Skenäs is a settlement in the historical province of Östergötland. It is located at the narrowest point of the bay Bråviken, a bay that connects the city of Norrköping with the Baltic Sea. This was once the location of a castle with nearby coastal fortifications. Today this is instead home to around 164 convicts at the prison Anstalten Skenäs.
A Short History of Skenäs
The estate of Skenäs was important already during the Middle Ages and it had several important owners. Skenäs came under the control of the Swedish crown during the reign of Gustav Vasa. This resulted in a long line of important inhabitants up until 1719. The year in question was the first year of the Russian Pillage and towns such as Norrköping, Nyköping, Trosa, and Östhammar were burned down. Skenäs Castle suffered the same fate.
A new manor house was built in 1720. Additional settlements have grown around the castle and the new manor house. These had a population of 69 inhabitants in 1990. The population fell below 50 in 2005 and is since not been tracked by Statistics Sweden. The temporary population has, however, been higher since 1938. This was when the youth detention center for boys opened here. Its population changed in 1974 when its customer base was changed to adult males.
Things to Do and See
Many will probably stretch their legs here while waiting for the ferry to cross the bay. But who decides to explore a bit more of what Skenäs has to offer? This small settlement has played an important role in Swedish history and was once home to both a castle and coastal fortifications. Take the chance to explore the area if you visit. That is, in the cases where you visit and don’t stay inside the enclosure of the prison.
The Castle Ruins
The ruins of the castle that was burned down by the Russians in 1719 are supposed to still be visible. It is located in a forested area along the coast just north of the prison.
Skenäs Ferry Slip
The ferry slip in Skenäs is probably the main reason for people traveling to and from this area. The ferry here connects Skenäs with Säter on the other side of the bay. This is a distance of 1020 meters and the car ferry is run by Trafikverket.
Close to the ferry slip is the former coastal fortification known as Skenäs Skans or Skansen. It was in use to defend Norrköping from naval attacks since the Middle Ages and was in use up until the 20th century. There is still signs here from the former fortifications.
How to Get to Skenäs
- Flights: The closest airports are Norrköping Airport (NRK) 26 kilometers away and Linköping Airport (LPI) 68 kilometers away.
- Car: Skenäs is by countryside roads east of Norrköping, along the shores of the bay Bråviken.
The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:
- Stockholm – 139 kilometers (2 h 23 min)
- Gothenburg – 339 kilometers (3 h 47 min)
- Malmö – 483 kilometers (5 h 9 min)
- Linköping – 70 kilometers (55 min)
- Kiruna – 1370 kilometers (15 h 43 min)