Linköping Castle

Linköping, Sweden

Linköping Castle is Sweden's oldest profane building. The oldest part, west wing, dates from the 12th century. Currently the residence of the County Governor of Östergötland, the castle has been home to governors and bishops since the 13th century. The most famous bishop to live in castle was probably Hans Brask, Sweden's last Catholic bishop.

The Linköping Bloodbath, the public execution by beheading of five Swedish nobles in the aftermath of the Battle of Stångebro, in 1600 was held in either in Linköping market square or in the castle courtyard.

In 1700 most of Linköping city burned down, but the cathedral and castle survived. The decayed castle was moved as a city prison. The restoration began In 1796 and then the castle got its classicism style appearance. In 1880 it was again renovated to the neo-Renaissance style, but restored back to the current classicism in 1930s.

The old tower of the museum features an exhibit of the history of the castle, cathedral and diocese from the 12th century to today. Unique 14th century textiles and other valuables - especially from Sweden's empire period - are on display in the treasury. You can see a big model of the castle's state apartments in the great hall.

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Details

Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Sweden
Historical period: Consolidation (Sweden)

Rating

4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Light Code (5 months ago)
Great
Jenneke van der Velden (16 months ago)
Nice museum with very interesting history
Dennis H (2 years ago)
It's wonderful
Henrik Berglund (2 years ago)
Nice and old
Eva Km (3 years ago)
Having a boyfriend who is a history freak means that I get dragged into visiting various museums in various cities. There are worse things that can happen, you may say... but let's say I'm usually obliged to follow his request and accompany him to see all the archaic relics. This museum is no exception. Located a stone's throw away from the Linköping cathedral, the Linköping castle used to be the bishop's residence (It turned out, I did learn something about history). It's pretty neat if you lived there and worked at the church, no commuting necessary. When you get inside the museum entrance, the museum shop is right there on the entrance and you buy the ticket (60 kr for adult) from the cashier. You go to the right wing first to learn about the building's history where you could see the inside construction of the building, sort of. After that, you continue your visit to the upper floor. We were there during the exhibition called "Årets mat" and I was hoping to learn more about what kind of food they grew and eat during the year 1500 but was disappointed to see that the exhibition turned out very small indeed. We gave it a round and that's it. It could have been very interesting otherwise. That's why I only gave it two stars, not because I was dragged into this place (ha!) but because their exhibition turned out to be disappointing and the museum was actually very small, it was just one wing of the castle - they could've opened more part of the castle and showed more relics, after all it's a Castle and Cathedral museum.
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Limburg Cathedral

The Cathedral of Limburg is one of the best preserved late Romanesque style buildings. It is unknown When the first church was built above the Lahn river. Archaeological discoveries have revealed traces of a 9th-century church building in the area of the current chapel. It was probably built in Merovingian times as a castle and the chapel added in the early 9th century.

In 910 AD, Count Konrad Kurzbold (cousin of the future King Konrad I) founded a collegiate chapter of 18 canons, who lived according to the rule of Bishop Chrodegang of Metz, on the hilltop site. The original castle chapel was torn down and a three-aisled basilica was built in its place. The foundations of this basilica have been found beneath the present floor.

The construction of current cathedral is dated to 1180-90. The consecration was performed in 1235 by the archbishop of Trier. It seems certain that the cathedral was built in four stages. The first stage encompassed the west facade, the south side aisle, the choir and the transept up to the matroneum. This section forms the Conradine church. The second stage consisted of the addition of the inner pillars of the south nave. In this stage the bound system was first introduced. In the third phase, the matroneum in the southern nave was built. The fourth stage included the north side of the transept and the choir matroneum. By this stage Gothic influence is very clear.

The interior was destroyed by Swedish soldiers during the Thirty Years War (1618-48) and reconstructed in a late Baroque style in 1749. The Baroque renovation was heavy-handed: the surviving medieval stained glass windows were replaced; all the murals were covered up; the ribs of the vaults and columns of the arcades were painted blue and red; the capstones were gilded; the original high altar was replaced. The colorfully painted exterior was coated in plain white and the central tower was extended by 6.5 meters.

The collegiate chapter of Limburg was dissolved in 1803 during the Napoleonic period, but then raised to the rank of cathedral in 1827 when the bishopric of Limburg was founded. Some renovations in contemporary style followed: the walls were coated white, the windows were redone in blue and orange (the heraldic colors of the Duke of Nassau) and towers were added to the south transept (1865).

Further changes came after Limburg was incorporated into the Kingdom of Prussia in 1866. It was now the Romantic period and the cathedral was accordingly restored to an idealized vision of its original Romanesque appearance. The exterior stonework was stripped of all its plaster and paint, to better conform with the Romantic ideal of a medieval church growing out of the rock. The Baroque interior was stripped away and the wall paintings were uncovered and repainted.

Further renovations came in 1934-35, enlightened by better knowledge of the original art and architecture. Art Nouveau stained glass windows were also added. A major restoration in 1965-90 included replastering and painting the exterior, both to restore it to its original appearance and to protect the stonework, which was rapidly deteriorating while exposed to the elements.

The interior is covered in medieval frescoes dating from 1220 to 1235. They are magnificent and important survivals, but time has not been terribly kind to them - they were whitewashed over in the Baroque period (1749) and uncovered and repainted with a heavy hand in the Romantic period (1870s) before finally being restored more sensitively in the 1980s.