There has been a castle or stronghold in Johannesberg since the 11th century. The hill surrounded by water has been easy to defend. During the 12th century a chief named Gutti lived here and the whole area became Gutti´s area, later on Gottröra, which is the name of the place today. Gutti divided the area into two parts, the south and the north. The south part – presently Johannesberg – was called Djursby.
The owner of Djursby during the later part of the 17th century was Johan Leijonhufvud. He gave the estate to a close relative, Adam Lewenhaupt, who named it Johannesberg after Johan Leijonhufvud. Lewenhaupt died in Russian captivity and was never to see Johannesberg again. After Lewenhaupt the estate was owned by different nobility families – Banér, Gyllenstierna, Horn af Åminne and Lagergren. At the end of the 19th century Johannesberg was taken over by a Mr Grönwall, a wholesale dealer. During his time the main building unfortunately burnt down. The next owner, Mr Conti, built the present mail building around the turn of the century.
The estate was bought in 1930’s by Bergengren, who at the end of the decade owned many estates in Sweden, England and France. Bergengren is still the owner of the agricultural part of Johannesberg.
During World War II Bergengren rented out the main building and several crofters cottages to the Swedish government and under the management of the manager for the Criminal Technical Institution, Harry Söderman, Norwegian refugees were here officially beeing educated to police men. In fact they were educated to join the resistance movement. At the maximum there were about 1500 Norwegians here for education. Many of them have through comrade clubs kept in touch with each other after their return to Norway. They have collected money and this resulted in a monument beeing raised in the castle park at Johannesberg in June 1990.
In 1987 Johannesberg was bought by a private company. It was restored, the two wings were built ant the estate was ready to take into use in the springtime 1989. The golf course with 27 holes was set up and opened in 1991. A club house with swimming pool was ready at the same time. The castle is owned and operated since 1995 by the family Manfred and Mariette Kuhl.References:
The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.
In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.
The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.
A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.