1 A visit to Gripsholm Castle commences with a walk near the exterior farm buildings.
2 It also includes a lovely old-fashioned greenhouse.
3 Kevin Sharkey and Jill Dienst, my traveling companions, posing in front of the castle greenhouse, where the tropical plants used throughout the castle are kept in the winter months.
4 A private house across the water from the castle was inviting. We learned that it was once part of the castle grounds.
5 This is one of the barracks of the castle.
6 An old fashioned drawbridge used to get over the moat
7 The roof of the castle is domed, and turreted, and very beautiful.
8 These iron braces are actually holding the thick stone walls together.
9 This is the main entrance into the castle and was once heavily fortified.
10 A pleasing view over the moat and into the town of Mariefred, where Gripsholm Castle is located
11 The doors to the castle are heavily paneled.
12 A fanciful stencil design decorates the plaster arched ceilings.
13 More designs were painted on the walls.
14 Everywhere are charming iron lanterns.
15 Two canons, heavily encrusted with decorations, sit in the courtyard.
16 The castle has about 150 rooms, with windows, and several wells like this.
17 The old brick is beautiful.
18 Inside are models of the castle at different peiods in its history.
19 Another model
20 An ornate portrait of King Gustav I, who ruled Sweden from 1523 until his death
21 One great feature of the castle is the ornate painted decoration everywhere. This is a lovely painted tile floor.
22 Every room seems to have a different parquet pattern on the floor.
23 Another floor pattern
24 Another great floor - good ideas for flooring at Home Depot!
25 Another parquet pattern
26 The windows are leaded and ornate.
27 Historic portraits abound throughout the castle.
28 A small built-in bed in one of the bed chambers - Notice the painted scenery.
29 More painted designs over very ornate wood work
30 The panels tell the stories.
31 Even the ceilings were painted and paneled.
32 I loved how practical the wood work was. These benches were built-in surrounding the walls.
33 Another fanciful, yet practical bench
34 Kevin was entranced with all the decoration and took many pictures.
35 Each room has tiled stoves - traditional in Swedish homes and palaces.
36 A better view of this plain, but well-proportioned stove
37 A faux bois painted decoration - great inspiration
38 More faux bois
39 A finely paneled ceiling
40 The furniture was quite plain in most of the rooms and of the period.
41 Hand painted - the decoration pre-dates wall paper.
42 There was a lot of inlay in the paneling, also.
43 A more decorative stove
44 These deep window seats indicate the thickness of the stone and brick walls.
45 Heavy iron hardware, with every room boasting different patterns
46 This is an amazing door handle with lock.
47 Another room with many portraits
48 Kevin at it again
49 This is an extremely deeply recessed window.
50 This was part of the fortification - canons, gunpowder storage, and artillery.
51 The vault for gunpowder lies beneath the wooden floor.
52 These stairs have withstood the footsteps of history.
53 This candle sconce is hand-pounded brass.
54 One of the throne rooms with a mural of standing portraits
55 Each panel portrays the costume of the times.
56 A few of the rooms from the 19th century were more brightly decorated.
57 Gilded moldings outlined the walls, corners, and ceilings.
58 All the furniture was slip-covered.
59 Plaids and checked fabric are traditional in Swedish interior design.
60 Underneath is often much fancier silks or wool.
61 This was a common style of chair in Sweden during the18th-century.
62 The servants' beds were small and narrow.
63 Bed coverings, like this one, were meant to keep out drafts.
64 A back staircase
65 This is an unusual tiled stove.
66 I love these giant cupboards found in Swedish homes.
67 A royal bedroom with brocaded hangings
68 This Japanese inlaid chest was meant to hold treasures.
69 Swedish crystal chandeliers are very popular in stately homes.
70 This light fixture is actuially made from papier mache.
71 A better view of the gilt chandelier.
72 Many of the queens and royal family wore ermine, a prized fur.
73 This portrait gallery was very interesting.
74 These galvanized tin fire screens were used during the summer months.
75 A fine boiserie inlay in a hallway