This floating castle appears to be from an enchanted fable, but in actuality it is Europe's best preserved Renaissance water castle.
In local folklore, it’s said that Vikings sailed the waterways that cut through the countryside around Skånelaholm Slott. That’s how historic the lands are which surround this medieval castle. Although was actually built hundreds of years after the Vikings explored the area, its history is a storied tale of enterprise spanning over four centuries.
In 1276, King Magnus II sold the lands to a monastery called Sko Abbey. When the Protestant Reformation began in Sweden in the 16th century, the land was confiscated by the Crown and transformed it into estate manor. It wasn’t until years later that the President of the Court of Appeal – Andreas Gyldenklou – purchased the land and the estate was transferred from the Crown back into private ownership.
Gyldenklou immediately made the estate his own and in 1639 he embarked on the construction of the Skånelaholm Slott castle. The four year process resulted in a stunning German-Dutch late Renaissance style castle. The Gyldenklou family would enjoy it for several decades where they made use of its dining room, drawing room, and library.
In 1742, an Irish immigrant named Frans Jennings purchased Skånelaholm Slott. Jennings found much success in Sweden and made a fortune as a merchant and politician in nearby Stockholm. He was so successful that he was made a member of Swedish nobility and Skånelaholm became the seat of his noble family.
Skånelaholm stayed in the Jennings family for 176 years. The last private owner to purchase the estate was Herbert Rettig, who would later donate the castle to the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities where it was turned into a museum. Today, the castle that is so closely tied to its region’s local legends, now houses treasured items from the region’s past.
Need an account? Sign up
Already have an account? Log In