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Sweden: Fogelvik, Valdemarsvik

Sweden: Fogelvik, Valdemarsvik

Fågelvik Manor (Swedish: Fågelviks herrgård) is a manor house in Valdemarsvik Municipality, Sweden. Once a castle building, the remains of the first building on the site date to the 1300s.The estate is mentioned in written sources for the first time in the late 14th century. At one point it belonged to Karl Ulfsson, Lord High Constable of Sweden. In 1429 it became the property of King Charles VIII of Sweden. After his death it passed to his daughter and through her marriage to the Gyllenstierna family. It stayed in the Gyllenstierna family for almost 250 years, until in 1720 it passed by marriage to Count Arvid Horn. For three generations it stayed within the Horn family. During the 19th century, it belonged to the families Thott and Posse but was sold in 1852 to the Crown Prince, the future King Charles XV of Sweden. The prince, however, sold the estate in 1855 and we had the privilege of being invited by the lovely Manfalks who now own the properties.The manor is located on a small island in an inlet of the Baltic Sea. The medieval estate included a castle surrounded by a moat located approximately 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) south of the present manor. The ruins of the castle, destroyed during the Dacke War in 1542, are still partially visible. The presently visible main building of the manor was built during the 18th century. Designs were made already during the 1730s by architect Carl Hårleman but construction did not commence until the 1770s. The designs were then probably somewhat altered by architect Jean Eric Rehn. The main building is a four-story building with an extension protruding from the middle of the facade towards the garden. There are two wings, built at the same time as the main building, as well as several outbuildings and annexes.


What a privilege to be invited to this magnificent family home. We were welcomed with a champagne reception by the Manfalk Family and the Akessons – always such fun!

After lunch Stefan gave us a tour. There are a total number of 40 bedrooms! Care and maintenance of a place like this along with their other properties is one of their son’s sole occupation – a full time job! Reading the history and gracing the same corridors as the King of Sweden and the niece of Napoleon Bonaparte is quite something!

It was a wonderful playground for the children – what a wonderful spot to raise your family! We went out on the boats and Ben got up first time on the wakeboard.

It was a real shame that the weather was not great … but that did not deter us from having a great time! In the morning after breakfast we headed over to the lighthouse island in the archipelago called Haradsskar where Stefan had bought a little house – these are in families for generations and only come up about once every two hundred years – so a fantastic purchase!

It was world lighthouse day so we took a stroll and climbed to the top where the light was on while Michael, Jonathan and Stefan cooked lunch. It is the first lighthouse in the world which flashed. Paul captured a grasshopper so that Caitlyn would not freak out and had to hold it in his hand the entire time! We tasted some wild juniper on the way – just like gin!

We enjoyed boar burgers – thanks to Jacob’s hunt before heading back.

We all had a snooze while kids played carom billiards, also called French billiards which is a game played with three balls (two white and one red) on a table without pockets, in which the object is to drive one of the white balls (cue ball) into both of the other balls. Each carom thus completed counts one point.

Then it was time for the crayfish party which entails drinking schnapps, singing songs and eating crayfish – and a hangover!

We all had a lie in! After breakfast Caitlyn gave wakeboarding a try and Ben tried skiing – but it was not a great success…then the rain came in!

What a fantastic weekend with warm and welcoming Swedish hospitality. We had a long drive back to the airport but it was very quiet and we got through quickly – but then the engine wouldn’t start so we had to go back to the stand and the engineer had to start it manually! We had great views over London as we flew in.

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