Road Trip 2018, Part 16
Solliden Palace, commonly just called Solliden, situated not far from the Borgholm Castle Ruin on Öland, is the summer residence of the Swedish Royal Family. It was built in 1903-1906 for Victoria of Baden, wife of the Swedish crown prince Gustaf. One year later Gustaf became king (Gustaf V), and Victoria the Queen of Sweden. They were the great grandparents of our present king. The property has been passed on in the family, and now belongs to king Carl XVI Gustaf.
The inspiration for the architecture of this palace was an elegant Italian villa. The palace is also surrounded by a beautiful park, which is open to visitors in the summer. Traditionally, the present Crown Princess Victoria (born 14th July 1977) always celebrates her birthday here, also including meeting “the public”. The event also involves an outdoors concert with well-known artists, held in a nearby sports field and televised nationwide. I watched this year’s event two nights before Per and I set off on our road trip. Our visit to Öland and Solliden was on the 18th. No sign of the royal family still being there then, I’m afraid. Or perhaps that was to our advantage… (I’m not sure if they can keep the usual opening hours in the park when the royal family is actually there!)
At the entrance to the park. (Inside, I think.)
For a palace it’s not really big, but it’s still grand…
‘A tourist may look at a king’… or at least at his garden!
This fairy tale cottage up on a hill opposite the palace used to be “playhouse” for the king’s four older sisters back when they were children. Perhaps still used as such when today’s generation of little ones are visiting? Anyway, besides the gardener mowing the lawn, there was also a very serious-looking guard keeping watch over the path up to that cottage, so that no visitors would dare go up there. (He looked so stern I did not even dare take a photo with him in it!)
No walking on the lawns!
Lots of sculptures, old and new, in the lower part of the park
The name “Solliden” may translate “Sunny Hill” or something like that. It is situated on the side of a hill, and if you ever visit, you should be prepared for quite a steep walk down to the entrance of the park, and further down again into the lower parts of the park. And then all the way back up again… I’ll add a little “phew”, as it was another day with temperatures around 30’C (86’F). But it was worth it, to get to see this lovely green and flowering oasis in the otherwise very dry and brown landscape this summer.
Also a lovely day to show off the Swedish flag!
Back up at the parking lot, I did not have the energy to also climb over a fence to go and pay my respects to the sculpture of old Queen Victoria who had the palace built. So I just zoomed her in with my camera. (Yes, that’s the Borgholm Castle ruins in the background.)
And below is a portrait of the present-day royal family, copied from their own website.