Many travel lovers have Scandinavia on their bucket list for many reasons. First, there are beautiful landscapes that are sure to steal your breath. Apart from the natural attractions, these countries have an abundance of historical monuments to snatch your admiration. Castles and fortresses are some of these unique historical treasures. Here are the most amazing castles in Scandinavia.
Gripsholm Castle, Sweden
Gripsholm Castle in Sweden is a quintessential Scandinavian castle. Located in Mariefred, it was built in the 14th century. It has undergone renovations in the 16th century and was used as one of the royal family’s residences until the 18th century. It remains the property of the Crown but is now a museum.
Thousands of tourists visit Gripsholm Castle yearly as it is less than an hour away from Stockholm. However, you can best enjoy the ambiance of the castle in the morning as most tourists visit during the day. An early morning visit will also allow you to watch the sunrise from the lake or the trees on the castle grounds. Visit scandictrains.com to book an early ride to the castle.
Kronborg Castle, Denmark
Kronborg Castle is the dream destination of many book lovers. It is known as Hamlet’s home, and many Shakespearean scholars visit it as a pilgrimage. The castle is open from 10 am to 5 pm daily and receives over 300,000 visitors yearly. The architecture alone is breathtaking, with the intricately built towers, columns, spires, and copper roofs.
The grand architecture is not all there is to the castle. Tourists enjoy an interactive exhibition of how the kings used the castle during the Renaissance era. Kronborg Castle is now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Europe’s most notable Renaissance structures. Built in the 15th century, Kronborg Castle continues to be one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area.
Bohus Castle, Sweden
Also known as Bohus Fortress, this castle is on the border of Norway and Sweden. For a long time, it belonged to Norway but is now a part of Sweden. Built over 700 years ago, Bohus Fortress is one of the best-preserved Northern European structures. Today, people go on guided tours on the castle ground while participating in various activities like archery. Some choose to explore on their own using the Bohus Fortress app. Just go with someone while exploring the prison dungeons. Outside you should enjoy available games, including jousting, raft rides, and wooden horses on rails. Tourists flock to the historical site yearly to appreciate one of the most significant pieces of Nordic culture.
Frederiksborg Castle, Denmark
Frederiksborg Castle used to be the royal residence, so its inclusion on this list is no surprise. Frederick II built it in the mid-16th century, and King Christian IV of Denmark-Norway lived in the palace in the early 17th century. He was the one who constructed most of what is left of the castle today.
Fun facts to know include that Frederiksborg Castle is the largest Renaissance residence in Scandinavia. You can walk the castle grounds as you admire the Palace Lake and surrounding islands. Despite the region being packed with impressive castles, this is one of the most amazing you can visit. Both the architectural designs outside and the art collection inside will give you a wholesome experience you will cherish for years.
Trolleholms Castle is a private residence but not less impressive than other castles on this list. The Trolle-Bonde family currently owns the castle since they acquired it in 1806. Trolleholms Castle has 110 structures and beautiful lawns that will steal your breath from the moment you sight it.
Unfortunately, this castle is not open to the public, but you can explore the grounds. It is also hired out for events so you can see all the beautiful grounds as a wedding guest. This castle has also been referenced in popular culture, movies, and games.
Lacko castle is another of the most popular castles in Sweden, and by extension, Scandinavia. It has been voted the most beautiful of all castles in Sweden. Located on Kallandso Island, Wastergotland, Sweden, the immaculate Lacko castle dates back seven centuries ago when it was erected around 1298 by the Bishop of the Diocese of Skara. The site has however undergone several renovations especially in the late 15th century after a fire accident. Extensive renovation and expansion of the castle was also done in the 17th century after the castle was seized from the Bishop and became the property of the Crown under King Gustav Vasa.
The castle boasts of uniquely preserved baroque halls. Its inner courtyard also serves as the venue for the yearly opera of the Lacko Castle Opera for a few weeks during the summer
The Royal Palace, Sweden
Finally, there is the Royal Palace of Sweden. Yes, you are right. We did save the best for last. The palace is the home of the Swedish Royal family and the first place many people think of when you mention castles in Scandinavia. It is the official residence of the King of Sweden and one of the largest palaces in Europe. Today’s structure was not the first to be built on the grounds.
Scientists believe the castle to have been built in the 13th century. However, archaeological excavations have revealed traces of timbers believed to be from the 10th century. The castle has four facades, seven floors, and over 600 rooms.
Overall, there are many other castles tourists regularly visit in Scandinavia, but these six are among the best. The sights are beautiful to behold, and the history behind the castles makes for a great story. You should visit one or more on your next visit to Sweden, Norway, or Denmark.