Skokloster Castle is on the Sko peninsula by Lake Mälaren between Stockholm and Uppsala. With its collections and well-preserved surroundings, the castle is a magnificent representation of Sweden’s era as a major power. The construction of the building began in 1654 by Carl Gustaf Wrangel, a prominent military man and one of the most powerful men in the Swedish Empire.
Skokloster Castle is considered one of Europe’s most outstanding baroque castles and is the biggest private palace ever built in Sweden. The inspiration for the castle’s special octagonal towers is believed to have come from the Ujazdów Castle in Warsaw, where Wrangel was a general during Charles X Gustav’s Polish war.
A tourist destination even in the 18th century
Wrangel’s eldest daughter Margareta Juliana inherited the castle and took it over together with her husband, Nils Brahe. She set up an entailed estate in 1701, a form of ownership with the effect that future owners had to preserve the castle and its collections for future generations. Later on in the 18th century there was a high level of interest in the Swedish Empire, and Skokloster Castle became a popular destination even then.
The restoration of Skokloster Castle
The Swedish State acquired the castle in 1967 and initiated an extensive restoration programme. They used traditional materials and work methods, with the aim of applying the building techniques of the 17th century. The Swedish National Property Board has a long-term plan for maintenance applying the same principles, and one of many measures they have taken is to relay the castle’s unique roof.
Wrangel the collector
The castle was built as a magnificent home at which to entertain. Carl Gustaf Wrangel was a keen collector and consumer of luxurious goods, and he built up an amazing collection of furniture, art, books, tools, weapons and other artefacts.
Skokloster Castle today is a magnificent museum with vast collections from the baroque and other periods. There is also a café, a museum shop, a permanent exhibition of building history and various exhibition areas. In the surrounding area, the castle park, the 13th century church and Skoklosters Wärdshus are all well worth a visit.
The architect was probably the master builder Caspar Vogel from Thüringen, although it is believed that Nicodemus Tessin the elder also contributed drawings for the façade. The baroque garden was designed by Jean de la Vallée. Skokloster Castle is managed by the Swedish National Property Board.
- Wheelchair ramp