Strömsholm has its origins in the era of Gustav Vasa. With the yellow baroque castle in the center of its history, the locality has grown and has today a population of around 700 inhabitants. The royals might not visit as often as they used to and the Swedish Army no longer has their riding school here, but Strömsholm has remained a hippological center.
A Short History of Strömsholm
The history of Strömsholm is centered around royalty and the Swedish state, all from its establishment up until today. What is special is that the palace has for a big part of its history belonged to the queens, instead of the kings or the crown.
In the mid-16th century, the Swedish king Gustav Vasa ordered the construction of a castle on a small island in the Kolbäck River. It was originally known as Mölnetorp, but the king changed its name in 1556 to Strömsholm. The castle was eventually the residence of Gustav Vasa’s widow Katarina Stenbock for 61 years after the king’s death.
Gustavus Adolphus & Maria Eleonora
The castle was passed on to Maria Eleonora, the wife of Gustav II Adolf, known as Gustavus Adolphus in English. Maria Eleonora’s two major plans for the castle did, however, never materialize. It never became the burial place for Gustavus Adolphus and a town was never established here.
Karl X Gustav & Hedvig Eleonora
Karl X Gustav received Strömsholm in 1654 and it was after he had gifted the castle to his wife Hedvig Eleonora as a wedding gift that major changes occurred. Hedvig Eleonora became a widow in 1660 and the castle was demolished a few years later. It was replaced by the new palace that was completed in 1672, which is the building that still stands here today.
Fredrik I & Ulrika Eleonora
Karl XI was son to Karl X Gustav and Hedvig Eleonora. He and the queen Ulrika Eleonora would come to spend time at the Strömsholm Palace. It was also their daughter Ulrika Eleonora and her husband and later King Fredrik I that would make additional improvements to the palace in the first half of the 18th century. Both with the restoration of the palace, but also with the construction of the chapel.
Gustav III & Sofia Magdalena
The last queen to reside in the palace was Sofia Magdalena. She received the palace as a wedding gift after her marriage to King Gustav III. After the king’s death in 1792, this would be the residence of his widow for over a decade up until 1808.
Swedish Army Riding and Horse-Driving School
There were a few more short royal stays at Strömsholm Palace before its purpose was changed in 1868. It then became the Swedish Army Riding and Horse-Driving School. The school was open for a century before it closed down in 1968. The current owner of the palace is the Swedish state.
Things to Do and See
With a yellow palace with white corners, what else is there to explore?
The Strömsholm Palace is at the center of most attractions in and around Strömsholm. The baroque palace is open to the public during the summer and the area around the building is filled with historical buildings and nature.
Strömsholm Nature Reserve
Strömsholms Nature Reserve was established in 1979 and covers an area of around 2.400 hectares. The reserve covers a big part of the area around the palace, all the way to the shores of Lake Mälaren. Within the reserve, there are several walking paths as well as paths for horse riding.
Slottsbanan is the horse riding stadium right next to the palace. This is the location for annual competitions and for many, it is the local training grounds. The stadium was earlier a part of the palace’s gardens.
The Strömsholm Canal is about 110 kilometers long, has 26 locks, and has played an important role in the iron mining of Bergslagen. It was completed at the end of the 18th century. One of the 26 locks is located in Strömsholm, the Konung Karl XV Lock, named after one of the former kings of Sweden.
How to Get to Strömsholm
- Flights: Closest airports are Stockholm Västerås Airport (VST), 30 kilometers away, which has mostly low-cost carriers. In addition, there is Stockholm-Arlanda Airport (ARN), 129 kilometers away with both domestic and international flights.
- Car: Strömsholm is next to road 252 between Hallstahammar and Eskilstuna.
- Bus: Local and regional buses from VL connect Strömsholm with the surrounding region.
- Train: Closest train station can be found in nearby Kolbäck to where there are trains from Eskilstuna, Linköping, Sala, and Västerås.
The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:
Stockholm – 130 kilometers (1h 27min) Gothenburg – 363 kilometers (4h 9min) Malmö – 588 kilometers (6h 6min) Linköping – 170 kilometers (2h 8min) Kiruna – 1228 kilometers (13h 52min)
Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden