Brandt Contemporary Glass
For me the main attraction of Torshälla is "Åsa Brandt". She is a glass artist and she has her workplace, shop and gallery here in Torshälla. She does wonders with glass! And I can really recommend making a stop here when you are interested seeing some of her work. Her works involves everything from beautiful glasswork, vases to more real "works of art".
Åsa Brandt is quite famous and her work is displayed all over the world, like at the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, The National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo and the Kunstmuseum in Düsseldorf.
I wish I could show you some of her work but unfortunately I don't have a photo of it. So instead I'll show you this windmill that you can see opposite the gallery. Åsa Brandt is a well known artist and it shouldn't be a problem to find her gallery. It is located on top of the highest hill in Torshälla. You can always ask people to point out directions to you as everyone knows where it is.
Eskilstuna is the city I live closest to. It is the place where I go for my shopping, where I study, visit the library, where I like to go out for dinner, etc, etc.
Eskilstuna is a very old place. The area around Eskilstuna was already well known during the Vikings. But having said that, I have to admit that Eskilstuna is not a real tourist destination, but it has some nice places. My favourite of all is the Fors Kyrka (Fors Church). This church in Eskilstuna is really worth a visit. Besides the Fors Kyrka you can visit the Klosterkyrka, a much more modern church, but with a nice atmosphere. Don't forget to take a look at the sculpture 'Hand of God' by Miles, Take a look at the work of the glassblowers at 'Tingsgården", visit the historic area of "Rademachersmedjorna" or maybe drop by at the Faktorimuseet. I also should mention the zoo in Eskilstuna: "Parken Zoo".
you can read more about this city on my Eskilstuna page
Welcome to Södermanland! :-))
This is where I live! In Södermanland! In a tiny little village called Sundbyholm! My home is in the middle of Sweden in the region of Södermanland, just south of Lake Mälaren and west of Stockholm. In my general tips I have added some maps that will give you a bit better idea about this area and the places that are nice to visit.
In the picture you can see a view over Lake Mälaren, Sweden's third largest lake. I will start this page about Södermanland (or Sörmland as the Swedish often call it) by exploring several places along lake Mälaren that are nice to visit. From there I will travel on a bit to the south and show you some other spots that I've been to.
I hope you will enjoy this page! And maybe even come visit this part of Sweden some day!
you can read more about this destination on my Sundby page
- Road Trip
Sundbyholm is located on Lake Mälaren, a beautiful lake in the middle of Sweden. It has a little recreation area located right here at the lake. For me it means a nice place to walk to (it is only 10 minutes to go here) and relax. It has its charm as well in the summer as in the winter. Somehow the lake always looks wonderful. I love to watch the sunset over the lake and I try to take pictures of that whenever I can; as you can see in the previous photo.
There is also a little harbour here and even a castle! Sundbyholm is just a little dot on the map, some houses at the lake, a castle and a little harbour. But for me it is home and I absolutely love it here.
you can read more about this destination on my Sundby page
- Road Trip
Well, I can't show you my region without showing 'my' castle! So here is one more photo of Sundbyholm and now of its castle. Hahaha, I love castles, so what more can you wish for than having one almost in your backgarden :-))
Sundbyholms castle is not a 'real' castle anymore. It is now in use as a restaurant and hotel. The castle was built from 1639 to 1648 by Carl Carlsson Gyllenhielm, the illegitimate son of King Carl IX. The castle has been on fire 1674 but it was rebuilt after the fire, adding a third floor. After another fire, 100 years later, it was only partially restored. In 19th century it was restored again, but now rebuild as a conference centre and luxury hotel.
you can read more about Sunbyholm Castle on my Sundby page
- Road Trip
Meet the Vikings at Sigurdsristningen
The Sigurdsristning is a special place with a lot of history. You can see it on the side of a quiet road, somewhere in between the trees. A little sign tells you where it is, and when you climb up the rock you see this: A huge rock with carved pictures surrounded by runic inscriptions. But what you feel is history, and lots of it. I find it an amazing place. It feels special to be here, where so many centuries ago someone was telling a story of a distinguished Viking family, by making these carvings in these rocks.
It’s an important historic place, but it is unprotected, it is just ‘there’ in the woods. And maybe that makes it even more special. I always feel peaceful when I am here, I don’t know why, I just feel at ease. The carvings are only a 5 minutes walk from my house. I don’t go here often though. Maybe it is because I want to keep it ‘special’, a place to visit so now and than and have that great feeling to connect with history.
To get a great overview of the area: take a look at this link to get a 3-d overview and also a 3-d close-up of the carvings.
You can read all about the Sigurdsristningen on my Sundby page
- Historical Travel
Hahaha, no, this is not my house! This is the "tegelslagarsstuga" or in English: "the cottage of the brickmaker". I really like this little house, hidden in the woods, close to my house.. I think it looks so picturesque. It gives the idea of the area though, rural, picturesque and quiet. The house dates back to the 17th century. Many of the big estates during those times had a little brickmakers cottage like this on its property.
you can read more about this little house on my Sundby page
This is a picture of Sundby Kyrka. This little church is only 10 minutes walk from my home, and it takes a nice little walk through the woods to get here. The church is my fav in the area, it is small and quite picturesque on the inside. And this is where I got married, so this little church is extra special to me :-)))
The Sundby church dates back to 1100. Amazing isn't it! Around 1100 they sarted building stone churches in Södermanland. It is known that in 1686 the original church from 1100 was still there. From this time on they started changing the church though. Dates mentioned are 1686 and 1792. In 1996 the church was completely renovated.
you can read more about the Sundby Church on my Sundby page
Torshälla is an old trading place. The name Torshälla probably used to be "Torsharg" named after the God Thor. In the fountain in city centre you can see a statue of Thor. The city of Torshälla is really old and got its city rights already in 1317.
Nowadays Torshälla is almost one with the city of Eskilstuna as this city expanded so much. I have to admit that Torshälla is not really my favourite, I hardly visit it as I don't find it that spectacular. It does have some nice places, but on the whole it feels a bit boring. There is one exception and that is "Åsa Brandt". I'll tell you a bit more about that in the next tip.
Fors Kyrka in Eskilstuna
Let me show you some of my favourite spots in Eskilstuna. First of all the Fors Kyrka (Fors Church). This church in Eskilstuna is really worth a visit. The Fors Church was built in the 11th century on same place as a wooden church used by bishop Eskil from England.
To make a good photo of the Fors Kyrka is quite hard because it is all surrounded by trees. But when you visited the church, the leaning angle of the tower is what strikes you at once. It's not leaning as much as the tower of Pisa, but it is leaning over a lot. The tower to this church was added probably in the middle of the 14th century and has had a considerable lean from the time that it is build. To prevent the tower from leaning over more, they put wedges on the outside of the north wall.
The Fors Kyrka is not the first church on this spot. The original wooden church was destroyed by fire, but it was rebuilt in stone in the second half of the 11th century. There are still some traces of this stone church and they are visible in the north wall and the west wall.
you can read more about the Fors Kyrka on my Eskilstuna page
Kloster Church in Eskilstuna
This is the main church in Eskilstuna and it is hard to miss seeing it when you visit this town. It is on the other side of the Eskilstunaån river from the downtown area. The church is surprisingly new, it was built from 1925 to 1929. I have to admit I always thought it was much older than that. They were able to build this church because of the foundation of Widow Jeanette Zetterberg from 1867. She was richest woman ever in Eskilstuna and donated a lot for charity, for example money for a new hospital.
The church is called Kloster church as in the same area was the Johanniter (order of St.John) monastery (=kloster in swedish) was situated. The order of the Johanniter had a great influence on the life in Eskilstuna from 12th to the end of the 16th century.
