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Mariefred

Gripsholms Värdshus, the oldest inn from Sweden

Posted in Sörmland by

At about 45 minutes from Stockholm you’ll find the picturesque town Mariefred. The main attraction in Mariefred is Gripsholms Slottet . Across the road from the Gripsholm castle you’ll find a lovely guest house: Gripsholms Värdshus. The oldest ‘Inn’ of Sweden has been open since 1609. Today, the family Åström is running the inn. In the summer months you can enjoy the view of Lake Mälaren and the castle view from the terrace.

Gripsholms Värdshus (2)

An inn with a history

Karl IX, the Duke of Sörmland, called for major renovations to Gripsholms Slottet. This caused the nearby village to grow rapidly. In 1605 the hamlet received city rights and the town was named after the Carthusian monastery Pax Mariae, Mary’s peace, that once stood there.

A few years later the German Jocim Smock got the rights in order to start an inn. One of the rooms still bears the name of this first lodge manager. In 1987 the inn was undergoing major renovations. It was then that they discovered that the inn is built on the foundations of the old Carthusian monastery from the 14th century. Previously, they had always thought that the nearby church was built on the foundations of that old monastery. A number of objects found in the excavations, are now to be found in the interior of Gripsholms Värdshus.

Gripsholms Värdshus (5)

Gripsholms Värdshus

Obviously Gripsholms Värdshus have repeatedly been completely renovated since 1609. The main building dates from 1750. In 1987 about 12 meters of building was added. However, the hotel still feels very authentic. There are 46 rooms, including a royal suite. The spacious rooms are beautifully furnished in a romantic country style. Here you won’t find a ultramodern shower but you get an antique pink bath and even a bidet! Besides the usual toiletries there was also a range of “female products” available. Gripsholms Värdshus clearly takes care of the details.

Gripsholms Värdshus (6)

There is also a wellness center with spa and saunas but unfortunately I did not use them. I did tested the restaurant and breakfast. The chef cooks with local products and tries to give it an international touch. The breakfast buffet is very extensive. I remembered above all that you can bake your own waffles!

Gripsholms Värdshus (11) Gripsholms Värdshus (1) Gripsholms Värdshus (9) Gripsholms Värdshus (10)

Yet there were also downsides. There was no elevator to the floor where our rooms were and the wifi did not work properly. But sometimes no wifi can be a breath of fresh air! I could spend all day watching the boats, the lake and the castle from the summer terrace.

Thanks to Visit Sörmland.

Gripsholm Castle in Mariefred

Posted in Sörmland by

Gripsholm Castle or Gripsholm Slott is one of the eleven royal castles in Sweden. Gripsholm Castle is build in Mariefred, a small place next to Lake Mälaren in Sörmland (south of Stockholm). King Gustav Vasa had the castle built in the early 16th century. The furniture and artwork of the castle represents four different centuries. The highlights of the castle include an authentic 16th century room, a theater from the 18th century and the National Portrait Gallery.

Gripsholm Castle

Chamber of Duke Karl

One of the first rooms you visit in the castle is the chamber of Duke Karl. The frescoes on the ceiling in this room date back to 1573. The rest of the room is also still intact and as it was in the 16th century. You can’t enter the room because of the vulnerability of the historical features but you do get to peek inside from behind a glass fence.

Theater of Gustav III

Another highlight at Gripsholm Slott is one of the best preserved theaters in Europe from the 18th century. As King Gustav III spend a lot of time in his favourite Gripsholm Slott, he had a lot of renovations and alteration done at the castle. One of those things was a very well equipped theatre in one of the towers of the castle.

Portrait gallery

The selfies nowadays are actually a modern version of the portraits from those good old times. In Gripsholm Slott you can find an extensive collection of portraits of famous Swedes: many royal portraits, of course, but also one of Bjorn Andersson of ABBA, one of Astrid Lindgren, one of Ingvar Kamprad (the founder of Ikea) and portraits of many others got a place in this unique collection. You’ll spot well-known Swedes from the time of Gustav Vasa until now.

More information on the website of Gripsholm Castle.