Gripsholm Castle Open today 10.00-16.00

History

The palace gets its name from one of the personalities of medieval Sweden, Bo Jonsson Grip, by whom the first Castle was built in the second half of the 14th century.

Towards the end of the Middle Ages, the Castle was donated to a Cartesian Monastery founded in Pax Marie - the Latin name for Mariefred.

The monastery was sequestrated by the State at the Re-formation, and the Castle began to be built in 1537 under the direction of the master-builder Henrik von Köllen.

Gustav Vasa

This was Gustav Vasa's project, as part of a new system of national defences. The Castle was also intended as a fitting residence for a Renaissance ruler – Gustav Vasa.

The large Hall of State with its painted roof and its full-length portraits of Gustav Vasa and contemporary crowned heads of Europe conveys, although many times restored, a good picture of the original Gripsholm scene.

16th and 17th century

The most famous of the 16th century apartments is Duke Karl's Chamber, which is one of the best-preserved interiors of the period anywhere in Sweden.

During the 17th century (known in Sweden as the "Great Power Period"), Gripsholm was used as a dower (widow's property for life) by Queens Maria Eleonora (widow of Gustav II Adolf) and Hedvig Eleonora (widow of Karl X).

Hedvig Eleonora made considerable changes and additions, among them the Queen's Wing.

Gustav III

The reign of Gustav III in the late 18th century marked a new period of brilliance in the Castle's history. It was at this time that the exquisite theatre was fitted out in one of the round Renaissance towers of the Castle.

This is one of the best-preserved 18th century theatres in Europe.

The same period also produced Gustav III's Round Drawing Room, a counterpart to Gustav Vasa's Hall of State. In the Round Drawing Room the visitor can see portraits of Gustav III and his royal contemporaries.

National monument

During the 19th century, Gripsholm evoked strong national sentiments and the Castle came to be regarded as a national monument.

Furniture and art objects of great historic importance were transferred from the various royal residences to Gripsholm to reinforce its national character.

A much debated restoration of the Castle took place at the end of the 19th century. Critics described it as an attempt to make the Castle even older than it was.

Gripsholm today is a sampler of Swedish interior design from the 16th to the late 19th century, a unique collection of furniture and decorative arts from 400 years.

Copperplate engraving of Gripsholm Castle by the draftsman Erik Dahlbergh, from the folio Suecia antiqua et hodierna. Photo: The Royal Library

Duke Karl's Chamber. The room was decorated in the 1570s as a bed chamber for Duke Karl (IX), and remains almost untouched since his time with its carved, ornately painted wooden panelling, plastered surfaces with painted floral garlands, built-in bed and benches affixed to the wall. Photo: Kate Gabor/Royalpalaces.se

The Audience Chamber. The appearance of the room dates from just before 1850, during the time of King Oskar I, when Gripsholm Castle was first decorated in historical style. The portraits in the room depict a series of Swedish monarchs, from King Gustav Vasa to King Oskar I. Photo: Sanna Argus Tirén/Royalpalaces.se

The Green Salon. The room was decorated in around 1780 for Queen Sofia Magdalena, when her entire four-room apartment was prepared at Gripsholm Castle. This proved a popular room for the royal court – people came here to converse, read aloud, sew and embroider. Photo: Sven Nilsson

The Westphalian Gallery. The room is named after the 70 or so portraits of delegates who participated in peace negotiations in the 1640s. The negotiations resulted in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, bringing thirty years of war to an end. Photo: Lisa Raihle Rehbäck/Royalpalaces.se

Visit us

Guided tours Open today 10.00-16.00

You can walk around Gripsholm Castle yourself, but taking a guided tour can make your visit extra special.

Read more
Childrens Gripsholm Open today 10.00-16.00

Dungeons, armouries, canons, a stuffed lion. Hundreds of portraits, following you with their eyes down the winding corridors... bring you...

Read more

Events

Ten Years of Portraits 25 May – 30 Sep

The exhibition Ten Years of Portraits is a selection of portraits on show at Gripsholm Castle. Together these acquisitions are forming...

Buy ticket

Acclaimed duo Gunnar Idenstam and Lisa Rydberg interpret Bach on a very special stage: King Gustav III's Theatre at Gripsholm Castle. Th...

Buy ticket

Bellman Day in Hjorthagen Nature Reserve is a regular feature of the Gripsholm series of concerts. Bring a picnic and enjoy Bellman's mus...

Read more

Discover more at Gripsholm Castle

The Castle Open today 10.00-16.00

Gripsholm Castle boasts a unique collection of furniture and artwork spanning four centuries. Built in the 1500s it was part of a new sys...

Read more
The Swedish National Portrait Gallery Open today 10.00-16.00

Gripsholm Castle is home to the world's oldest national portrait gallery. This is also one of the world's largest portrait galleries, and...

Read more
The Royal Gift Shop Open today 10.00-16.00

Welcome to a boutique that is something out of the ordinary. The Royal Gift Shop is a unique present and souvenir shop offering products ...

Read more

A wander through the leafy castle park is like taking a walk through history. There have been many gardens over the ages here, and apples...

Read more

Since the 1600s the deer field has been a pasture land belonging to the Gripsholm Royal Farm. Today it is a nature reservation with hundr...

Read more
History Open today 10.00-16.00

The palace gets its name from one of the personalities of medieval Sweden, Bo Jonsson Grip, by whom the first Castle was built in the sec...

Read more

Articles and movies

During the summer, all ten royal palaces and their museums, parks, chapels, shops and cafés will be open.

Read more

This year’s Portrait of Honour is the professor and designer Ingegerd Råman and was created by the photographer Bruno Ehrs. He has depict...

Read more

See the programme for this summer's Music at Gripsholm series of concerts. Discover renaissance music, chamber music, folk music, jazz, s...

Read more

Customer service

Opening hours: Open today 10.00-16.00

FAQ

  • Is it possible to take wedding photos in the palace parks?

    It is permitted to take wedding photos for private use in our palace parks. Please respect the following: it is not permitted to set up bulky photography equipment and/or props, to cordon off or drive vehicles onto our park areas or in any other way disturb other park visitors.
    Please note the special stipulations for photography in our Image and Media Gallery.

  • Can I pre-book a ticket for the general palace tours?

    Tickets can be purchased on the same day at any of our ticket offices; no advance purchase available.

  • Are there any storage lockers at the royal palaces?

    The Royal Palace of Stockholm: There are a few storage lockers available at Tickets & Information and in the Tre Kronor Museum. However, we would recommend not bringing any large bags with you. The other royal palaces and visitor attractions: No storage lockers available.

  • Can I take my bag into the royal palaces?

    Small bags are permitted at our visitor attractions. Rucksacks should be carried in your hand or on your front. Do not leave any bags unattended. Bags and cases with wheels are not permitted.

  • Can I take a pushchair into the royal palaces?

    Pushchairs are not permitted indoors.

More FAQ