Sofiero Palace

Helsingborg, Sweden | C.1864

Photo Credit: Marcus Wallinder

The former summer home of the royal Swedish family, the Sofiero Palace has a rich history and an expansive array of gardens. The land of the Sofiero Palace – also known simply as Sofiero – was first a farm before it transformed into the present-day palace renowned especially for its collection of rhododendron flowers.

The former summer home of the royal Swedish family, the Sofiero Palace has a rich history and an expansive array of gardens. The land of the Sofiero Palace – also known simply as Sofiero – was first a farm before it transformed into the present-day palace renowned especially for its collection of rhododendron flowers.

Sofiero’s story begins with Prince Oscar of Sweden and his wife Sophia of Nassau. While visiting Helsingborg in 1864, Prince Oscar and Sophia fell in love with a small farm called Skabelycke and decided to purchase it. They built their summer home, a one-story palace then called Sophie-Ro, and moved in two years later.

After enjoying the palace for a decade, Oscar – by then crowned King of Sweden – decided to renovate and expand the home, incorporating the Dutch Renaissance style that it is recognized for today. By 1905, King Oscar and Sophia bequeathed the palace to their grandson the Crown Prince Gustav Adolf and his wife Margareta of England as a wedding gift.

Gustav and Margareta brought their love of gardening to Sofiero. Margareta, having grown up around luscious English gardens, helped develop Sofiero’s landscape and plotted its walkways and flowerbeds. She and Gustav created rock gardens, built a greenhouse and planted rhododendrons – which would go on to shape Sofiero’s legacy.

Margareta passed away in 1920, but her memory lives on through the gardens. Gustav remarried but maintained his love for gardening, ultimately planting over 5,000 specimens of rhododendrons. Following his death in 1973, Sofiero was acquired by city of Helsingborg and is now a public park where visitors can walk through the spectacular gardens and experience their beauty.

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