Tullgarn is a royal summer palace in the historical province of Södermanland. It is to the east of Vagnhärad, right across the county border in Södertälje Municipality in Stockholm County. This is one of 11 royal palaces and castles in Sweden and as with many of these, it is beautifully located next to the waterfront. It offers a view out over the bay and the Baltic Sea.
A Short History of Tullgarn
The history of Tullgarn goes back to at least the 13th century. The first known castle here was Stureborgen, which was built by the Swedish nobleman Carl Sture around the year 1600. The castle even survived the Russian Pillage when in 1719 many places along this coast were burned down including the nearby town of Trosa.
The castle did, however, not survive the new owner Magnus Julius De la Gardie. He inherited Stureborgen in 1713 and rebuilt the castle during the 1720s. The new castle was acquired by the Swedish state in 1772 and became a royal vacation home. Its development continued with several residents during the end 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. Tullgarn came under the disposition of King Oskar I in 1830 and the royal family came to spend most summers at the palace until the king’s death in 1859. It took a few years after Oskar I’s death before crown prince Gustav got the palace in 1881. Gustav became King Gustav V in 1907. He and Queen Victoria used the castle as their summer palace. When the railway to Vagnhärad opened in 1913 it also included a royal waiting hall for the king.
A few curiosa: Gustav V also used the land around the palace for hunting. The events of 1946 have left marks until today. The King and his hunting companions were traveling back to Stockholm after a hunt at Tullgarn. The group’s driver did, however, lose control of the car and drove into a water-filled ditch outside of Stockholm. That area is today known as Kungens Kurva, translated to “The King’s Bend”.
The palace is since 1975 at the disposal of Gustav V’s great-grandson, the current king of Sweden, King Carl XVI Gustaf.
Things to Do and See
With Tullgarn Palace at its center, there is no need to look for long before being able to enjoy the beautiful entryway to the palace grounds. In addition, there are a large area of small paths to explore in the park and the nearby coastal woodlands.
The royal palace stands in the center of a park with many supporting buildings in its vicinity. The palace park includes green fields, flowerbeds, and small roads lined with trees and bushes. One part of the park also includes a couple of small ponds with bridges and meadows.
Other historical buildings here include Queen Viktoria’s Stables from the 1840s and King Oscar I’s Orangery from the 1850s. There is also a bathhouse and adjoining boathouse.
Tullgarn Nature Reserve
Tullgarn Nature Reserve is to the north of the palace. It was established in 1984 and covers 892 hectares of land and sea. The land is owned by the Swedish State and is known for its natural beauty with its coastal location.
How to Get to Tullgarn
- Flights: Stockholm Skavsta Airport (NYO) is 50 kilometers to the west.
- Car: Tullgarn is a short distance to the east of Vagnhärad.
- Bus: Buses from Trosabussen connect Tullgarn with the surrounding region.
The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:
- Stockholm – 65 kilometers (57 min)
- Gothenburg – 413 kilometers (4 h 30 min)
- Malmö – 557 kilometers (5 h 57 min)
- Linköping – 145 kilometers (1 h 38 min)
- Kiruna – 1296 kilometers (15 h 34 min)