Tureholm Palace and an (almost) Horror Story

I switched on Google maps on my phone, trying to find my way to Tureholm Palace. It was one of the places that was considered a must visit in Trosa. So off I went to check it out.

The weather seemed fine, and the bus didn’t seem to be soon in coming so I decided to let my feet take me to the palace. Getting to Tureholm involves going past the heritage part of Trosa – Garvaregården.

From there, it was basically a straight walk,

a long walk,

Still more walking.

Hidden behind all that tall, uncut grass was the stately Tureholm Palace.

Why was this place important? A palace was first built in this location to house members of what would become the Sture line. The Stures were three influential families in Sweden from the late 14th to 16th century with three members from these lines serving as regents (de facto rulers of Sweden when the monarch is too young to rule) – Sten Sture the Elder, Svante Nilsson and Sten Sture the Younger – during the Kalmar Union.

The Kalmar Union centred around Denmark and Copenhagen (source)

The Sture line was almost destroyed in the later 1500s when the then king of Swden, Erik II in a deranged mood sentenced five nobles (including three of the most influential Stures of the time) on charges of treason – charges which true only in his mind. This is remembered in history as the Sture Murders and took place in the Uppsala castle.

Uppsala castle in a distance

Like the rest of Trosa, the castle was completed destroyed in the Russian Pillage and had to be rebuilt later on in the 1700s, the current building is the same one that was rebuilt in the 1700s. The ownership of the house had been transferred from the noble house of Sture, to the noble house of Bielke. The Bielke’s were important in Swedish political life, with more than 300 years of service to the the court in some important capacity or other.

Ownership of the house transferred out of the family in 1921 and then went on a roller-coaster ride to a number of people across the years.

I didn’t know all this when I arrived at the castle. All I knew was that this palace was considered a must-see. Well, its obvious that this is not a castle for royalty, it doesn’t have the grandeur of the royal palace in Drottnigholm or Gamla Stan but what it does have is a stately elegance. But it was grand, stately and eerie.

I thought that palace was a museum, so you can imagine my disappointment when I saw the palace as it was, left on the outside without much maintenance.

I was ready to turn back and go home but decided to explore the outsides of the palace at the very least. Despite the bring sunlight, the exploratory mood soon gave way to a cold chill behind my back. Memories of horror stories came flooding to my mind. This is how horror stories begin, an overly curious idiot goes to somewhere they should not be going.

What am I doing… why am I drawn to looking at the windows… idiot… urgh, I can’t control myself.

A cold tingle ran down my spine.

I kept expecting some greyish figure or poltergeist to pop up at the windows and yet my head continued to turn up against my better judgement and self-control. I quickly turned back, this was somewhere that I did not want to be on my own.

Just as I turned back through the gate the door to the house opened. My blood curled. A person emerged from the house. Shit, is this a real person, this is not happening, I thought to myself.

I looked at him and decided to be brave, ignoring all the horror movie plots running through my head I approached the man to say hi.

“Do you know if and when the tour of the palace takes place?”

“Oh, it’s not today. I am a co-owner of this place actually and we have tours that run every Sunday,” he replied with a bright smile on his face.

“Ah I see, thanks!” came the reply and I quickly turned my feet away.

“WAIT”

I paused and turned back, “where are you from?” Came his question.

“Singapore,” I heaved in a sigh of relief.

The guy turned out to be Christer Bonder the current owner of the house.

I didn’t need a tour, I didn’t want a tour. That was enough hair raising for a day. I think I would have scared myself away from enjoying the palace and the many different rooms that are in the palace. The only thing lacking to this erstwhile horror story was bad weather, but even the bright sunshine could not curb my goosebumps, what more would a cloudy afternoon have done.

The interior of the house must be quite stately for it was the setting for the famous Swedish director Igmar Bergman to film the movie The Best Intentions that won the Palme d’Or in Cannes in 1992. The film was inspired by the love story of his father and mother.

But that’s all of the Tureholm I could do. I turned back to return to Trosa.

My goosebumps are rising just writing this piece.

ON THE MAP

 

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