In Western Sweden you can follow in the footsteps of a Swedish crusader, the fictional Arn Magnusson, created by the Swedish author Jan Guillot.
If your fancy does not run to fighting with drawn sword or fleeing from evil forces over rough terrain, you can lean back and enjoy the historic atmosphere of one of western Sweden’s many manor houses.
We have visited Thorskog Castle, which has been restored to its former glory. The castle has a long and exciting history, and has provided the backdrop for medial attempts to resolve hostilities between Norway and Sweden, as well as present-day international discussions.
If walls could talk…
We have to go back to 1249 to glimpse the momentous events that have played out between these walls. Norway’s Håkon Håkansson, the elder and Swedish Earl Birger stayed at Torsbakke (the Norwegian name for Thorskog) and agreed what they thought would be eternal peace between Norway and Sweden.
The peace treaty was linked to the marriage of two important members of the respective royal houses: 11-year old Rikitsa, daughter of Earl Birger and Princess Ingeborg Eriksdatter, and Norway’s Håkon Håkonssen the younger.
But there was to be no eternal peace. In 1397, Norway was absorbed into a union with Denmark that was to last for more than four hundred years. After centuries of on-and-off fighting between Denmark-Norway and Sweden, the county of Bohuslän was ceded to Sweden under the treaty of Roskilde in 1658. The castle thus became Swedish.
In 1720 Olof Wenngren established an estate and built a manor house where the castle stands today. Olaf was a farsighted man, he had large dams built, which subsequently led to the construction if a power station. The current castle was built in 1892 by the estate holder Petter Larsson, and was taken over by his son Eskil and daughter-in-law Ester.
Since then many owners have used the castle as a private residence.
Feature image (on top): Christmas at Thorskogs Castle
In the Footsteps of a Swedish Crusader, written by Admin