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Sörmland

Sörmland or Södermanland is situated south of Stockholm and is well known for its castles and manors. Sörmland is a perfect Stockholm Country Break. If you’re travelling to Skavsta (100 km from Stockholm) with one of the low cost carriers, you’re actually landing at only 7 km of Nyköping, the capital of Sörmland. Did you know Sörmland also has an archipelago with 2800 islands?

Castles and manors

One of the best known castles in Sörmland is Gripsholms Slott in Mariefred. Sörmland has 10 castles and over 400 manors. This region, south of Stockholm was a popular spot for the nobilty to have a (summer) residence.

Nyköping

Nyköping is the capital of Sörmland. This historical city is close to Skavsta airport. The famous Sörmlandsleden starts at the airport. This 900 km long hiking trail also crosses Stendorren, a nature park.

Archipelago

The archipelago of Nyköping consists of 2800 islands. Trosa is one of them. It’s the place where the royal family has a summer house. Did you know ‘trosa’ is Swedish for underpants?




Sparreholm Castle in Sörmland

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Sparreholms Slott is one of the most bizarre domains I already visited in Sweden. In addition to an idyllic castle, you’ll find the largest collection of jukeboxes in Europe, an extremely refined private collection of vintage cars, a bicycle museum, a nostalgic café and a horse center. If you find this a somewhat strange combination, then I can tell you that this applies to the collections as well. Something for everyone!

Sparreholms Slott

I visited Sparreholms Slott – Sparreholm Castle in July 2016, along with some other travel bloggers, as part of a press trip to Sörmland. Sparreholm Castle is one of those gems that I might not have visited otherwise. And although vintage cars and bicycles usually don’t appeal to me, I did enjoy this place. Let me introduce you to Sparreholm Castle.

The history of the castle

Sparreholms Slott

Sörmland is just south of Stockholm and is known as Stockholm’s Country Side. It is a region with 400 castles and country houses. Over the years there have been several country houses and castles on the Sparreholm domain. Sparreholm was originally called Hyltingenäs. Around 1580, the domain came into the hands of the Sparre family. In 1643 they changed the name of the domain to Sparreholm. In 1757 the family left the domain. The castle came into the hands of Baron Antoine De Geer’s widow. The castle would change owners several times until the current owner Anna Karinen bought it together with her family in 1996. They completely renovated the castle and now offer a diverse range of activities on the property.

Jukebox museum

Sparreholms Slott

Above the summer bar you’ll find the jukebox museum. They boast that they have Europe’s largest jukebox collection. The collection ranges from phonographs to gramophones to modern jukeboxes. The collection is simply magic when the lights in the museum are turned off and the space is transformed into a disco.

Sparreholms Slott

Bicycle Museum

Near the jukebox museum is also a unique bicycle museum with dozens of old bicycles. The owners of Sparreholm Castle are clearly collectors. Collectors of just about everything.

Oldtimer collection

Sparreholms Slott

In the car museum you will find vintage cars from 1800 to contemporary cars. It is one of the most exclusive private collections in Europe. They have around 60 classic cars, including a 1936 Mercedes 540K that was once owned by Prince Gustaf Adolf, the father of the current Swedish king. In addition, they also have the Cadillac V8 from King Gustav V who gave the name to Kungens Kurva (= the shopping center near Stockholm where you find one of the largest Ikeas in the world).

Sparreholms Slott

The Horse Center

The horse center is active throughout the year. They also offer weekend trips with riding lessons. This way you can go for classic dressage with their lusitano horses and modern riding techniques.

Practical

Sparreholm Castle can only be visited by appointment. Only during the Swedish summer holidays (from midsummer to mid-August) can you visit the domain spontaneously.

Thanks to Visit Sörmland.

Julita Manor – a daytrip in Sörmland

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Julita Manor (9)

The largest open air museum in Sweden can be found at the edge of the Öljarenmeer, in the heart of Sörmland, near Katrineholm and Eskilstuna. Julita is part of Nordiska Museet in Stockholm. In the Middle Ages it was a monastery, later several members of the Swedish nobility owned and now it is an open air museum. The last resident, Artur Bäckström, lived here until 1941 and donated the estate after his death to the Nordiska Museet. Unlike many other houses nearby, Julita Manor is still a working farm. The Swedish Museum of Agricultural Sciences is even located there.

