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I guess it is time that I write a bit more about 'my' area of Sweden: the area around Lake Mälaren! Mälaren is the third largest lake in Sweden and it also the area that I now call my home. I have been living here for approximately 15 years; to be exact, from the first day that I moved to Sweden. And Fiholm is only a bicycle trip away from my home (approx 10 km).
But, I don't go here often though as it is rather off the beaten path. Even when I am living relatively close by! I guess this is one of those ultimate 'off the beaten path places' ;-) And to be honest, I personally wouldn't make a long detour for the sole purpose of visiting Fiholm. But it is a nice place to visit when you are in the area and take some photos of the colourful historical buildings. And on a nice sunny day the drive (or bycicle trip!) towards the castle over the winding narrow lanes is picturesque to do.
All the photos in the collage below are clickable, so you can view the larger photo.
My first ever trip to Fiholm was not long after I moved to Sweden, when I made some bicycle tours around the area of my new home. I had actually no idea that there was a manor here called Fiholm. But my husband and perfect local guide, dragged me along on this trip, showing me some of the more unknown places in the area. It was a really nice trip, bicycling along winding country roads, through fields that were almost ready for harvesting, and racing with my bike up and down the hills.
A visit to Fiholm can be a mixed experience however. I remember from that trip that I only could take a glimpse of the colourful manor buildings over the a stone wall surrounding the house and the grounds. But on a later visit I was able to walk into the courtyard, with great view over the houses, and even having a nice cuppa tea with some cake in the adjacent cafe.
Let me give you a short overview of the history of the Manor:
The estate of Fiholm was inherited in 1617 by Axel Oxenstierna; who is widely considered one of the most influential people in Swedish history. And in 1640 Axel started building a big castle. In 1642 the two different colored late-Renaissance wings were constructed, but the main building, needed to complete the castle, was never raised. So why not do you wonder?
As the stories goes, there was a dispute between Axel Oxenstierna and his son Johan. The son Johan was not interested in the castle and he commented that the wings looked more like two barns than a castle. In the end Axel never build the main building, but instead invested the money in fixing Jäder's church in a grand way so much so that it was sometimes called Rekarne Cathedral. And if you are in the area, and if you like me enjoy historical churches, I can really recommend a visit to the Jäder Church (located not that far from Fiholm).
I have to agree a bit with son Johan however. Although the manor wings are nice to see, it does have some resembles of two huge barns. It would have been totally different if the main building was there to complete the picture, but unfortunately it was never build. Striking are the vibrant colours of the two wings, one being in a tone of terracotta / orange, and the other in a pink tone, matching perfectly with the roses and the Clematis flowers in the garden.
The southern of the two wings is still in use and is privately owned. This has always been considered to be the main building, as it is 1 meter longer compared to the north wing. The wing to the north (pink in colour) is empty and currently not in use.
At one time there was a little cafe here, in the adjacent stone barn, where you could enjoy a nice piece of pie :-)
The house is normally not open for visitors. But if you are really interested, there is an option to book a guided tour for groups. The other option is to be here when there is an event going on (which is not very often, about twice a year). During those days it is possible to take a look inside as well.
Fiholm is located between Strängnäs and Eskilstuna in the direction of Lake Mälaren, quite close to Björsund.
Simone & Äke, Fiholm, Sweden
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