Gripsholm Castle, Mariefred
Gripsholm Castle is situated in the small town of Mariefred in Södermanland, on the shores of Lake Mälaren. The place 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 Pacis Mariae - the Latin name for Mariefred.
The monastery was sequestrated by the State at the Reformation, and the Castle began to be built in 1537 under the direction of the master-builder Henrik von Köllen. 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. 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.
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. 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. The Castle is internationally known for its outstanding collection of portraits - the Swedish national collection - featuring prominent Swedes from the days of Gustav Vasa down to the present. Each year, the Gripsholm Association commissions "portraits of honour" of eminent Swedes for the Gripsholm collection.
Here are some of my pictures of Gripsholms Palace from my visit there yesterday - July 16, 2004:
Nicodemus Tessin was the architect who Queen Hedvig Eleonora commissioned to add the queen's wing to Gripsholm Castle.
Photos from Gripsholm Castle, from the Flickr of the National Museum
One of the rooms in Gripsholm Castle, from Victoria's visit last week.
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The National Property Board of Sweden tells about how the patinated silk wallpaper will replaced by hand-painted replica.
An exciting and different wallpaper project is going on right now at Gripsholm Castle. The silk wallpaper in the Queen's little cabinet, after about 250 years, shall be replaced. When the originals proved to be too worn and fragile to be restored, now the National Property Board allows instead replace the wallpaper with a regenerated silk taffeta in red - a fantastic craft where large parts of the pattern is painted by hand.
The intrepid visitor to Gripsholm Castle will be surprised when the wallpaper in autumn 2016, is expected to be in place in the Queen's little cabinet. In all the years that the original wallpaper has been up, the light has faded fabric to a beige yellow bottom shade. When the strips were removed during disassembly, it was instead a bright coral color that came up.
- The contrast between the two colors was strong, we were all very surprised. For the sake of history and respect for those who worked with the silk from the beginning we decided to return to the original hue, says Jörgen Ore, management technique at the National Property Board.
The 60-meter-long fabric will be printed in spring 2016. Then it will take about six months for decoration painter to with fine brush to paint the leaf veins and flowers contours.
Original wallpaper from the Queen's little cabinet will be well taken care of. The National Property Board is currently working on setting up a space air-conditioning in the castle's attic in which among other things the removed the wallpaper will be preserved for the future.
Patinerad sidentapet på Gripsholms slott ersätts av handmålad replik - Statens fastighetsverk
Photos of Gripsholm Castle, by photographer and antique dealer Håkan Groth.
Prince Karl's Chamber
The round White Salon
The Queen's Audience Room, now called the Yellow Salon.
Princess Sofia Albertina's Mistress of the Robes room
The bedroom used by the actress Sophie Hagman (1758-1826) when she was accompanying her lover Prince Fredric to Gripsholm.
Gripsholm Castle houses the Swedish National Portrait Gallery. This portrait is of Count Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie and his wife the Countess Palatine Marie Euphrosyne of Zweibrücken painted in 1653 by Hendrik Munnichhoven.
Gustaf IV Adolf (1778-1837).
King Gustaf V of Sweden (1858-1950) painted in 1929 by Bernhard Österman.
The Court Theatre at Gripsholm
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