Medieval castles in 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

Göksholm Castle

Göksholm is the oldest privately-owned building in Sweden that has been continuously inhabited.In the middle ages Göksholm was just a fortified castle with a large tower. Its oldest existent parts have been dated to the 13th century. It was built (rebuilt and enlarged) during the Middle Ages through six different stages.After a fire at the end of the 16th century, the building was modernized according to that pe ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Stora Mellösa, Sweden

Mörby Castle Ruins

Mörby was first mentioned 1387 as built by the knight Henrik Damerow. Since 1452 it was owned by Oxenstierna family over 250 years. 1550 the castle was rebuilt after a fire. In 1733 it was left as a decay and the roof was ripped off and moved to Ekeby Castle. Finally Mörby was destroyed by fire in 1740. Today still impressive ruins remain including a tower body.
Founded: 1387 | Location: Rånäs, Sweden

Aose Castle Ruins

Ruins of Aose Castle are located close to the port of Åhus. This fortress, probably built in the 12th century and again in 1286, was protected by a high wall and a moat spanned by a drawbridge. It was destroyed in 1569 by Duke Karl, later to become King Karl IX of Sweden, and the ruins were gradually covered by drifting sand before being excavated in the late 1800s. It has always been widely assumed that the castle ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Åhus, Sweden

Hammersta Castle Ruins

Hammersta castle was a 13x18m wide two-storey stone building built around the year 1300 by Eringilse Nilsson, who"s father was married to a sister of Bridget of Sweden. Eringilse"s son (with the same name), was married to a Danish woman, Brita Olofsdotter Tott, and when the situation between Sweden and Denmark became tense around 1450, Tott was sentenced to death for spying for the Danes. Luckily for Brita she w ...
Founded: c. 1300 | Location: Nynäshamn, Sweden

Rumlaborg Castle Ruins

Rumlaborg castle was built around 1360 - the first written record dates from 1366. In 1434 it was burned down during the so-called Engelbrekt rebellion and rebuilt again in 1448 by Karl Knutsson Bonde. In the 17th century the castle lost its defensive purpose and in 1850s the site was moved as a park with pavillion.
Founded: c. 1360 | Location: Huskvarna, Sweden

Olsborg Castle Ruins

Olsborg Castle, also Olofsborg, was as a fortified castle located on a steep cliff, and might previous to later use been an early hill fort. It was constructed in 1503 or 1504 by the squire Nils Ragvaldsson from Åby, after a recent Swedish attack on Viken. Most of it was destroyed shortly after, when the commander of Bohus Fortress Otto Rud attacked on Christmas night 1504. After the turmoil created by the dethrone ...
Founded: 1503-1504 | Location: Sotenäs, Sweden

Almarestäkets Castle Ruins

Almarestäkets castle was built in the 1100s to protect the Sigtuna and Uppsala cities. It was also called as St. Erik"s castle after Eric IX. Throughout the Middle Ages there was a struggle between the Crown and Church who can control the castle. The castle was first mentioned in the late 1300s. In 1440 got Archbishop Nicolaus Ragvaldi permission to build a new castle, which was completed about ten years later. ...
Founded: 1440s | Location: Stäket, 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.