Gripsholms Fabrik AB (to the left of the castle in the engraving) was Sweden’s biggest chemical manufacturing company between 1820 and 1825. Its manager was Carl Palmstedt, who later developed what is now the Chalmers University of Technology, and its product developer, Jöns Jacob Berzelius, was a chemist of international renown and, next to Linnaeus, Sweden’s best-known scientist. For a brief but happy period the factory was the scene of both product development and betterment of workers’ conditions.






Bo Jonsson Grip, the richest and most powerful man in Swedish history, had a castle built on a small island in Lake Mälaren. On the remains of that stronghold, the Renaissance monarch Gustav Vasa built a castle which has been added to and developed by his successors on the throne. This is the best-filed castle in Sweden. In addition to interesting interiors ranging from the 16th to the 18th century, its contents include the National Portrait Collection – the history of Sweden told through its potentates, now hanging there on the walls, awaiting your attention.






The town still meets the country at the old monastery boundary, roughly where the town gate used to be. Mariefred is a very small but lively year-round place which still has the same main street as in the 18th century. It has an old water-gate on the Mälaren side. The town gets its name from Pax Marie, the former monastery, brick from which went into the building of the castle. The histories of town and castle are intertwined. For a long time the castle made the running, but Mariefred received its charter in 1605 and is today developing under its own steam.


Picture by J. F. Martin in the series Svenska Vuer (cropped)