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Gripsholm Castle (III)

The view from the top of the turrents, looking out over Lake Mälaren, is definitely quite lovely. But it is also constrained: as a fortification, Gripsholm Castle doesn't really offer convenient windows for looking out on the lake, only narrow defense portals for firing weapons at attackers.

Residents of the castle, instead, got to look out windows and see -- the castle courtyard, and the massive brick walls. During the cold, damp winters, with the sun rising around 10:30 a.m. and setting around 2:30 p.m., this must have been a cheery place to stay.

The Swedish kings may have thought so, too: at various times, Gripsholm Castle has been used to imprison various members of the royal family, or other noblility.

Entrance to the royal apartments is by way of this staircase, tacked to the wall of the inner courtyard. It looks like an afterthought, and it was: as originally designed, Gripsholm Castle was supposed to be difficult to enter. Several hundred years later, in a more "civilized" age, these stairs were added to make life a bit easier.

The castle is now a museum, housing a massive collection of paintings of Swedish kings, dating back to the dawn of Swedish history.


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Photos (c) 1997 Lawrence I. Charters

Revised October 25, 1997 lic
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