Örbyhus, Uppland – Exploring Sweden

Örbyhus is both a locality and a castle in the historical province of Uppland. The castle’s royal past might be history, but its importance meant it received a stop along the new railway. In the past century, a settlement has grown around the station. Industries have opened, disappeared, and been replaced since, but the castle still stands. Today, the population stands at around 2.200 inhabitants, and golfers have replaced the royals and noblemen.

A Short History of Örbyhus

The history of Örbyhus begins with the farm Libbarbo. The farm is believed to date back to the 13th century. It grew into a settlement in the 19th century. Only a few kilometers away was the castle Örbyhus. The first known mention of the castle is from the year 1352 and it has had several important residents since. Owners have included several Swedish kings, queens, and dukes. These include the Swedish kings Gustav Vasa and Karl IX, as well as the queens Kristina and Maria Eleonora.

The castle belonged to the crown until 1641 when a line of successful Swedish noblemen and businessmen took over. In the mid-19th century, the castle was under the ownership of the noblemen Baltzar von Platen. His influence during the construction of the railroad meant that Örbyhus received its own station along the new line between Stockholm and Uppsala. The issue was that the geography around the castle disqualified it for a station. The station was instead built at the nearby farm Libbartorp and opened in 1874.

The railway station was the start of a growing settlement and industrialization in its vicinity. Production has included farming equipment such as threshing machines and harrows, as well as skiis, skiing poles, and hospital beds. Much of this production was, however, halted in the 1950s and 60s.

Things to Do and See

There are few places in Örbyhus that can compete with the castle when it comes to attracting visitors. That doesn’t mean that there is nothing else to explore. This is after all a smaller community with its own atmosphere and a walk through the residential and commercial areas might come up with a few surprises.

Örbyhus Castle

Örbyhus Castle is most likely the most prominent attraction in the area. It is three kilometers outside the locality. The large parks, with many of the historical buildings, are possible to visit for a small entrance fee. The area also includes Örbyhus Golf Club, which is housed in the old castle barn. The many golf courses are located around the castle area.

Kurirstenen

The courier stone is close to the castle. Well, for most of us this is just a stone, but there is a saga connected to it. The legend tells of the meeting between two couriers, one with the order from King Johan III to stop his previous ordered execution of his brother Erik XIV, the second courier came with the message from Örbyhus Castle that Erik XIV was already dead. Later, in the 17th century, the stone got an inscription in Hebrew that translates to “Murderer! You will be ashamed and the enemy will exterminate you.”.

Florarna Nature Reserve

Florarna Nature Reserve is to the northeast of Örbyhus and covers an area of around 5.300 hectares. It was established in 1976 and consists of an area of bogs and forests. The area has several hiking trails with rest stops.

Örbyhus Church

The small wooden church standing on a hill was inaugurated as late as 1988. It belongs to the Vendel-Tegelmora Congregation.

Vendelbadet

Vendelbadet is the local swimming center. During the winter it is only a smaller indoor swimming pool of 16 x 8 meters. During the summer the outdoor pools are also open, including a 50-meter long pool for swimming.

How to Get to Örbyhus

Flights: The closest major airport is Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, 82 kilometers away with both domestic and international flights.
Car: Örbyhus is along Road 292 between Tierp and Österbybruk.
Bus: Local and regional UL buses connect Örbyhus with the surrounding region.
Train: Upptåget has train connections to and from Gävle, Tierp and Uppsala.

The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:

Stockholm – 119 kilometers (1 h 20 min)
Gothenburg – 507 kilometers (6 h 2 min)
Malmö – 727 kilometers (7 h 37 min)
Linköping – 314 kilometers (3 h 19 min)
Kiruna – 1129 kilometers (12 h 59 min)

Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden

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