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Explore Sweden: Six fantastic Swedish 'slott' to visit in Skåne

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Explore Sweden: Six fantastic Swedish 'slott' to visit in Skåne
Sofiero slott near Helsingborg is perhaps one of the most well-known palaces to visit in southern Sweden. Here are another six. Photo: Guillaume Baviere/Wikimedia Commons
08:49 CEST+02:00
The Swedish word 'slott' translates uncomfortably as 'castle', as it takes in grand country houses and palaces as well as stone fortresses. But 'castles' or not, the countryside of Skåne is full of them. Here are six of the best.
Torups slott
 
This 16th century building is a favourite getaway for Malmöites, with its well-tended grounds and surrounding beech woods accessible in 45 minutes by bike, 20 minutes by car, and just over a half an hour by public transport.
 
It is as much a fortified medieval mansion as a castle, although when it was originally built, it was surrounded by a moat (part of which survives as an ornamental lake). The castle was designed and built by the accomplished Swedish-born noblewoman Görvel Fadersdotter Sparre, after she had been given lands in Skåne by King Frederick II of Denmark in exchange for territories in Norway.
 
The castle gives guided tours every Sunday around its grand dining room, medieval kitchens, early 17th century tapestry, and historic library. But most visitors come for the adventure playground in its beech woods, its walking trails, ornamental gardens, and two cafés. 
 
Torups Slott is a popular getaway for Malmöites. Photo: Jorchr/Wikimedia Commons 
 
Kärnan
 
The last remaining portion of the much larger Danish fortress which controlled the pinched entrance to the Baltic, Kärnan, which means literally "the core", is certainly a real medieval castle. When it was first built in Helsingborg in the 1310s, it was twinned with Kronborg, or Hamlet's Castle, across the Öresund Strait in Helsingør. The chief reason to go is to look over the waters from the roof and get a sense of the strategic power of the position. The crenellated battlements date from 1893-94 when the tower was restored. The tower houses a small but nonetheless interesting exhibition about its history. You can now enjoy a virtual tour on the castle's website.
 
Kärnan is the last remaining tower of what was once a much larger fortress. Photo: Bengt Flemark/Imagebank Skåne
 
Bosjökloster Slott
 
With its location between the two halves of Ringsjön, Skåne's second biggest lake, Bosjökloster is another favourite weekend escape. Originally built as a convent on what was then an island in the middle of the lake, it was seized by the Danish crown during the reformation.
 
The Swedish count Thord Bonde now owns the house, after his family bought it in 1908. It has a beautiful English-style garden, known for its 200 varieties of roses, thousand-year-old oak, and roaming llamas, alpacas, Shetland ponies and goats. From spring through to autumn there is a busy schedule of concerts, exhibitions and other events. It is also known for its Christmas market.
 
Bosjökloster boasts a stunning English-style garden. Photo: Imagebank Skåne 
 
Skarhults slott
 
Like Torup, Skarhults Slott is more a fortified palace than a real castle, although it has places for cannons built into the round tower. It boasts a fine, English-style garden, built around the banks of the river Bråån. The medieval church, with its vaults and murals, is also worth a visit. 
 
Alexandra von Schwerin, the Stockholmer wife of the current owner Baron Carl-Johan von Schwerin, was behind the decision to open the grounds to the public in 2014. She has since mounted a series of exhibitions with feminist themes, winning her a businesswoman of the year award in 2018.  
 
This summer, there will be an exhibition on the extraordinary life of the spirited Swedish journalist Ester Blenda Nordström, who broke through with her 1914 undercover report on life as a scullery maid, and then went on to rescue starving Finns in the First World War, spend six months living among the Sami, jump freight trains around America, and inspire Astrid Lindgren to write Pippi Longstocking. 
 
Skarhults Slott by night. Photo: Skarhults Slott
 
Christinehofs Ekopark
 
Christinehof certainly doesn't qualify as a castle to English-speaking eyes, but the 18th century renaissance mansion is a fantastic place to break up a trip to Österlen, the holiday area on Skåne's eastern coast. Like Skarhult, it hosts regular exhibitions, concerts and other events. Count Carl Piper, the current owner, is an active environmental campaigner who has turned the grounds into an eco-park, boasting wetlands, Skåne's highest waterfall, and woodland walks around the Verkeån river. The castle has in the past hosted major rock concerts, in its early 1990s heyday drawing top international acts such as Alice Cooper, Status Quo, Elton John, Bryan Adams and Roxette. 
 
Christinehof is a good place to break up a seaside holiday in Österlen. Photo: Lena Birgersson/Imagebank Skåne
 
Landskrona Citadel
 
Built by Christian III of Denmark in the mid 16th century, Landskona Citadel is slightly younger but better preserved than its rival in Malmö, which in 1937 had an ill-judged functionalist museum tacked onto three sides of its courtyard.
 
The castle runs guided tours, hosts weddings, and also puts on team-building events like "Imprisoned in the Castle", and "Under Lock and Key". 
 
Landskrona's Citadel is beautifully positioned near the sea. Photo: sydpol.com
 
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