For some reason, the 11th century Vikings were not anticipating future luxury hotel needs when they claimed Häringe Peninsula for themselves. Luckily, however, Swedish Count Gustav Hornhad had the foresight 600 years later to build just the thing: a stone castle on the outskirts of Stockholm.
A half hour's drive away in Västerhaninge, Häringe Slott has survived many colorful incarnations since the count's day, serving time as an orphanage, a rowdy saloon, a grand palace, and the site of Sweden's first outdoor pool with a slide from a second floor bathroom (we wonder: is there a second one?). Let's check in for the weekend:
Above: Afternoon tea is served daily, featuring scones, cakes, cookies...and tea.
Above: In the 1930s, industrialist Axel Wenner-Gren—the Electrolux vacuum cleaner magnate—owned the castle.
Above: A voracious collector, Wenner-Gren filled the palace with antique furniture, armor, silver, and mementos from his travels.
Above: After Wenner-Gren's death in 1961, the lavish furnishings disappeared—briefly. After new owner, crab importer Olle Hartwig, pored over Wenner-Gren's photo albums looking for clues, he was able to re-purchase most of the items.
Above: Previous owner Wenner-Gren was a collector of antique weaponry.
Above: And yes, antlers too. Is it possible Wenner-Gren had too much money?
Above: A guest room.
Above: A bathtub fit for a vacuum cleaner magnate.
Above: Now, about that slide...
To see the surroundings, go to An Enchanted Swedish Castle's Gardens.
(N.B.: This is an update of a post that ran on July 5, 2012.)