Nyköping Castle

Nyköping, Sweden

Nyköping Castle is a medieval castle from the Birger Jarl era, partly in ruins. The castle is mostly known for the ghastly Nyköping Banquet which took place here in 1317. The construction of the castle began in the end of the 12th century, when it began as a fortification. It is thought Birger Jarl expanded the building to a larger castle. During the reign of Albert of Sweden the castle was held as a fief by the German knight Raven van Barnekow, who made important improvements on the building, and later by Bo Jonsson Grip. Further reconstructions and expansions were done during the late Middle Ages. Gustav Vasa strengthened the castle further for defensive purposes and a round gun tower from that time remains today.

The medieval castle was rebuilt in the end of the 16th century by Duke Charles (later Charles IX of Sweden) into a renaissance palace. The palace burned down with the rest of the city in 1665. It wasn't reerected; in fact some of its bricks were used in the construction of Stockholm Palace. However, parts of the castle were sound enough to be used as county residence until the 1760s.

Parts of the castle were refurbished in the 20th century. Kungstornet (the King's Tower) and Gamla residenset (the Old Residence) currently house the permanent exhibits of Sörmlands museum (the Museum of Södermanland). A restaurant is located in the banquet hall and Drottningkällaren (the Queen's Cellar).

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 1317
Category: Castles and fortifications in Sweden
Historical period: Consolidation (Sweden)

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nastya Vetoshnikova (6 months ago)
Wow museum with a lot of interesting info and awesome paper models of castle and some scenes of life.
Nilansh Jain (8 months ago)
Quaint little city close to Stockholm Skavasta airport. We were waiting for our train to Stockholm and had an hour so went to a nearby castle. The history was rich and there was also a stream outside of it. Spent a good hour.
Gerald Reisz (9 months ago)
This is an unexpected gem in the town of Nyköping. The museum is located in the King's Tower part of the old castle. We thought we would be there 15 minutes. We spent over two hours. Admission is free. English language guides are provided on each level of the tower. You can learn a lot about the last thousand years of Swedish history outside of Stockholm. For example, what crimes would put you in jail in medieval Sweden and for how long? Another plus, no tour groups.
Joakim Emanuelsson (9 months ago)
Good familj event, kids loved the guiding
Jiahao Sun (10 months ago)
The place itself is well planned. Obviously. I guess kids would like it very much.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Porta Nigra

The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

In 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings. The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors.