Gripsholm Castle

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Gripsholm Castle is considered one of the best preserved historical monuments in Sweden. Known as the Gripsholm Renaissance castle, the castle is located in Mariefred, located in Södermanland, occupying the south central part of the country.

The beautiful Gripsholm Castle is located about 60 kilometers west of Stockholm, and stands on the picturesque lake of Mälaren. Today, tourists are able to reach this magnificent palace, thanks to an exciting walk along the water aboard a steam ship.

Gripsholm Palace on the lake Mälaren

Gripsholm Castle was built over 450 years ago and today the walk in it guarantees one a real trip back in time thanks to the authentic furniture, interior parts and restorations. The foundations of the mansion were laid in 1537, replacing an older building, existing since 1380 as a personal possession of Bo Jonsson Grip.

The King took ownership of this kind of decision because of the mass confiscation of mansions and palaces of King Gustav I in 1526. His monarch stood in 16th century and the New Castle Gripsholm had fortified walls and watchtowers at each corner. Today, the original medieval structure of Gripsholm recalls only a central part of the facade of the fortress.

From the time of Gustav Vasa, Gripsholm Castle began to be used as a royal residence and remained so until 1713. Shortly before that date the castle keeps the memory of a rainy day for many royal persons and rulers who were imprisoned in the dungeons of the palace.

Gripsholm again was used as a prison between 1713 and 1773, before King Gustav III and his wife Sofia Magdalena decided it to be thoroughly renovated and restored. After that repair appeared the theater in one of the towers of the fortress.

In the landmark years of 1889 and 1894 the castle underwent another major renovation. The work was headed by the architect Fredrik Lilljekvist, and many accuse him that his work "robbed" a large part of the historic architectural heritage of the palace.

With this repair, within Gripsholm were removed much of the details that had emerged over the structure within the 17th and 18th century. The architect provided a demolition of one of the wings, but that never took place.

Today the castle has been turned into an attractive tourist attraction based on its main function as a museum. Gripsholm houses the National Portrait Collection of Sweden, which is considered one of the largest collections of portraits in the world. Besides that the castle visitors can see much more artwork.

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