Seeing as my travels are about to end just round the corner, my mind always thinks about…what next? Europe features for 2013 but with so many countries in this small continent, I wonder if the culture of Sweden will do me in good stead. Here’s a sponsored post contributed on my blog to tell you all about the castles of Stockholm.

Sweden is the cradle of the northern traditions, intricate culture and mentality. Development of this country is associated with severe climate conditions, Viking voyages and a long-standing history of royalty. Nowadays the reflection of tremendous Swedish history has been preserved in numerous sightseeing places, museums, archives and, of course, castles. Many of them are located precisely in the capital of Sweden – Stockholm. Probably, every city island may boast of some architect marvel – either palace or mansion – that fascinates with its beauty and magnificence.

“Versailles in miniature” is an unofficial nickname of Drottningholm, royal residence of Swedish monarch since 1981. It is hard to imagine such a perfect set of old-fashioned architecture and landscaping. The construction was started in the 16th century, as King Johan III decided to create a residency for his queen Katarina Jagellonika. The splendor of the castle was greatly improved after the fire of 1662, specifically by the order of another Queen – Hedvig Eleonora, who strived to demonstrate Swedish reputation after the Thirty Years’ War. In addition, the architect value of Drottningholm at the time cannot but be associated with Tissen family of architects, much known in the country. Drottningholm’s fame is also marked with the other Swedish Queen – Lovisa Ulrika of Prussia. She obtained this castle as a wedding gift. It is no surprise that Drottningholm is translated as “Queen’s Island”. The castle is opened both in summer and winter, and attracts visitors with miraculous garden around and Chinese pavilion, as well as with a theatre dated back to 18th century. It is a place of annual performances and festivals.

One of the top 7 castles in Stockholm neighborhood is Tullgarn Palace, which used to be a royal summer residence during 1920-1940s. As one could guess, its history is related to King Gustaf V and Queen Victoria, who reestablished the interior according to the fashion trends of the time. Regardless, the construction of Tullgarn was initiated in 1720 on the place of a previous one, built at the end of the 16th century. To date, Tullgarn fascinates with a mix of architect styles. The interior executed by Duke Fredrik Adolf of Ostergotland is still exhibited in the castle, as well as a Big Breakfast Room in the style of the German Renaissance and a large park around the castle performed in a conservative English style.

Skokloster Castle is the other castle in Stockholm neighborhood, which is associated with the Thirty Years’ War. In fact, it was constructed by the order of Carl Gustof Wrangel, a Swedish colonel and a hero of the war. The castle was performed under the guidance of already mentioned Nicodemus Tessin the Elder and Caspar Vogel, who created the brightest example of Baroque style in Sweden. Currently Skokloster is considered one of the most interesting museums of the capital, which exhibits various stuff of the time – antique books, art collections, especially paintings; weapon collection of colonel Wrangel is one of the attractions of the site pulling in a big number of visitors. The other marvel of Skokloster is a Banquet Hall, which has not been changed since 1676. Everything speaks of the 17th century culture within corridors and halls of the castle.