September 13, 2010

A Visit to Gripsholm Castle in Sweden

If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you know that I recently traveled to Stockholm, Sweden, to speak at the Bonnier GRID media conference.  As is my nature, I wanted to take in as much of Stockholm and its surrounding areas as possible, and a trip to Gripsholm Castle in Mariefred was a destination on my itinerary.  Interestingly, there are hundreds of castles in Sweden, located mostly in the south.  Because there are so many dotting the countryside, the Swedes take these castles for granted, but they are popular destinations for tourists.

Throughout history, the south of Sweden has been the most fertile area of that country and kings and other noblemen built their fortresses with a steady food source in mind.  Gripsholm Slott (the Swedish word for castle) dates back to 1380, when Bo Jonsson Grip built a fortress on that location.  In 1526, King Gustav I seized the land and built a fortified castle with circular corner towers and a wall for defensive purposes.  I found this castle fascinating, as it always intrigues me to walk through a structure so ancient and full of history.