Sunday, 16 September 2018

Solliden Palace, Öland

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!)

Sign pointing to “Slottet” = The Palace


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

2018-07-18-10 Solliden1


2018-07-18-10 Solliden2


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.

Kungafamiljen vid Solliden slott 2016. Foto: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

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  1. for myself I would prefer living in the cottage instead of the big house. the grounds are just fantastic and what a beautiful family, all of them. so much beauty there, to just wander and look or sit and stare

    1. Sandra, I'd love to see the inside of both, but I'm not sure that's included even in the guided tours. (We were not in time for any such tour so we just strolled around the park on our own. Which in this case I really preferred as we had a pretty full schedule on this day anyway.)

  2. I can't recall seeing any 'don't walk on the grass' notices in the UK for a long time. I was interested to see that the men who were wearing jackets in the photo had handkerchiefs in their top pockets. In the days when I wore a suit or a jacket (which is rare these days) I always wore and handkerchief thus and I still do. However it seems to have gone out of fashion here which is rather sad.

    1. Graham, I don't think I've seen many "don't walk on the grass" notices lately either. In our public town park here it's totally allowed to walk, sit or lie down on the grass... But of course in a private palace garden like this, that's a different matter.

  3. Queen Silvia and Crown Princess Victoria are both ladies I have the utmost respect for. Although hihgly privileged, neither have easy lives; both have shown much strength and courage in facing aversities. I don't know enough about the rest of the family to say anything about them, but I am sure these strong ladies are providing the backbone for the whole group.
    Solliden looks, as you say, not much as a palace but still grand. I imagine the family can lead lives a tad less strictly "protocol" there than when they are at Drottningholm.

    1. Meike, I admire them too. Privileged they may be, but they are also hard-working with quite busy official schedules, little privacy, and yet showing a great deal of compassion with people much less privileged.

  4. Oh I could live at that lovely white home! I thought it looked rather friendly, with the interesting arched covered stairs up the front. I would go like a flash if someone invited me for a fortnight. If I owned the place, I would let the topiary trees soften up however.
    Gosh, so your hot summer temperatures continue! Poor you. The green must have indeed been a balm to your eyes.

    1. Kate, this was back in July. Now it's back to normal autumn weather, as in rain and 13'C. (Very good weather for looking back at summer photos!)

    2. Ah, I see. Yes, I was in Sweden then, so I can really relate. I am just doing my Swedish posts, actually. and the memories are keeping me warm too!

  5. You got wonderful photos!! It does look a bit like a villa, especially with the low profile and some of the arched windows. Gorgeous flowers! And I have never seen a stretched-out bike like this! Likely made just to be a planter. The white bench is beautiful, a work of art. It's good to see both you and your brother. Lovely big pumpkin there, maybe real or not? The cottage is lovely, like a fairy tale. And I love the window boxes. I like the topiaries that are very straight and squared off, you don't see that much. The royal family captures each person looking good and smiling. Of course I always love your beautiful flag!

  6. Love the photos, especially the house with grass growing on the roof.

  7. Elegant royal grounds, complete with shadows!


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