Thanks to a friend in my MB club I got to know about Skånelaholm Castle It’s a beautiful small castle, located close to a lake, not far away from Stockholm city.
Kungliga Vitterhetsakademin describes the castle and its history:
"Stockholm’s perhaps least-known country castle lies imbedded in verdure on Lake Fysingen close to Upplands Väsby. Skånelaholms Castle was built c. 1639–1643 by Chief Justice of Appeal Andreas Gyldenklou in the German-Dutch late Renaissance style, with a façade of brick. The estate is mentioned as early as 1276, in a bill of sale when Magnus Ladulås sold the property to Skokloster Castle. The castle has not had many owners; for the longest period, from 1742 to 1918, Skånelaholm was in the possession of the Jennings family, owners of ironworks. In the 1890s the original brick façade was covered with stucco, and rich window casings and ornamentations were added. Today the castle and wings have been restored to their appearance in the final decade of the 19th century.
Parked Ponton in front of the castle, the wing with the coffee shop is to the right
IHerbert Rettig purchased the castle in 1929. He was its last private owner. In 1962 Herbert and Ing-Marie Rettig donated the castle to the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities so that it could “be preserved in pristine form as a cultural heritage.”
Heading for the parking lot
Today the castle contains furniture, art, books, and a large number of rustic artefacts that were collected by the Rettig family, who had a keen interest in local culture. A natura medica cabinet from the 18th century and a collection of carriages from the 19th century are among the attractions at the castle. There was probably some form of garden early on, but a survey map from the 1680s shows only meadows, fields, and a hop garden. In the middle of the 18th century a magnificent garden was created, and in the early 19th century it was turned into a landscape park based on English models, with promenades and avenues. Parts of the avenues remain in place. In the northern part of the park stands the large Sälna Stone. The stone was originally at least three meters high and stood at Sälna Bridge between Skånela and Vallentuna. The district surrounding Skånelaholm is among the richest in rune stones in the country. This indicates that a major water route went through here in the Viking Age.
Enjoying the trip and the surroundings
Skånela Heritage Museum is from 1935. It houses a large number of peasant artefacts collected by the then owner of the castle, Herbert Rettig. Herbert Rettig also purchased the museum buildings, the former courthouse and jail from Seminghundra Hundred and the old post windmill and had them moved here."
The 219 with the lake Fysingen visible behind
In a wing of the castle they have a small coffee shop which we however also skipped, we had other plans. They have regular, guided tours in the castle. But due to the Covid19-situation we decided to skip to see the castle from the inside, this year. We’ll for sure be back. instead we headed for a “fika”, Swedish for coffee break, in the 1000 years old village Sigtuna. It’s almost as small and beautiful as Skånelaholm, and it’s of course located close to water, in this case Lake Mälaren.
The alley leading to the castle
When visiting Sigtuna, you’re obliged to have your coffee in the café Tant Brun. The café is described as:
"The house facing the alley that today is Tant Brun's Coffee House is the oldest, perhaps the oldest in the whole of Sigtuna City. During a repair in 1968-69, remnants of twigs and soil were found in the bottom of the pantry above the roof beams, which indicates that the house is very old. A private man from the area, Baron Gustav von Paykull at the manor Vallox Säby, bought the property in the late 1960s to restore it and participated in the work himself. He maintains that the "coffee house" is from the end of the 17th century. Today, Tant Bruns Kaffestuga is one of Sweden's oldest cafés."
Enjoying coffe "old-style" at Tant Brun in Sigtuna
After Tant Brun, a visit the candy shop Augusta Jansson is a must. The Augusta Jansson's brand has its roots from 1882, but Augusta Jansson's Caramel Factory in Sigtuna opened its doors at the address relatively recently, 2018. Most of the handmade goods are made in the company's chocolate bakery in Älvkarleby.
Admiring all the candy at Augusta Janssons in Sigtuna
Digesting all the coffee, candy and pastries is preferably done along the roads up to the next stop, Skokloster Castle. More about that in another blog story soon!
In Sigtuna we parked in front of a very nice Beatle, and owner
And below you can see where the castle is situated, and how you go there from Stockholm. Sigtuna is not far off, 18km north-west of Skånelaholm castle. To go to Skokloster Castle you continue another ~30km on small roads north-west.
Where and how