The ruin of the castle Brahehus is situated by the highway E4 some miles north of Gränna. Its demise is accentuated by the modernity that has been allowed to overtake the area rather than be integrated in the ruin site. The ruin feels out of place when seen from the rest stop, where the highway and the modern structures seem to surpass the ruin. The pathway to the ruin runs under the highway and seems to further suppress it; one almost feels like walking the path of the doomed to face the ruins of yesterday.
The highway seems to diminish Brahehus.
Brahehus seen from the reststop.
The pathway under the highway that leads to Brahehus.
But all that ends as soon as one comes up to the ruin and sees the grand view over lake Vättern, Gränna and the island Visingsö. At this time the ruin or castle is the centre and the highway is but a parenthesis in my subconscious. One can feel how right the castle was placed in the landscape.
The view from one of the window frames, down below is the bank between Gränna and Uppgränna outside which one sees lake Vättern and the island Visingsö.
View over Uppgränna, in Uppgränna stands a beautiful rune stone.
View over the middle and south part of the island Visingsö.
View over the northern part of Visingsö
Brahehus was built for the high chancellor count Per Brahe the younger in the mid 17th century. It was intended as a country retreat but became the dower house for his wife Kristina Katarina Stenbock, though she died before it was finished. The building process started in 1638 and wasn’t finished until the mid 1650’s. It was inspired by the medieval castles in Germany, regarding the location.
From this point one could see the other two castles that made up the Brahe castle triangle; Västanå castle (today the home of a golf course) and Visingsö castle (another ruin one can visit on the island Visingsö). As Per Brahes wife died the castle was used more or less as tourist complex, and for parties.
It is said that there has been several houses made out of wood around the castle, among others there might have been an inn and stables. It was destroyed in a fire 1708 and was left to decay, several renovations has been made since the beginning of the 20th century.
I’ve been to Brahehus on several occasions, as a child and fourth, but you always learn or seen something new when you visit a place. This time I took a closer look at one of the cellars.
The door to the celler
Behind the door a small cellar opens up, but as you can see the farther wall does not seem to have a 17th century origin. This makes me curious, do the cellar continue onwards, that’s my belief. So now I feel a need to read up the castle and see if I can find out anything more about the cellar. I also got interested if there are any archaeological evidence of the possible houses built outside of the castle or if anyone has made any research about it (mayhap one could try to make a project out of it???).
It is a stop one shouldn’t miss!