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).

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Details

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

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ruud Jacobs (4 months ago)
Nice old castle, haven't been inside, but beautiful on the outside.
Eken (6 months ago)
An old castle that has burned down a couple of times. Not as impressive as it used to be (I assume) but still worth a visit. Three different exhibitions in the castle; the old days 13th century, the renaissance and modern time 19th century when the castle was used as a prison. We also took a guided tour of the castle named “walls, besieged and defence “ that was really good. Also stroll over to the pond where you can see the rare red water lilys,
Bastian Fromm (6 months ago)
Very interesting historical site. Excellent staff, ambitious exhibitions and good for kids, too.
Simon Larsson (10 months ago)
An iconic, historical place, a must-see when in town. In the summer, there are markets with merchants and actors in costume.
Kent Molinder (2 years ago)
Nice, with Swedish history all over.
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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".