Stora Sundby Slott
Fairytale castle near Alberga
Stora Sundby Slott is a large castle like out of a storybook illustration and with the claim to be one of the most beautiful castles in Sweden. It is located near Alberga on the shore of Lake Hjälmaren in the west of the municipality of Eskilstuna Kommun.
The roots of Stora Sundby Slott reach back to the 14th century, when a fortified tower was built on a cliff about 300 metres north of the present castle, only a few wall remains of it have survived the test of time.
The Stora Sundby Slott arises
In 1584, the construction of the first version of the present castle, initially with three towers, was completed. During the following centuries, phases of vacancy, decay and subsequent renovation and extensions of the castle alternated in time with the change of its owners. Stora Sundby Slott only came to its present appearance after it was inherited in the first half of the 19th century by Count Carl de Geer (1781 – 1861), one of the richest Swedes of his time.
The impetus for the rebuilding of the castle came from de Geer's wife Ulrika Sofia Sprengtporten (1793 – 1869), who was initially impressed by the grand old castle. Like many of her contemporaries, however, the countess was an avid reader of the historical novels about the noble knight Ivanhoe written by the Scottish author Sir Walter Scott (1771 – 1832) and it was not long before she wished for a romantic knight's castle on the banks of the Hjälmaren.
Money was not an issue for Count de Geer in this case and so he hired Peter Frederick Robinson (1776 – 1858) to design the reconstruction, the same Scottish architect who had already designed Sir Walter Scott's knight's castle Abbortsford House. The result was a concept in which the interior of the old Renaissance castle was largely preserved, but the exterior was transformed into a castle straight out of a fairy tale with turrets and battlements in the style of the old Anglo-Norman architecture.
In addition, Robinson followed a certain number symbolism in the redesign, so that the castle represents a large calendar. The four large towers stand for the four seasons and the twelve small towers for the months, the 52 rooms of the castle for the weeks and the 365 windows for each day of the year. After 16 years of reconstruction, Stora Sundby Slott shone in its new splendour in 1848, a look it has retained to this day.
Visit Stora Sundby Slott
During the summer months from May to August, the extensive park with the ruins of the old defence tower and a prominent rune stone as well as a game enclosure of the privately owned castle and estate is open to visitors. During opening hours, the castle café in the old orangery overlooking the lake is also open and offers all kinds of baked goods and drinks, as well as sausage of venison made on the estate.
However, a visit to the castle itself is only possible as part of pre-booked guided tour during the period from April to mid-June.
Stora Sundby Slott: Opening hours & admission
Monday – Sunday: 10:00 – 18:00
Last update: 06/2022 | Errors and omissions excepted.