Visiting hours from June 27th 2015:
|June 27th to August 2nd||Tuesday to Sunday|
|August 8th-August 31st||Saturdays and Sundays|
Tours at 12 pm (in Swedish), 1.30 pm (Swedish/English) and 3 pm (in Swedish). You can join the Swedish tours if you like and if you do, you can borrow some written information in English to take with you which will describe the rooms of the castle.
The tour will take approximately one hour and will take you through 450 years of Swedish history, aristocracy, furniture and interior decoration and, who knows, maybe even some ghost stories...
Admission fee: adults: 80 SEK, children 10-15 years: 40 SEK.
In one of the wings you will find a coffee shop as well as our souvenir shop.
The tour at 1.30 pm will be avaliable in English. You can also join the other tours - however, they will be in Swedish only, but you will get some written information in English with you.
The castle is situated 30 km east of Linköping, 200 km south-west of Stockholm, Sweden.
Finding your way to the castle: Follow highway E4 between Norrköping and Linköping. At turn-off 115 follow road signs to castle.
Wheelchairs can get around in the castle, but be advised that there is some deep gravel in the courtyard and some of the threshholds indoors are high. Talk to the tour guides and we will be pleased to help.
Restrooms are situated at the parking lot, not up at the castle hill.
Ekenäs castle, a comprehensive history
Ekenäs is one of the best preserved renaissance castles in Sweden with its three impressive shingled towers. Its military character is clearly shown by the surrounding moat and its situation on a cliff on the shore of a lake which has since been drained.
One of the first owners of the property was Svante Sture, who lived during the reign of King Erik XIV. Erik was the son of King Gustav Wasa and received a very thorough education. He became a well educated renaissance prince with a profound knowledge of a variety of subjects including the arts and music.
To demonstrate his greatness, Erik had his coronation ceremony in 1561 arranged in the style of those on the continent. The marvellous celebrations continued for several days. This type of ceremony was then used up until the last coronation in Sweden in 1872.
To win the favour of the aristocracy and be sure of suitable representation overseas, the King gave three of the country´s most distinguished noblemen the title of Count. This was the first time in Sweden and one of them was Svante Sture. To demonstrate his importance, he had a stonehouse built on this rock in 1562.
After the Battle at Stångebro (Linköping) in 1598, Duke Charles (later King Charles IX) had a number of King Sigismund´s advisors executed at "the Bloodbath of Linköping". Among those executed was Gustav Banér, the owner of Ekenäs. A decade later we find his son, Peder, in the court of King Gustav Adolf.
In 1617 King Gustav Adolf was coronated in Uppsala - an occasion just as magnificent as the coronation of King Erik XIV. Peder Banér was invited to be guest of honor at the ceremony after helping to save the King´s life when his horse fell through the ice during a winter procession.
Baron Peder Banér, councellor of the King, had this castle built in 1630 - 1644. It has Renaissance character and it is a fortress with three impressiv shingled towers.
During Queen Kristinas reign (1632-) large areas of land and property were donated to the aristocracy which meant that the Crown´s income was considerably reduced. On top of this the country was deeply in dept because of wars.
During the 1680´s and ´90´s the King ordered a reclamation of the properties which had been given away. What the State gained, the aristocracy lost. The Banér family had to leave Ekenäs, which was then bought by Count Mauritz Vellingk. He was born in Ingermanland what we today regard as part of Russia. He had the two wings built in the beginning of the18th century.
Throughout the centuries, Ekenäs has been owned primarily by noblemen. The castle has changed owner through marriage and through purchase and the style of the rooms has most probably been strongly influenced by that of the royal court. The permanent fittings of the castle originate from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and the furniture is likewise dated from different periods.
The count Philip Klingspor purchased the castle with surrounding properties in the 1880. From that period the stronghold started is transformation into a farming and forestry business. Nowadays it's owned by the family Bergengren. The family financed the purchase of Ekenäs in 1939 by selling part of their equity in a textile manufacturing business. At the time the castle had been uninhibited for several years. The reason for the purchase was not the castle in itself but rather the land it was situated on, 1200 acres of rich farming land and forest.
During World War II it was used as the local military headquarters and supply dump. After 1945 it was left in a state of severe disrepair which became even worse as locals from time to time took the liberty to avail themselves of the furninshings and various items that were still inside.
In 1974 the building was marked by Swedish authorities as an item of national cultural interest. Since then the castle has been extensively restored by it´s owners. Ekenäs is by many regarded as one of the most well preserved renaissance castles in Sweden. The interior shows examples of furnishing, decoration and carpentry from three centuries.
The main building is shown to the public in as a museum. It still lacks running water and electricity to preserve the building as a genuine landmark from days gone by. The guided tours show most of the castle, furniture, architecture and also give glimpses of Swedish history, tales of ghosts and evil curses. There are other events, birthday parties, weddings, ghost walks and corporate events regularly organized at the castle grounds and the general public is very welcome to visit for a picnic and to take a walk in the park. The jousting games (tournaments) held annually at Whitsun are action filled shows with knights in full armour, jesters, and a whole medieval village brought to life by many enthusiasts.