I really liked the inside of this church. As it is very 'new' I was afraid of what to see on the inside. But I was really pleasantly surprised. There weren't much decoration inside the church, but the architecture made it look wonderful. The high roof, the elegant lights and the use of the bricks make it look really great.
You can read more about the Kloster Church on my Eskilstuna page
The Factori Museet in Eskilstuna
A nice fun museum in Eskilstuna is the Factori Museet. And its for free, hahaha, so that's always good! :-) The museum is worth the visit when you are in town, so don't hesitate to drop in and have a look around for yourself.
The museum is divided into several parts, and one of them tells you all about the steam engine. It's quite logical to have this section in the museum as Eskilstuna has a rich industrial history. There are quite a few of these steam engines on display, when you're lucky you can see them at work as well. They were not working when I was there though (probably because I was here off-season), hahaha, so it was nice and quiet :-)
Besides steam-engines and trains there is also a section devoted to the history of Eskilstuna. I really enjoy this part, and have been back here several times.
The museum is located in the city centre on a little island in the river Eskilstunaån. It is open from Tuesday till Sunday, from 11 o’clock in the morning until 4 in the afternoon.
You can read more about the Faktorimuseet on my Eskilstuna page
From Eskilstuna we travel east and the next stop we make is in a little village called Jäder. The church here is quite interesting. The church originates back to the year 1000 and started off as a wooden church. During 1100 the church was rebuild in stone. Around 1600 this whole area is owned by the family "Oxtenstierna", a well-known and rich family in Sweden. Their name pops up quite a bit when reading about Swedish history. They are also the owners of Fiholm Slott that I will talk about a bit later on in this page.
The family Oxtenstierna put a lot of money towards this church, to secure themselves a worthy burial place. And I think they made a good job of it :-) Since 1659 there have been no real changes made to the church, so this is what it looked like a few centuries ago. Just think... 1659! Amazing, isn't it!
You can read more about the area around Jäder church on my Björsund page
Nature reserve "Rördrommen"
You can see the Rördrommen" on the right site of the road. This is your main gateway to get into the little nature reserve at the lake. The name is very appropriate because "Rördrommen" is the name of a rare bird you can spot here: Rördrom or Botaurus stellaris.
Although..... actually seeing this bird will be a very difficult task as the bird is very shy. But hearing it, yes that's possible! It has a ver destinct sound you can miss hearing! it's deep booming song is often likened to the sound produced by blowing across the top of an empty milk bottle.
As I never saw the bird myself, but only heard it, I don't have any photos of it. So instead this pheasant that is also a regular visitor in these parts. And these are not the only birds you can spot here. Rördrommen and Lake Söderfjärden is an area very popular among many bird species.
You can read more about the area around Lake Söderfjärden on my Björsund page
I visited this Fiholm Castle during a bicycle tour from my home. It's not that far from where I live (about 10 - 15 kilometres), hahaha, if you don't mind the hills. Hmmm... they are not really hills I guess, hahaha, but it isn't flat either. But if you are from the Netherlands, like me, every bump in the road feels like a hill :-)
It's a beautiful bicycle ride though, when you get close to the castle you can ride along the picturesque long lanes belonging to the castle.
The estate of Fiholm was inherited in 1617 by Axel Oxenstierna. In 1640 they started building a big castle. In 1642 the two wings were constructed, but no main building was ever raised. Reason to this, as the stories goes, is the dispute Axel Oxenstierna and his son Johan. When the son was asked about the coming building of the castle he answered that they were more like two barns than a castle. The angry father Axel answered:- If you think so than you have to build the cattle shed by yourself!-
Hahaha, I love this story. But I have to agree a bit with son Johan. Although the castle is 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. All you see now are the two wings of the castle opposite each other.
It is possible to visit the castle, but it isn't open daily. It is possible to book an excursion 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.
You can read more about the area around Fiholm Slott on my Björsund page
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