Gripsholm Castle

The Castle

Gripsholm Castle boasts a unique collection of furniture and artwork spanning four centuries. Built in the 1500s it was part of a new system of national defences.

The Castle was also intended as a fitting residence for a Renaissance ruler – Gustav Vasa.

The large Hall of State with its painted roof and its full-length portraits of Gustav Vasa and contemporary crowned heads of Europe conveys, although many times restored, a good picture of the original Gripsholm scene.

The castle's most renowned 16th century state room is Duke Karl's Chamber, which is one of the best-preserved interiors in Sweden from this period.

The Great Power Period

During the 17th century, known in Sweden as the "Great Power Period", Gripsholm was used as a dower (widow's property for life) by Queens Maria Eleonora (widow of Gustav II Adolf) and Hedvig Eleonora (widow of Karl X).

Hedvig Eleonora made considerable changes and additions, among them the Queen's Wing.

Gustav III

The reign of Gustav III in the late 18th century marked a new period of brilliance in the Castle's history. It was at this time that the exquisite theatre was fitted out in one of the round Renaissance towers of the Castle.

This is one of the best-preserved 18th century theatres in Europe.

The same period also produced Gustav III's Round Drawing Room, a counterpart to Gustav Vasa's Hall of State. In the Round Drawing Room the visitor can see portraits of Gustav III and his royal contemporaries.

National monument

During the 19th century, Gripsholm evoked strong national sentiments and the Castle came to be regarded as a national monument.

Furniture and art objects of great historic importance were transferred from the various royal residences to Gripsholm to reinforce its national character.

A much debated restoration of the Castle took place at the end of the 19th century. Critics described it as an attempt to make the Castle even older than it was.

The Swedish national collection of portraits

Gripsholm today is a sampler of Swedish interior design from the 16th to the late 19th century, a unique collection of furniture and decorative arts from 400 years.

The Castle is internationally known for its outstanding collection of portraits – the Swedish national collection – featuring prominent Swedes from the days of Gustav Vasa down to the present.

Photo: Sanna Argus Tirén/Royalpalaces.se

The Hall of State. Gripsholm Castle was built for the Renaissance Prince Gustav Vasa. Photo: Håkan Lind/Royalpalaces.se

The Green Salon. Photo: Sanna Argus Tirén/Royalpalaces.se

King Gustav III's Round Salon or White Salon. Photo: Kate Gabor/Royalpalaces.se

Gripsholm Castle is home to the Swedish State Portrait Collection. Photo: Lisa Raihle Rehbäck/Royalpalaces.se

Visit us

You can walk around Gripsholm Castle yourself, but taking a guided tour can make your visit extra special.

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Dungeons, armouries, canons, a stuffed lion. Hundreds of portraits, following you with their eyes down the winding corridors... bring you...

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Discover more at Gripsholm Castle

Gripsholm Castle boasts a unique collection of furniture and artwork spanning four centuries. Built in the 1500s it was part of a new sys...

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Gripsholm Castle is home to the world's oldest national portrait gallery. This is also one of the world's largest portrait galleries, and...

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Welcome to a boutique that is something out of the ordinary. The Royal Gift Shop is a unique present and souvenir shop offering products ...

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A wander through the leafy castle park is like taking a walk through history. There have been many gardens over the ages here, and apples...

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Since the 1600s the deer field has been a pasture land belonging to the Gripsholm Royal Farm. Today it is a nature reservation with hundr...

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The palace gets its name from one of the personalities of medieval Sweden, Bo Jonsson Grip, by whom the first Castle was built in the sec...

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Articles and movies

Leo is unlike any other lion in the world. In its glass box in the Upper Armoury, Gripsholm’s very own lion is perhaps more comical than ...

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FAQ

  • Can I take a pushchair into the royal palaces?

    Pushchairs are not permitted indoors.

  • Are there any pushchair parkings at the royal palaces?

    The Royal Palace of Stockholm: At the entrance to the Reception Rooms, in the Outer Courtyard there is a limited amount of space for pushchairs. Under cover, but unmonitored and no locking facility.

    Riddarholm Church: At the entrance to Riddarholm Church. Under cover, but unmonitored and no locking facility.

    Drottningholm Palace: Outside the entrance. Under cover, but unmonitored and no locking facility.

    Other visitor attractions: No pushchair parking.

  • Which royal visitor attractions can I explore at my own pace?

    The Royal Palace of Stockholm, Riddarholm Church, Drottningholm Palace, the Chinese Pavilion, Gripsholm Castle, Strömsholm Palace and the Orangery at Ulriksdal can be explored at your own pace.

    The other palaces are by guided tour.

  • Is it possible to hire rooms at the royal palaces for dinner functions/events?

    Strömsholm Palace: The dining room in the Stone Kitchen can be hired for dinner functions.

    The other palaces: Room hire is not possible.

  • Are audio guides available for the royal palaces?

    The Royal Palace of Stockholm: An audio guide in Swedish and English is available for the Bernadotte Apartments and Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities.

    The Chinese Pavilion: An audio guide is available in Swedish and English

    Audio guides are not available at present for the other palaces.

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