The present Ekenäs castle was built in the 17th century on top of the foundations of a medieval fortress from the 14th century. Ekenäs is one of the best preserved renaissance castles in Sweden with its three impressive shingled towers. Its military character is clearly shown by the surrounding moat and its situation on a cliff on the shore of a lake which has since been drained. One of the first owners of the property was Svante Sture, who lived during the reign of King Erik XIV. Sture built the first stonehouse built on this rock in 1562. Baron Peder Banér, councellor of the King, owned Ekenäs in 1630 - 1644. The castle was built in a Renaissance style.

Ekenäs is, and has always been, a privately owned castle. Visitors are welcome year-round, however, the castle itself is only open during the summer. A jousting tournament and Medieval festival has been held here in May/June every year since 1993.

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Address

Ekenäs, Linköping, Sweden
See all sites in Linköping

Details

Founded: 1630 - 1644
Category: Castles and fortifications in Sweden
Historical period: Swedish Empire (Sweden)

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Andreea Galetschi (3 months ago)
One of the few castels in Sweden that really looks like a castel not only a mansion-like who got the name "castel".
Ted Kruijff (4 months ago)
Gorgeous castle which is quite well hidden. On the drive up to the castle you drive over a hill and suddenly there's this massive castle visible through the trees. We visited in September, but in May there's a knights show, according to the markings of a vehicle parked nearby. It's definitely worth checking out and for a walk around the grounds.
Sunshine Renard (5 months ago)
Very beautiful place! We really enjoyed the tour, it's a pity they talked about ghosts a bit, but it wasn't mainly about that so we enjoyed the rest :). The tour guide was very entertaining!
Dmitri B (5 months ago)
Nice, cozy, few people.
Eva (6 months ago)
Looked interesting, beautiful scenery but the castle and the cafeteria where closed eventhough it should have been open according to the written schedule.
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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 nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).

Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.

Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.

An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".