#122 Stegeborg Castle
Near Söderköping, Östergötland, Sweden
~1200 - 1590
This is NOT an official Lego site
Note: I am indebted to Krister Johannesson of Skövde for his interest in castles, Lego and for many
of the photographs on this page, and to Britt Danielsson, owner with her husband Casimir, of
Stegeborg Estate, for her excellent history of Stegeborg Castle and technical assistance.
Tack så mycket!!
Castle is situated on a small island guarding the
narrowest point of a roughly 13-mile long bay which
stretches from the Baltic Sea to Söderköping. The first
"castle" on the island was probably a
quadrangular brick watchtower at what is now the
southeast corner of the castle. It was built about 1200
and may have been protected by a wooden palisade. By 1310,
the first time Stegeborg is mentioned in written
literature, a stone castle of unknown design was
bequeathed to King Birger as part of the estate of his
father, the Swedish king Magnus Ladulås. Birger
conspired to imprison his two brothers, who shared his
inheritance, but the brothers' subjects, irate at their
lieges' confinement, stormed Birger's stronghold at
Stegeborg and "crumbled [the castle so] not a single
stone was left"! Some version of a castle at
Stegeborg was rebuilt in the 14th century under the
guidance of the very wealthy Bo Jonsson Grip, Vizier to
King Albrekt von Mecklenburg, and probably improved
during the reign of Queen Margareta of Denmark and Sweden.
The castle was strong enough to withstand three seiges in
the early 15th century by the legendary Karl Knutsson
Bonde. However, Karl's daughter had the foresight to
marry a very rich Danish nobleman, Ivar Axelsson Tott.
Ivar was granted Stegeborg Castle in 1472 and it was his
re-enforcement of Stegeborg with 10 meter high curtain
walls which gave the castle its lasting reputation. He
also built the initial round donjon tower which is so
prominent today - the Tott family coat of arms can still
be seen on the tower.
the Danes conquered Sweden in 1520, capturing Stockholm,
24-year old Gustav Eriksson Vasa raised a small army of
rebels in Dalarna in central Sweden and, in a series
battles over the next several years, gradually retook
much of his native land from Christian II of Denmark. By
no means universally loved, Gustav I was elected King of
Sweden on June 6, 1523. His reign included dramatic
reconstruction at Stegeborg, unification of Sweden under
one language, the introduction of Lutheranism, and
revolts in Dalarna and Småland. He was succeeded by his
son Erik XIV in 1560, but madness led to his being
deposed in 1568. He was succeeded by his half-brother
Johan, who was born at Stegeborg Castle in 1537. As John
III, King of Sweden and Grand Prince of Finland, he
turned his birthplace into a royal palace, increasing the
height of the great tower to 87 feet (see below). At John's
death in 1592, his 24-year old daughter Anna became
resident of Stegeborg. However in 1599 she and her
brother Sigismund, King of Sweden and Poland, were forced
to flee to Poland when Sigismund was defeated by his
uncle Duke Karl (Charles IX) at Stångebro. In 1622 Karl's
daughter Katarina took possession of Stegeborg with her
husband Count Palatine Johan Casimir of Poland. Their
oldest son, Karl Gustav X of the House of Palatinate-Zweibrucken,
became King of Sweden in 1654. His younger brother, Adolf
Johan, was the last royal resident at Stegeborg, which
gradually deteriorated. In 1731 the Swedish Riksdag
ordered the castle pulled down.
courtyard series, the absent
entrance is on the left with Gustav
Vasa's personal kitchen under the
tin roof, then his residential range.
residential range along the
north wall ends with later ruins.
The roofed area is the main stairs
with remnant of Great Hall left.
remnant ends with a
rebuilt Ivar Axelsson tower at the
SE corner, then on the left mainly
additions by King John III.
southwest corner of the court-
yard shows ruins of the buildings
in front of the Great Tower (photos
2 & 3 were taken from the window)
the courtyard are older
buildings such as the gunpowder
room, with the main entrance on
|A model of
Stegeborg as it might
have looked under Ivar Axelsson
Tott about 1400.
drawing of the castle
about 1530-45. I used this
drawing to design my model.
cardboard or wooden model of
Stegeborg about 1570 at the peak
of her elegance under John III.
drawing of how the castle
ruin looked to an observer about
Slätbaken Bay with
light blue current and green
showing the size of the
island duringthe Viking era.
the castle about
1525-40 after King
Gustav Vasa's additions.
Plan about 1570
after Johan (John) III's
Photos of the Lego Model
Under construction from May 15, 2008
outer perimeter of Stegeborg
is laid out and baseplates adjusted.
buildings and curtain wall
are outlined, here from the SW.
several labels for
purpose of orientation.
occupies much of the
May 17-18 weekend!
|By May 20
the substructure of the
courtyard is added...
May 24 the buildings are better
defined, and the courtyard almost
mostly rainy holiday
allows major work on the cellars
and the first floor.
from the southeast on
May 27 - this may be the last
until Stegeborg is done.
|On June 4
the curtain wall is up
to the level of the wallwalk,
the floor of which can be seen.
windows of the Rikssal
(right) and Gustav I's quarters
(left) on the second floor.
|On June 11
the big job of roofing
the castle begins in ernest.
height of the great
tower and how to top it has yet
to be determined.
of the Lego Model
To my surprise, I ran out of black 2x4 roofing slopes. It eventually took 9 additional orders
of this Lego brick, including 800 directly from Lego Group, to complete the roofs of the castle.
the massive fortress
from the northwest, showing
the old and current entrances
southwest the donjon,
old watchpost and courtyard can
from the SSE shows
off the west range, and the
ancient tower corner.
the view from the north-
east shows the rikssal and
King's ranges, and the postern.
of the donjon,
with doors to storage at the
ground level and wallwalk above.
courtyard closeup features
King Gustav I and his minoins.
event this morning
is evaluation and training of
Other Stegeborg Castle pages: The official website
This next one is also great - except for those of you who don't speak Swedish!
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Page designed & maintained by Robert Carney