Julita Manor and open-air museum is located at the site of former Cistercian Julita abbey. The monastery was originally founded in 1160 at Viby, close to Sigtuna, but under the patronage of King Knut Eriksson, who donated land and a right to parts of the fishing at Älvkarleby, it was moved in 1180 to Säby by the lake Öljaren in Julita. The monastery was therefore also known as Säby, or Saba in Latin. It continued to receive rich donations from King Erik Knutsson (1210-1216), and later from other members of the aristocracy and royal circles. It was finally the owner of some 80 farms, mostly in Södermanland. At the time of the Protestant Reformation, King Gustavus Vasa appropriated the abbey and gave it in fief to Olof Arvidsson, a bailiff in Nyköping, in 1527. The secular estate thus created later had various possessors, including members of the Palbitzki and Lewenhaupt families.
In 1944, the Nordic Museum assumed the ownership of the estate in accordance with the will of the last private owner, Artur Bäckström. The manor is now a large open air museum, incorporating a small part of the abbey in the basement of one of its wings, which is open to the public. Together with another small building originally located outside the cloisters, this is all that can be seen of the abbey today, though archaeological excavations have revealed the full extent of the main abbey buildings.References:
The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.
The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.
The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.
The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.
Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.
The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.