Field Marshal Wrangel (1662) by Matthaeus MerianSkokloster Castle
During the 17th Century, Sweden was one of the most powerful countries in Europe. Between 1654 and 1676, the accomplished statesman and military commander Carl Gustaf Wrangel built himself Skolkloster Castle on a peninsula of Lake Mälaren, near Stockholm.
Cut-away Drawing (1640/1650) by Kaspar VogelSkokloster Castle
The stylish Baroque masterpiece was designed by architect Caspar Vogel, who likely based it on Ujazdów Castle in Warsaw. It retains many original features, and is today recognised as one of the finest castles in Europe.
Entering the front gate of Skokloster, we're met by the courtyard, surrounded by a collonade. The decorative scheme is minimal and emphasises the grandeur of the floors above.
This room, The King's Hall, found between the Count and Countess' bedchambers, is the most lavish in the castle. It was originally known as the 'The Everyday Dining Room', it became The King's Hall when the royal portraits were later added.
The corridors of the castle are decorated with painting, many of which are from Wrangel's personal collection. Almost all genres of art are represented, however portraits make up the largest group.
Wrangel's personal bedchamber, decorated with more paintings, as well as baroque furniture, expensive stone, and intricately moulded ceiling panels. The fireplace prominently displays his his coat of arms and monogram CGW.
This gallery of neoclassical sculpture is found in a corner tower, just off Wrangel's bedchamber.
As well as the fine arts, Wrangel enjoyed woodworking. It might seem surprising, but this was a fairly common pastime of noblemen of the era. His lathe shows signs of heavy usage, and some of the tools in this room may have been used in the construction of the castle.
With the death of Carl Gustaf Wrangel in 1676, the castle was left largely incomplete. This great hall is in essentially the same condition as it was in the summer of 1676 when the builders left. It has since become known as the Unfinished Hall.
The armoury contains the largest collection of 17th century military weapons in the world. The majority of which are muskets and pistols, but it also includes swords, pikes, and suits of armour - many of which were collected by Wrangel as war booty.