Gripsholm Slott is situated by the lake Mälaren in Mariefred. Mariefred is in Södermanland county of Sweden. It is very close to Stockholm county and hence easily qualifies as a day trip from Stockholm
Please read Mariefred blog here to see other things to do in the small town.
Locating Gripshlolm Castle is very simple, as it is the first thing one sees after entering Mariefred by steam train from Läggesta Nedre. Mariefred locality is small with only around 4000 inhabitants. It takes 10 minutes to reach the actual castle from Mariefred station.
First thought that crossed my mind, after seeing the entrance of the castle was, “Okay! That’s modest!”. But as I entered the first courtyard, I started admiring the red colors around me. The greenery was refreshing and beautiful contrast to the red color bricks. I wondered how will they look in autumn. Red leaves on sort of orangish bricks. There are two massive canons in the courtyard, reminding the visitors that this might have been a fortress at some point in history and needed to be protected.
Gripsholm Castle was constructed by Gustav Vasa in 1537. The land had a church and some other buildings earlier. Everything was changed to construct the castle that stands right now.
Castle is open for entry, hence one can see different rooms inside specially as it houses history of more than 400 years. This castle was also used as residence for Swedish royals in 1800s. Today it houses Sweden’s state collection of portrait paintings of noted Swedish individuals from Gustav Vasa’s era to present day. Ticket is around 140kr. They also have guided tours if you are interested in detailed Swedish history.
I specially enjoyed seeing the inner courtyard. Bricks are visible and the area has a very timeless feeling attached to it. Cobbled stone ground, so many windows, huge stone steps, wooden doors and windows, secret passages, old wooden stairs everything looks ancient and very appealing. There is a well in the center of the courtyard with iron designed walls . Currently used by tourist to drop coins.
Do you see the small passage next to this stair case? This staircase goes inside the castle into the museum. The passage takes you outside but before that you pass an underground passage. More details about this water gate can be found in the below picture. Grand feasts were arranged in these passage. It was first decided that Sweden will be a heridertary Kingdom here, which also led to announcement of first crown prince and a power struggle between him and his brother.
This leads to exits of the castle. It is natural to notice the water, wooden planks surrounding the castle. Gardens around the castle are well maintained and stroll along the red bricks, greenery and trees helps you get a feel of the castle life.
15 minutes walk from the Gripsholms Castle is the National Reseve of Royal Deers. I would strongly suggest to visit this place. It is unbelievable. Some practical information:
It is easy to bring in the barnvägn, it’s only difficult to actually use it in inner courtyard.
It is free to roam these regions of Castle, without going to the actual museum or inside the castle building.
There is no restaurant to eat in Castle premises, but a good restaurant nearby.
Though I would visiting suggest Gripsholmsgrillen near the station.
There are few benches to sit, just enough, not many.
Hope you have an enjoyable visit to the slott. Read about the Rune stone near the Castle here.