by Thott, Brahe, Marsvin and Bille families. In the 1690s Christian Bille built the new main building between two detached wings. The current castle was built by Erik Claes Piper in 1870. The French Rococo style building has two storeys and three towers. The German Emperor Wilhelm II visited in Snogeholm in 1899 and 1902. Today Snogeholm castle hosts a hotel and ...
Founded: 1870 | Location: Sjöbo, Sweden

Tomarps Kungsgård Castle

Tomarps Kungsgård Castle was probably erected as a Renaissance building in the mid-16th century. It was composed of four, two story high wings with brick roof surrounded by a narrow square yard. The middle part of the northwing consists of the remains of a building from the Middle Ages. I the south-east corner of the yard there were a tower until the late 18th century. The castle belonged to the Brosterups linage in ...
Founded: mid-1500s | Location: Kvidinge, Sweden

Tosterup Castle

The tower of Tosterup Castle was built in the 1400s and the main building date from the 1500s. The present appearance is date mainly from the restoration made in 1760s, when the tower was merged to the main building. The castle has been owned by several famous noble families like Brahe, Thott and Krabbe. Today Tosterup is owned by family Ehrensvärd and in private use.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Tomelilla, Sweden

Hjularöd Castle

Hjularöd Castle was first mentioned in 1391, but the current castle was built in 1894-1897. It was built on command of the former owner, chamberlain Hans Gustaf Toll. French medieval castles, the château de Pierrefonds in particular, were inspiration for the castle when architects Isak Gustaf Clason and Lars Israel Wahlman designed it. Outside scenes from the television series Mysteriet på Greveholm (The ...
Founded: 1894-1897 | Location: Eslöv, 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

Maltesholm Castle

Maltesholm Castle The castle has been passed down for generations and is now the private residence of the Baron Palmstierna. The castle was originally constructed between 1635 and 1638 by the high constable of Kristianstad, Malte Juel, during the Danish rule of Scania, but the history of the estate goes back to the Middle ages and it was owned by the Brahe family. Typical for its time, the castle was a Renaissance manor b ...
Founded: 1780 | Location: Kristianstad, 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

Vrams Gunnarstorp Castle

The construction of Vrams Gunnarstorp Castle was started in 1633 by Jørgen Vind. It represents Dutch Renaissance, so-called style of King Christian IV of Denmark. 1838 the castle came to the Tornérhjelm family. It was exchanged by the Berch family for Össjö Castle and 17 barrels of gold. It is open to he public by appointment.
Founded: 1633 | Location: Bjuv, Sweden

Örtofta Castle

Örtofta manor was first mentioned in 1346 and it has been owned by several noble families. The original brick castle was built in the late 1400s and parts of it still remains. In 1857-1861 Henry Dücker enlarged and reconstructed Örtofta to the present appearance. Today the castle hosts a hotel and provides conference and wedding services.
Founded: 15th century | 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

Lindholmen Castle Ruins

Lindholmen Castle is a former Danish fortified castle on the banks of lake Börringe. It became an important fortification in the defence of Scania during the Middle Ages because of its strong encircling defensive walls and double moats. At the time, a small river and treacherous marshes made the terrain surrounding the castle hard to navigate. Originally a private castle, it was in 1339 turned over to Magnus Eriksson ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Svedala, Sweden

Ellinge Castle

Ellinge Castle is one of Scania's oldest country seats, dating from the 13th century. The origins of the current castle building dates from the 15th century. It is still surrounded by Medieval moats. In the 18th century the Danish fortress was transformed into an open mansion of traditional Swedish style. The tower like structure was added in the middle of the 19th century. Today there are only remnants of the former for ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Eslöv, Sweden

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte

The Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte is a baroque French château built between 1658-1661 for Nicolas Fouquet. It was made for Marquis de Belle Île, Viscount of Melun and Vaux, the superintendent of finances of Louis XIV, the château was an influential work of architecture in mid-17th century Europe. At Vaux-le-Vicomte, the architect Louis Le Vau, the landscape architect André le Nôtre, and the painter-decorator Charles Le Brun worked together on a large-scale project for the first time. Their collaboration marked the beginning of the 'Louis XIV style' combining architecture, interior design and landscape design. The garden's pronounced visual axis is an example of this style.

To secure the necessary grounds for the elaborate plans for Vaux-le-Vicomte’s garden and castle, Fouquet purchased and demolished three villages. The displaced villagers were then employed in the upkeep and maintenance of the gardens. It was said to have employed eighteen thousand workers and cost as much as 16 million livres. The château and its patron became for a short time a focus for fine feasts, literature and arts. The poet La Fontaine and the playwright Molière were among the artists close to Fouquet. At the inauguration of Vaux-le-Vicomte, a Molière play was performed, along with a dinner event organized by François Vatel, and an impressive firework show.

After Fouquet was arrested and imprisoned for life, and his wife exiled, Vaux-le-Vicomte was placed under sequestration. The king seized, confiscated or purchased 120 tapestries, the statues, and all the orange trees from Vaux-le-Vicomte. He then sent the team of artists (Le Vau, Le Nôtre and Le Brun) to design what would be a much larger project than Vaux-le-Vicomte, the palace and gardens of Versailles.

