Dreams of Skokloster

– Between Battlefield and Starry Sky

A huge soup bowl with a floral pattern placed in one of the castle halls.
Dreams of Skokloster – Between Battlefield and Starry Sky is our permanent exhibition. By moving some of our splendid artefacts down to the ground floor, we have improved accessibility so that more people can enjoy our unique collections. The exhibition contains the castle’s unique collection of magnificent artefacts, with world-famous paintings, books, costumes and celestial globes to tell the exciting history of Skokloster.

Blending splendour with gleaming treasures. Stepping into the castle is to travel back to a time that has passed, to the luxurious world of the nobility and everyday life as it was for 350 years. There are furnishings, wall coverings, paintings and precious stones, all of which have a story to tell. But who were the people who gave life to the castle for three centuries? How did they view the world and what did they dream about? And why was the castle built here?

View from the showroom with artwork on the walls and display cases with objects.
Photo: Helena Bonnevier, Skokloster Castle/SHM.

Luxury for the Few

The magnificent artefacts shine with a very special brilliance. A brilliance that also shines on their owners. In the portraits in this room, you will meet some of the people who collected these artefacts over 350 years of Skokloster’s history. Displaying your wealth through the consumption of luxury was, and is, a way of manifesting status and success. This was important for the lord of the castle, Wrangel, as a person and for Sweden as a great power in Europe in the 17th century.

Photo: Helena Bonnevier, Skokloster Castle/SHM.

Education in the Baroque Period

Earth and celestial globes, as well as maps and atlases, have their place in the library. They are objects of great value that tell of faraway lands. During the 17th century and the Baroque period, the educational ideal was to have knowledge that was wide-encompassing. You should know a little about everything. The fascination with remarkable things knew no bounds – whether it be a unicorn horn, decorated tools, pistols, swords, model cannons, stuffed porcupine fish or chests of drawers. The exhibition shows some of the library’s hidden treasures, such as the gilded Alexander manuscript from the 15th century and the Wrangel family bible. Here we display Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s world-famous painting Vertumnus dating from about 1590.

Photo montage: Helena Bonnevier, Skokloster Castle/SHM.

The Home of Vertumnus

In the exhibition you will find many treasures, but none more famous than Giuseppe Arcimboldo's painting Vertumnus. Skokloster Castle is the home of Vertumnus.  

Photo: Jens Mohr, Skokloster Castle/SHM.

A journey through Time

Woven tapestry, a soup tureen from the 1770s and the book of Saint Birgitta’s visions of 1492 are some of the items on display. These objects can bring us closer to people who lived in a very different time from ours. The castle’s owners, of course, but also people who worked in the castle: construction workers, craftsmen, armourers, housekeepers, and so on. Other exclusive items include Nils Brahe’s Spanish costume from 1655 – probably the only one still in existence – and tools used in building the castle 300 years ago.

Photo montage: Helena Bonnevier, Skokloster Castle/SHM.

Used, Saved and Conserved

The more we know about the artefacts, the more interesting they become. Inventory lists, letters, accounts and travel descriptions, as well as newspaper articles, verbal descriptions and photographs offer information. Skokloster Castle’s collections are very wide-ranging, from the highest luxury to the mundane and everyday. There are objects here from the mid-16th century to the mid-20th century. These collections grew over a long period of time. All the castle’s owners added to the collections. What was old and worn out was replaced. Sometimes the broken and worn out items were saved.

An enlarged wolf jaw inside the rust chamber
Photo montage: Helena Bonnevier, Skokloster Castle/SHM.

Dazzling Splendour

Costly objects of silver, gold and precious stones. Decorative items, jewels and miniature portraits, spoils of war and gifts, presents and souvenirs. The Silver Chamber contains treasures of all kinds from different eras. A small gold ring from the 5th century AD is the oldest. They all have different origins and their own stories of how they came to be in Skokloster Castle. The collection of silver and curios now found in the castle, including older items, mainly came here in the Brahe family’s time. The collection grew especially rapidly during Magnus Brahe’s time in the 1830s and 1840s. Swedish and German Baroque silver was added to the collection, as well as contemporary silver.

Part of the exhibition design is by JoAnn Tan Studios.

The image at the top of the page is a photo montage. Photographer: Helena Bonnevier, Skoklosters castle/SHM

A tower room with displays in it
The Silver Chamber. Photo: Ola Myrin, Skokloster Castle/SHM.

Would You like to Know More?

Read a bit more about objects from Skokloster Castle on Google Arts & Culture!

Photo: Helena Bonnevier, Skokloster Castle/SHM.