Julita Manor

Julita Manor (13)

The Julita manor house dates from 1760 and was built after the previous building was destroyed by fire. Julita Manor is fully equipped and shows you how they lived some 100 years ago. It really is like Artur can come walking back in anytime. Besides Julita manor you’ll find two smaller buildings: the garage where once the carriages were repaired and an office. It was striking that the people were living where they worked. No ‘out of office’ for them!

Julita Manor (14)

Besides the original buildings like Julita manor, there are +350 buildings from different eras and different parts of Sweden, collected by the last owner. You can compare it to Skansen and Kulturen.

Julita Manor (5)

You can follow several themed walks to visit Julita. These walks take about 45 minutes so you can combine several in one day if you want. Julita is a great day trip, very suitable for families with children as well. There are several eateries and it is also a perfect place for a picnic.

Julita Manor (2)

Practical

During May and September Julita is open during the weekend. From June till August they are open every day. For the latest schedule, take a look on their best website. Own transport is the easiest to reach Julita but you can also get there by train and bus: take the train to Katrineholm and then change to bus 405 or 714.

Tip: download the app Sörmlandstrafiken to consult timetables and buy tickets. You can buy your ticket on the bus, but you can not pay cash onboard the busses (only cards – Maestro or credit card).

Events at Julita that are not to be missed are the Christmas (already at the beginning of November) and midsummer. In September, they have an annual ‘apple day’. In July there is the Julita Festival, a music event with classical music.

Julita Manor (7)

The domain of Julita is very extensive. You could spend more than a day there. For those looking to overnight: there is a youth hostel and you can also stay in the 17th century rooms of the mansion.

Sleeping in an old soap factory: Sunlight Hotel, Nyköping

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Everyone knows the iconic Sunlight soap. It was the classic in your grandmother’s household closet because it was good for anything. Did you know you can stay in the former Sunlight factory in Nyköping (a town near Stockholm, in Sörmland)? The soap factory was completely renovated and now serves as a hotel. The Sunlight Hotel is a special hotel in many ways.

Sunlight Hotel

Sunlight soap

Sunlight Hotel Nyköping (3)

Oldtimers

As if it isn’t special enough to spend the night in an old soap factory, you might be surprised to see the vintage car collection of the hotel. You can find Ford, Excalibur, Cadillac and even Ferrari cars on the third floor in the big hall when you go to your room. Here, you will not find a sign ‘do not touch’ as in a museum. They even let you sit in the cars if you want. These vintage car collections proved to be something typical for Sörmland. When we were there we also visited a castle with a huge antique car collection, more about that one later!

Sunlight Hotel Nyköping (2)

Inga Lindström

Sörmland forms the scenery for the German romantic series Inga Lindström. The production crew often stays and shoots in this area and always chooses the Sunlight Hotel as a base. Because we do not know the series in Belgium, I can’t tell you if I met the famous actors at breakfast, in the elevator or perhaps in the sauna. All I can say is that they were there when we were!

Facilities

Sunlight Hotel Nyköping (1)

The Sunlight Hotel is the largest hotel in Nyköping. Nyköping is close to Skavsta airport near Stockholm where low-cost airlines (among others Ryanair from Charleroi) fly to. To the station of Nyköping it’s a 5 minute walk. The hotel has many amenities: a restaurant with a buffet, a spacious breakfast room and the opportunity to enjoy breakfast on the sunny terrace during the summer months, and a spa area (large pool, children’s pool and two Jacuzzis),  a sauna room and a gym. There is also a communal kitchen where guests can prepare something if they want. There is a free parking in front of the hotel. In short, an ideal base for those who travel by car and want to stay near Stockholm or make a tour of Sörmland!

Sunlight Hotel Nyköping (4)

Thanks to Visit Sörmland.

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