Castles in Scania

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

Bjärsjölagård Castle

There was originally a strong fortified castle Beritzholm few hundred meters from the present Bjärsjölagård Castle. It was built by Valdemar Atterdag in the 1300s and demolished in 1526. Peter Julius Coyet bought the estate from Crown in 1720. There was a lime factory in the beginning of the 19th century and two ovens still remain. The current main building was built in Rococo style in 1766 and the souther ...
Founded: 1766-1850 | Location: Sjöbo, 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

Sinclairsholm Castle

Sinclairsholm estate was established in 1620 by Anders Sinclair. The current main building was built in 1788 after the previous one was damaged by fire. Today the estate hosts a restaurant, which is available for parties, weddings etc.
Founded: 1788 | Location: Vinslöv, Sweden

Sövdeborg Castle

Sövdeborg area belonged to bishops of Lund in the Middle Ages, but after Reformation the Crown of Denmark sold it to Frederik Lange in 1587. He built the new castle to the southern side of small Sövdesjön lake between 1590-1597. It consisted of a moat, tower and central section with two wings. Count Erik Piper made an major reconstruction to the castle in 1840-1844. Sövdeborg is open to the public. Th ...
Founded: 1590-1597 | Location: Sjöbo, Sweden

Toppeladugård Castle

Toppeladugård was originally farm of the Häckeberga castle. It was divided as an estate in 1720 by Christina Piper. The current two-storey main building and two wings were built in 1918-1920 by the design of Lars Johan Lehming. Today it is privately owned.
Founded: 1918-1920 | Location: Genarp, Sweden

Vegeholm Castle

Vegeholm Castle was first built as a danish castle in the early 16th century, and was burned in 1525. It was rebuilt again in 1630 by the Danish Tyge Krabbe. It was owned by his family until 1663, when it was bought by Gustaf Otto Stenbock. After his death it was first possessed by Olof Nilsson Engelholm and thereafter by Johan Cedercrantz. His family owned Vegeholm Castle until 1814 when it was thoroughly renovated. It c ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Ängelholm, Sweden

Viderup Castle

Viderup Manor was built at the beginning of the 17th century by Anne Brahe. The main building represents the Renaissance style and is surrounded by a moat. The exterior is still mainly original. Since 18th century the castle has been owned by Ramel family and is today a farm.
Founded: 1617-1623 | Location: Eslöv, 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

Örup Castle

Örup Castle was completed around the year 1500. Together with Glimmingehus, Bollerup and Tosterup, the castles were built as defenses in an uncertain and dangerous time, when the Swedes and Danes fought over power and lords believed they must protect their own soil against both external enemies. Örup was first mentioned in 1437 when it was owned by Danish family Qvitzow. Later it has been a residence of Flemmin ...
Founded: ca. 1500 | Location: Tomelilla, 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

Tunbyholm Castle

Tunbyholm castle was built in between 1634-1640 and it may be the best example of so-called Renaissance style of Christian IV of Denmark. The main building has today two floors and two annexes. It is privately owned and not open to the public.
Founded: 1634-1640 | Location: Smedstorp, Sweden

Smedstorp Castle

Smedstorp Castle was owned by noble family Bing between 1313-1589. Later it has been a residence of families Quitzow, Bülow and Kruus. The present main building was originally the great hall of the castle built in the 16th century. Today there is no more remains of the original castle. Smedstorp is not open to the public.
Founded: 16th century | Location: Smedstorp, Sweden

Dybäck Castle

Dybäck estate was first mentioned in the 1300s. It was owned by several Danish noble families like Munck, Bille and Marsvin. In 1684 it was divided between Jorgen and Christian Bille. Their family owned the estate until 1857. The oldest building is a barracks, built in the late 1400s. The main building was built in the 1500s and enlarged about hundred years later. Today Dybäck is privately owned and not open to the pub ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Skivarp, Sweden

Börringekloster Castle

Börringekloster Castle, formerly Börringe Priory, is a castle built in 1763 on the ruins of a medieval Benedictine priory. The priory was founded about 1150 under Eskil, Archbishop of Lund, for Benedictine monks. However, by 1231 Börringe Priory is mentioned in Liber Census Daniae as a nunnery located on the island of Byrdingø in Börringe Lake, on land which Valdemar II of Denmark had once set a ...
Founded: 1763 | Location: Börringe, 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

Björnstorp Castle

Björnstorp Castle was built in 1752 and reshaped in 1860-1880, with its final appearance set in 1868, by architect Helgo Zettervall. The original builder was Christina Törnflyckt who was married to famous stateman Carl Piper. The castle represents romantic Rococo style.
Founded: 1752 | Location: Genarp, Sweden

