Superstars at the castle

Gripsholm Castle, where Sweden’s famous faces can be seen, is open daily from May. The castle is home to the country's largest portrait collection, featuring everyone from King Gustav Vasa to Benny Andersson.

Gripsholm Castle is home to five hundred years of history. It features Sweden's finest examples of state apartments from the time of the House of Vasa, as well as one of Europe's best preserved 18th century theatres.

See Sweden's famous faces at Gripsholm

The portrait collection at Gripsholm Castle is internationally renowned. This is the Swedish State Portrait Collection, including paintings of historical figures dating from King Gustav Vasa's reign to the present day. Eight hundred portraits hang at Gripsholm, and the collection grows each year with a Portrait of Honour of a deserving Swede. The Portrait of Honour for 2005 was of Benny Andersson.

A historic victory

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Abba winning the Eurovision Song Contest with their hit song Waterloo. The rest is history. The cover photo for the Waterloo album was shot at Gripsholm Castle by photographer Ola Lager. It is also almost 50 years since the Royal Swedish Orders of Chivalry were last awarded to Swedes for exceptional achievements. Awarding these orders will resume in 2024, and all four members of Abba will receive the Royal Order of Vasa in recognition of their outstanding achievements within Swedish and international music.

A castle with an 18th century theatre

The Order of Vasa was originally established by King Gustav III in honour of King Gustav Vasa. Gustav III was fascinated by the 'hero king' Gustav Vasa, and therefore loved to spend time at Gripsholm Castle. "I imagine I have returned to the time of King Gustav I, which fills me with indescribable pleasure," he wrote to his brother during one of his stays at Gripsholm. The well-preserved theatre in one of the castle towers was built at the initiative of the 'theatre king' Gustav III.

Top image: Abba at Gripsholm Castle in 1974, during the photo shoot for the Waterloo album. Photo: Ola Lager/Premium Rockshot

The cover photo for Abba's studio album Waterloo, released in 1974, was shot at Gripsholm Castle. Photo: Ola Lager/Premium Rockshot

Portraits of 800 Swedish celebrities hang at Gripsholm Castle. The Portrait of Honour of Benny Andersson was painted by artist Birgit Broms in 2005. Photo: Lisa Raihle Rehbäck

Naturally, the portraits include King Gustav Vasa, founder of modern Sweden and also of the portrait collection. He had Gripsholm Castle built in 1537, and the castle is now home to Sweden's best preserved settings from the time of the House of Vasa. Photo: Bruno Ehrs

Abba photographed at Gripsholm Castle in 1974, here in Gustav III's Theatre with 'Napoleon' in the audience. Photo: Ola Lager/Premium Rockshot

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