Foto: John Brinck
Stockholm’s perhaps least-known country castle lies imbedded in verdure on Lake Fysingen close to Upplands Väsby. Skånelaholms Castle was built c. 1639–1643 by Chief Justice of Appeal Andreas Gyldenklou in the German-Dutch late Renaissance style, with a façade of brick. The estate is mentioned as early as 1276, in a bill of sale when Magnus Ladulås sold the property to Skokloster Castle. The castle has not had many owners; for the longest period, from 1742 to 1918, Skånelaholm was in the possession of the Jennings family, owners of ironworks. In the 1890s the original brick façade was covered with stucco, and rich window casings and ornamentations were added. Today the castle and wings have been restored to their appearance in the final decade of the 19th century.
Herbert Rettig purchased the castle in 1929. He was its last private owner. In 1962 Herbert and Ing-Marie Rettig donated the castle to the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities so that it could “be preserved in pristine form as a cultural heritage.”
Today the castle contains furniture, art, books, and a large number of rustic artefacts that were collected by the Rettig family, who had a keen interest in local culture. A natura medica cabinet from the 18th century and a collection of carriages from the 19th century are among the attractions at the castle.
There was probably some form of garden early on, but a survey map from the 1680s shows only meadows, fields, and a hop garden. In the middle of the 18th century a magnificent garden was created, and in the early 19th century it was turned into a landscape park based on English models, with promenades and avenues. Parts of the avenues remain in place. In the northern part of the park stands the large Sälna Stone. The stone was originally at least three meters high and stood at Sälna Bridge between Skånela and Vallentuna. The district surrounding Skånelaholm is among the richest in rune stones in the country. This indicates that a major water route went through here in the Viking Age.
Skånela Heritage Museum is from 1935. It houses a large number of peasant artefacts collected by the then owner of the castle, Herbert Rettig. Herbert Rettig also purchased the museum buildings, the former courthouse and jail from Seminghundra Hundred and the old post windmill, and had them moved here.
> Bilder från Skånelaholm