Garsnäs Castle

The history of Garsnäs estate dates from the 13th century, but the current castle was built in the 1500-1600s. It has been owned by several families and the Crown of Sweden during the centuries. Today Garsnäs castle provides wedding and event services.
Founded: 16th century | Location: Gärsnäs, Sweden

Gyllebohus

Gyllebohus was a medieval Danish castle. The earliest known owner was Verner Brahe in 1280. The stone castle was built between 1538-1544 Laurids Lauridsen Knob and was one of the largest castles in Scania. It was burned down several times in wars, the latest destruction happened in 1700. Today some fragments remain of Gyllebohus. The adjacent manor house was built Hedwig Sofia Schönström in 1813-1818 and it is p ...
Founded: 1538-1544 | Location: Gärsnäs, Sweden

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Quimper Cathedral

From 1239, Raynaud, the Bishop of Quimper, decided on the building of a new chancel destined to replace that of the Romanesque era. He therefore started, in the far west, the construction of a great Gothic cathedral which would inspire cathedral reconstructions in the Ile de France and would in turn become a place of experimentation from where would later appear ideas adopted by the whole of lower Brittany. The date of 1239 marks the Bishop’s decision and does not imply an immediate start to construction. Observation of the pillar profiles, their bases, the canopies, the fitting of the ribbed vaults of the ambulatory or the alignment of the bays leads us to believe, however, that the construction was spread out over time.

The four circular pillars mark the start of the building site, but the four following adopt a lozenge-shaped layout which could indicate a change of project manager. The clumsiness of the vaulted archways of the north ambulatory, the start of the ribbed vaults at the height of the south ambulatory or the choice of the vaults descending in spoke-form from the semi-circle which allows the connection of the axis chapel to the choir – despite the manifest problems of alignment – conveys the hesitancy and diverse influences in the first phase of works which spread out until the start of the 14th century.

At the same time as this facade was built (to which were added the north and south gates) the building of the nave started in the east and would finish by 1460. The nave is made up of six bays with one at the level of the facade towers and flanked by double aisles – one wide and one narrow (split into side chapels) – in an extension of the choir arrangements.

The choir presents four right-hand bays with ambulatory and side chapels. It is extended towards the east of 3-sided chevet which opens onto a semi-circle composed of five chapels and an apsidal chapel of two bays and a flat chevet consecrated to Our Lady.

The three-level elevation with arches, triforium and galleries seems more uniform and expresses anglo-Norman influence in the thickness of the walls (Norman passageway at the gallery level) or the decorative style (heavy mouldings, decorative frieze under the triforium). This building site would have to have been overseen in one shot. Undoubtedly interrupted by the war of Succession (1341-1364) it draws to a close with the building of the lierne vaults (1410) and the fitting of stained-glass windows. Bishop Bertrand de Rosmadec and Duke Jean V, whose coat of arms would decorate these vaults, finished the chancel before starting on the building of the facade and the nave.

Isolated from its environment in the 19th century, the cathedral was – on the contrary – originally very linked to its surroundings. Its site and the orientation of the facade determined traffic flow in the town. Its positioning close to the south walls resulted in particuliarities such as the transfer of the side gates on to the north and south facades of the towers: the southern portal of Saint Catherine served the bishop’s gate and the hospital located on the left bank (the current Préfecture) and the north gate was the baptismal porch – a true parish porch with its benches and alcoves for the Apostles’ statues turned towards the town, completed by an ossuary (1514).

The west porch finds its natural place between the two towers. The entire aesthetic of these three gates springs from the Flamboyant era: trefoil, curly kale, finials, large gables which cut into the mouldings and balustrades. Pinnacles and recesses embellish the buttresses whilst an entire bestiary appears: monsters, dogs, mysterious figures, gargoyles, and with them a whole imaginary world promoting a religious and political programme. Even though most of the saints statues have disappeared an armorial survives which makes the doors of the cathedral one of the most beautiful heraldic pages imaginable: ducal ermine, the Montfort lion, Duchess Jeanne of France’s coat of arms side by side with the arms of the Cornouaille barons with their helmets and crests. One can imagine the impact of this sculpted decor with the colour and gilding which originally completed it.

At the start of the 16th century the construction of the spires was being prepared when building was interrupted, undoubtedly for financial reasons. Small conical roofs were therefore placed on top of the towers. The following centuries were essentially devoted to putting furnishings in place (funeral monuments, altars, statues, organs, pulpit). Note the fire which destroyed the spire of the transept cross in 1620 as well as the ransacking of the cathedral in 1793 when nearly all the furnishings disappeared in a « bonfire of the saints ».

The 19th century would therefore inherit an almost finished but mutilated building and would devote itself to its renovation according to the tastes and theories of the day.