Living culture in South East Sweden
Idyllic scenery and rich culture
Baltic Manors in South East Sweden
The eastern part of Southern Sweden between Ystad and Österlen captivates with long, white beaches at the Baltic shores, romantic fields and lakes, charming villages and small towns. Artists feel inspired by the special light, and therefore compare it to the Provence in France. The pace is mellow and slow and relaxation and happiness are rising within every visitor. In spring not only bloom the trees of endless apple plantations – also a regional art festival will celebrate spring break around easter every year. Slow food is not only a trendy word in this region, where farm shops and locally produced delicacies are present every where.
Southern Sweden has the highest density of castles and manor houses in Sweden. Most manors in Scania date back to medieval or at least Danish times. In the 17th century more than half of the land was owned by the nobility. Even if the estates can be traced back to medieval time and some date back to the 16th and 17th century, the majority are from as recent as the 18th and 19th century. Compared to the rest of Sweden where many of the manors are wooden buildings, the manor houses of Scania are brick or stone constructions.
Today the manor houses are important not least from a cultural heritage point. The buildings and the surrounding parks and landscape tell vivid tales of the past but also play a vital ecological and preservation role. The main role today in many cases, besides the cultural heritage aspect, is a modern, large-scale, privately run agricultural business. A majority of which are still owned by the nobility. A few exceptions are those manor houses that are open to the public. Various kinds of exhibitions and cultural activities are arranged and museums may be housed within.
What to visit
A castle tour through picturesque landscape
Walk, Cycle or drive by car or motorbike to seven magnificent historic venues in South East Skåne. The Slottsrundan is a Castle Tour where visitors see Bjärsjölagards slott, Christinehof slott, Glimmungehus, Klostret i Ystad, Kronovall slott, Svaneholm slott and Övedskloster. Besides the beautiful landscape on the way you will learn about the interesting history of the region.
The slottsrundan and its venues
Svaneholm Castle is beautifully located on an islet in Lake Svaneholm. The impressive Renaissance castle was built around 1530. Svaneholm’s most well-known owner was Baron Rutger Macklean, who was a radical thinker and he reformed agriculture by introducing land reforms in the 1780s. The castle’s rich collections of furniture, textiles and art animate Svaneholm and the history of its people.
Övedskloster is beautifully located in the flowing countryside of Lake Vombsjön. Colonel Hans Ramel had the castle built in 1776, which is one of the most prominent rococo buildings in Sweden. The castle park is open daily to visitors. In the summer, the castle café and shop are open. Don’t miss the unique nature around Övedskloster, which can be experienced from a network of hiking trails.
Bjärsjölagård’s castle has a long and exciting history. An early lord of the castle was the Danish king, Valdemar Atterdag, who conquered Skåne in 1360. The castle was stormed in the 16th century by dissatisfied peasants and part of the stones of the castle were used to build Svaneholm castle. The building of today, in rococo style, was completed in 1766. Bjärsjölagård was developed into a successful estate with agriculture and the extraction of lime. Even today you can visit the two lime kilns Adam and Eve, located within walking distance of the castle.
Castles usually have a lord of the manor. But not so Christinehof Castle, which had an influential lady of the manor! The Golden Baroque Castle was erected in 1741 by Countess Christina Piper, one of the most successful entrepreneurs of her time. Christinehof is today a cultural palace run by the cultural association Christina’s Wänner. Featuring a rich selection of storytelling guided tours, exhibitions and lectures highlighting the creator of the castle. Christinehof Castle is located in an Eco-park with both short and long hiking trails.
Kronovall is called the wine castle of south-east Skåne and offers a total experience of food, excellent wines, accomodation and beautiful surroundings. The castle, which is built in the French Baroque style, lies on a islet surrounded by a moat. The unique baroque garden is adorned with the mythological yew tree and boxwood hedges.
Glimmingehusis the best preserved medieval castle in the Nordic region. Construction of the castle was begun in 1499, while Skåne was still part of Denmark. The program activities include medieval days and tournaments as well as ghost walks. Glimmingehus has daily guided tours in English during the summer and in German during weekends in August. Glimmingehus offers a well-assorted museum shop and a coffee shop, Café Borggården.
Surrounded by lavish gardens with herbs and roses, the Greyfriars Abbeyof Ystad is a soothing oasis in the middle of the city. The abbey in Ystad was saved and today it’s one of Sweden’s best preserved medieval monastic buildings. The Museum of the Cultural History of Ystadis located behind the thick red brick walls, built in the Baltic Brick Gothic style of architecture, common in the Baltic Sea area around 1260-1520.The museum’s cultural history exhibitions tell about and clarify the past, with a focus on Ystad and Österlen.
Read more about the Slottsrundan