Torpa is a 15th century stone fortress which was pretty much impossible to capture before the use of fire arms but what you see today is mainly 16th century style. It was built here as a control centre for the nearby Viskan River during unruly times in Sweden when the Danes marched across this area. It is beautifully situated by the Torpa Lake which connects to the bigger Lake Åsunden, famous for its beauty and for a battle against the Danes in 1520 on its ice - a battle Sweden lost.
You can go on guided tours from May to September when the castle is open to the public. Otherwise, just walk around yourself and be impressed by the painted ceilings in the great hall and many other things such as the latest addition - its chapel. King Gustav Vasa fetched his third wife (the castle daughter) here in 1552 and the bed he is said to have slept in is also on display. The castle is still in private hands although the owners today (it has been in the same family through marriage since the 16th century) live in a designed villa in the grounds. There is also a handicraft shop in the castle and a café nearby.
In the Torpa Stenhus Castle barn, there is an art exhibition and conference centre, but also this café where you find friendly staff and generous portions of sliced ham with fried potato and aioli, several sandwiches and pies as well as cakes and ice cream.
Favorite Dish: Greek salad
At one time, a Dane was captured and imprisoned at Torpa and then executed. Unfortunately, the castle daughter at the time had fallen in love with the Dane and when he was decapitated, she committed suicide. It is said that her ghost has been seen ever since in the castle cellar and we actually felt a bit uneasy in that part of the castle even before we knew this! A 15-year-old girl has also supposedly been bricked in behind a castle wall here as she came back from Denmark, carrying the plague.
If you want to go to Tranemo itself, it is easily done by bus from Gislaved in Småland, or from Borås and Svenljunga, closer to Göteborg. There is also a train between Göteborg and Kalmar/Växjö which stops in nearby Limmared. It is worse trying to go to Torpa Stenhus, the major sight. For that you really need your own car to be flexible.
As Torpa Stenhus itself is full of wonderful ceilings, people around here seem very inspired and there are several artists. You can admire things in the nearby café in the barn after you have enjoyed these fantastic castle scenes.
Favorite thing: Fantastic ceilings can be seen in Torpa Stenhus great hall and exhibition hall. I never asked staff but we found it quite surprising that this whole ceiling full of roman gods had survived religious strictness in Sweden.