The Marshal Villars became the new owner without first seeing the chateau. In 1764, the Marshal's son sold the estate to the Duke of Praslin, whose descendants would maintain the property for over a century. It is sometimes mistakenly reported that the château was the scene of a murder in 1847, when duke Charles de Choiseul-Praslin, killed his wife in her bedroom, but this did not happen at Vaux-le-Vicomte but at the Paris residence of the Duke.

In 1875, after thirty years of neglect, the estate was sold to Alfred Sommier in a public auction. The château was empty, some of the outbuildings had fallen into ruin, and the famous gardens were totally overgrown. The huge task of restoration and refurbishment began under the direction of the architect Gabriel-Hippolyte Destailleur, assisted by the landscape architect Elie Lainé. When Sommier died in 1908, the château and the gardens had recovered their original appearance. His son, Edme Sommier, and his daughter-in-law completed the task. Today, his descendants continue to preserve the château, which remains privately owned by Patrice and Cristina de Vogüé, the Count and Countess de Vogüé. It is now administered by their three sons Alexandre, Jean-Charles and Ascanio de Vogüé. Recognized by the state as a monument historique, it is open to the public regularly.

Architecture

The chateau is situated near the northern end of a 1.5-km long north-south axis with the entrance front facing north. Its elevations are perfectly symmetrical to either side of this axis. Somewhat surprisingly the interior plan is also nearly completely symmetrical with few differences between the eastern and western halves. The two rooms in the center, the entrance vestibule to the north and the oval salon to the south, were originally an open-air loggia, dividing the chateau into two distinct sections. The interior decoration of these two rooms was therefore more typical of an outdoor setting. Three sets of three arches, those on the entrance front, three more between the vestibule and the salon, and the three leading from the salon to the garden are all aligned and permitted the arriving visitor to see through to the central axis of the garden even before entering the chateau. The exterior arches could be closed with iron gates, and only later were they filled in with glass doors and the interior arches with mirrored doors. Since the loggia divided the building into two halves, there are two symmetrical staircases on either side of it, rather than a single staircase. The rooms in the eastern half of the house were intended for the use of the king, those in the western were for Fouquet. The provision of a suite of rooms for the king was normal practice in aristocratic houses of the time, since the king travelled frequently.

Another surprising feature of the plan is the thickness of the main body of the building (corps de logis), which consists of two rows of rooms running east and west. Traditionally the middle of the corps de logis of French chateaux consisted of a single row of rooms. Double-thick corps de logis had already been used in hôtels particuliers in Paris, including Le Vau's Hôtel Tambonneau, but Vaux was the first chateau to incorporate this change. Even more unusual, the main rooms are all on the ground floor rather than the first floor (the traditional piano nobile). This accounts for the lack of a grand staircase or a gallery, standard elements of most contemporary chateaux. Also noteworthy are corridors in the basement and on the first floor which run the length of house providing privacy to the rooms they access. Up to the middle of the 17th century, corridors were essentially unknown. Another feature of the plan, the four pavilions, one at each corner of the building, is more conventional.

Vaux-le-Vicomte was originally planned to be constructed in brick and stone, but after the mid-century, as the middle classes began to imitate this style, aristocratic circles began using stone exclusively. Rather late in the design process, Fouquet and Le Vau switched to stone, a decision that may have been influenced by the use of stone at François Mansart's Château de Maisons. The service buildings flanking the large avant-cour to the north of the house remained in brick and stone, and other structures preceding them were in rubble-stone and plaster, a social ranking of building materials that would be common in France for a considerable length of time thereafter.

The main chateau is constructed entirely on a moated platform, reached via two bridges, both aligned with the central axis and placed on the north and south sides. The moat is a picturesque holdover from medieval fortified residences, and is again a feature that Le Vau may have borrowed from Maisons. The moat at Vaux may also have been inspired by the previous chateau on the site, which Le Vau's work replaced.

Gardens

The château rises on an elevated platform in the middle of the woods and marks the border between unequal spaces, each treated in a different way. This effect is more distinctive today, as the woodlands are mature, than it was in the seventeenth century when the site had been farmland, and the plantations were new.

Le Nôtre's garden was the dominant structure of the great complex, stretching nearly a mile and a half (3 km), with a balanced composition of water basins and canals contained in stone curbs, fountains, gravel walks, and patterned parterres that remains more coherent than the vast display Le Nôtre was to create at Versailles.

Le Nôtre created a magnificent scene to be viewed from the house, using the laws of perspective. Le Notre used the natural terrain to his advantage. He placed the canal at the lowest part of the complex, thus hiding it from the main perspectival point of view. Past the canal, the garden ascends a large open lawn and ends with the Hercules column added in the 19th century. Shrubberies provided a picture frame to the garden that also served as a stage for royal fêtes.

From the top of the grand staircase, this gives the impression that the entire garden is revealed in one single glance. Initially, the view consists of symmetrical rows of shrubbery, avenues, fountains, statues, flowers and other pieces developed to imitate nature – these elements exemplify the Baroque desire to mold nature to fit its wishes, thus using nature to imitate nature. The centerpiece is a large reflecting pool flanked by grottos holding statues in their many niches. The grand sloping lawn is not visible until one begins to explore the garden, when the viewer is made aware of the optical elements involved and discovers that the garden is much larger than it looks.