Gripsholm Castle

Mariefred, Sweden

Gripsholm Castle is regarded as one of Sweden's finest historical monuments. A fortress was built at the location around 1380 by Bo Jonsson Grip, and belonged to his family until the confiscation of mansions and castles by King Gustav I in 1526. The King tore it down, and built a fortified castle with circular corner towers and a wall, for defensive purposes. Of the original medieval fortress, only the façade of a wall remains.

Since Gustav Vasa, Gripsholm has belonged to the Swedish Royal Family and was used as their residence until 1713. Between 1563 and 1567, King Eric XIV imprisoned his brother John and his consort Catherine Jagiellon in the castle. This was also one of the castles that King Eric was imprisoned in when John had overthrown him. John's son Sigismund, later the King of Poland and Sweden, was born in the castle on June 20, 1566.

The castle was again used as a prison between 1713 and 1773, before it was renovated by King Gustav III on behalf of his consort Sophia Magdalena. A theater was also added in one of the towers at this time.

Between 1889 and 1894, the castle underwent a heavy and controversial restoration by the architect Fredrik Lilljekvist during which many of the 17th and 18th-century alterations were removed. The largest change was the addition of a third floor; the planned demolition of a wing did not take place.

Today the castle is a museum which is open to the public, containing paintings and works of art. Part of the castle houses the National Collection of Portraits (Statens porträttsamlingar), one of the oldest portrait collection in the world.

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Details

Founded: 16th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Sweden
Historical period: Early Vasa Era (Sweden)

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Osnat Hazan (10 months ago)
Situated I Mariefeld , one of the most beautiful towns, 50 km west of Stockholm.
Henry Edward Hardy (11 months ago)
Nice little Vasa era castle. Attractive grounds. Gift shop, displays.
Ron (11 months ago)
Great place. Interesting castle. Good nature and park zones
Nat Ho (11 months ago)
One of the most picturesque castles not far from Stockholm. Recommend the guided tour to see the castle, hear the stories and encounter the quirky art.
Elena Kubyshkina (14 months ago)
Well worth a day trip from Stockholm. You can easily spend two hours in the castle itself and then stroll around the lovely old town of Mariefred.
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