Svartsjö Palace

Rococo palace and prison

The young Carl Hårleman was the architect in vogue when in 1734 he was tasked with designing a hunting residence for Fredrik I and Ulrika Eleonora. Hårleman had travelled in Europe, and in Svartsjö Palace you can see clear inspiration from French Rococo-style rural châteaux from the same period. The palace then became a model for several manor houses in Sweden.

But the palace also has a murky history. From the end of the nineteenth century until 1966 it was used as a prison. In the halls and rooms of the palace were constructed 337 cells, with metal walls and grille doors. When the palace was renovated between 1994-2003, reconstructions were created not just of the eighteenth-century furnishings with Rococo wallpaper, but also a few prison cells.

The palace is not open to the public at present but the park is well worth a visit. The oldest oaks date from the Middle Ages, and there are a number of rare plants here, including Corydalis cava, ramsons and yellow wood anemone. Listen to the birdsong while you look for the protected Great Crested Newt in the pond.

Facilities:

  • WC
  • Café
  • Parking
  • Path
  • Park
  • Conference