Photos: Jeremiah Nilsson, Torpa Stenhus
What could be more captivating than medieval walls illuminated by hand?
Medieval walls illuminated by hand in black and white.
Case in point: Torpa Stenhus, one of Sweden's best-preserved medieval manors. The original building dates to the 1300's when it was a farm cottage for a succession of knights and noblemen. By 1470 it was rebuilt into a tall stone house (stenhus) to fortify it against impending attack. During Sweden's struggle with Denmark, the site was an important control center for the Viskan River. It is idyllically situated on Lake Torpa which connects to Lake Åsunden, famous for a battle fought upon its ice.
When Gust Ericksson drove the Danes out in 1521, he was crowned Sweden's first truly autocratic native sovereign, King Gustaf Vasa. After 30 years of rule as "the father of the nation" Gustav made Torpa Stenhus his final residence. Upon arriving there he announced his engagement (having already lost two wives by the age of 56) to 17-year-old Katarina Stenbock. Katarina was already engaged and was said to have hidden under a bush when he came for her, but the King decreed otherwise. On August 22nd, 1552, 458 years ago this very day (by coincidence, honest) she became Queen consort of Sweden.
I wonder if it was she who had those walls illuminated in black and white?
King Gustav Vasa and Queen Consort Katarina Stenbock
Photo: Torpa Stenhus
Photo: Renaud Camus
Photo: Maarten Zuidland
Photos: Tom Wilson
Photos: August Sjöberg