King Gustav Vasa began construction of Gripsholm Castle in 1537, as a defence against both foreign and domestic threats. From the outset, the castle was obsolescent as a defence installation and was never used for its intended purpose.
From the Renaissance to national romanticism
The castle has undergone major changes over the centuries. Gustav Vasa’s son, Duke Karl (Karl IX), was responsible for the first modernization as far back as the late 16th century. The most recent major renovation took place in the 1890s during the reign of Oscar II. The castle’s architecture reflects a long period of changing styles, from the 16th-century Renaissance to the national romanticism of the late 19th century. The castle also houses Gustav III’s private theatre.
National Portrait Collection
Gripsholm Castle is home to the National Portrait Collection (founded 1822) of over 4,000 works, charting the evolution of portraiture from the 16th century to the present. Nationalmuseum has been responsible for the collection since the 1860s.
Information for visitors
See The Royal Court web site.