CÍLLEN, Henrik
(b. ca. 1500, d. after 1569)

General view

begun 1537
Gripsholm Castle, Mariefred, S÷dermanland

The solid brick Gripsholm Castle is surrounded by the waters of Lake Mälaren, and towers above the picturesque town of Mariefred. The history of the current castle begins in 1537, when construction under the direction of Henrik C÷llen was started by King Gustav Vasa. However, there was already a stronghold here in the 14th century, built by Seneschal of the Realm Bo Jonsson Grip, after whom the castle was named. The castle became part of a new national system of defence, and was also an official residence of the Renaissance Prince Gustav Vasa.

Gripsholm is still essentially a medieval brick structure, with four ranges and four high cylindrical towers round a courtyard. The simple ground-plans and very thick walls were, however, adapted to contemporary conditions of war, and the castle contained cannon and barracks as well as residential suites for the royal family. At Gripsholm, C÷llen combined his knowledge of late medieval castles in eastern Germany and in the Netherlands.