Kerstin and I have been visiting castles this week. There are so many castles we wanted to visit since we were last together, 3 years ago.
One of those castles is Tyresö, a palace built in the 1630s and the childhood home of Augusta’s friends, the Rudenschöld sisters. I wrote about the three sisters, Louise, Emma, and Adèle earlier this spring – imagining them running through the paths of the huge park all the way down to the waters. The palace is located on a hill overlooking an inlet of the Baltic. The blue waters are still, protected by tall trees lining the shores. Ducks swim peacefully around the water reeds and water lilies.
Now we are on our way to Tyresö and we look forward to walking the same paths around the palace and under the old trees in the park.
As soon as I catch a glimpse of the church at Tyresö, I recognize the drawing by Thure Gabriel Rudenschöld (either the sisters’ father or grandfather – they had the same name).
The palace gardens are as serene as I remember them. We walk down to the waters and over the little bridge to the fishermen’s cottages. On this lovely Sunday afternoon, lots of families are picnicking on the island or just strolling around. I can imagine Louise, Emma and Adèle strolling there with their maids.
We finish the day with a lunch in the palace. The highlight of the lunch is the view of the courtyard from the second-floor windows. I imagine the three sisters sitting by the window and looking down on carriages that pull up in front of the palace entrance, wondering who is arriving…
You can read more about Louise and Adèle Rudenschöld’s lives at the links:
Today, we are finally going to visit Skånelaholm Castle. Two winters ago, before the pandemic, I wrote about Augusta’s friend Lotten Westman’s visit to Skånela parsonage and Skånelaholm Castle:
Lotten Westman’s visit to Skånela parsonage and Skånelaholm Castle
You can get to Stockholm’s international airport either by train or by car. Either way, you will pass Rosersberg, a small community northwest of Stockholm. In the winter, there will be stretches of snowy fields, small farms in the distance, and dense evergreen forests. It would look like a Christmas card.
If you are going by train from Stockholm, you would get off at Rosersberg and take the connecting bus 577. That is how you get to Skånela Church and Skånelaholm Castle. I have never taken the bus and never visited the places. But now it is on my list for next summer’s excursions! (That was my thought before the pandemic changed all plans)
I just can’t let go of an image of a teenage girl, dressed in a warm wool dress with layers of petticoats and shawls, practicing target shooting with a pistol in the castle garden or sledding down some slope, shawls flying. And in the evening, dressed in a silk ballgown, dancing in one of the castle’s halls.
“My dear Augusta!
Thank you, my dear friend, for your long-awaited letter; you will not be angry with me for letting you wait a few mail-days for an answer. I have been thinking of writing to you each mail-day, but as you see, this has not happened. This Christmas has been the nicest one I can remember. First, we spent the Christmas holiday or, rather, the Christmas days as usual with our family. Then we traveled out to the countryside, to Pastor Schröderheim, where we spent 14 days – the most pleasant days you could ever imagine. We went to several balls at the neighbors, we went sledding, and in the evening, when we were at home, we sat in Uncle’s room and read aloud. I learned to shoot with a pistol and to drive a horse. On the way home I drove 10 miles* and then the whole length of Drottninggatan [Queen Street] all the way to our door. (Lotten’s letter to Augusta, Stockholm, February 9, 1847).”
Augusta’s friend, Lotten Westman, was a wealthy city-girl. She was born and raised in Stockholm. Lotten and her sister Clara lived with a foster mother after becoming orphans. But the sisters had many aunts and uncles in Stockholm and distant relatives in the countryside. Those were the families they visited during the holidays.
Pastor Göran Ulric Schröderheim was one of them. He had married his cousin, Anna Charlotta Westman, and both were also Lotten’s father’s cousins. Schröderheim had been a pastor at the Royal Court but was now pastor at Skånela Church north of Stockholm. He and his wife had two sons, Göran and Johan.
“The pastor’s wife is a very decent, but ordinary woman. The sons, the lieutenant and the student, are also decent, especially the latter who was my real favorite. He is the most cheerful and kindest man you can imagine. Because we had had such a happy and fun time there, the first days after my return were so quiet, and I especially missed my favorite.”
Lotten liked Johan who was a student in Uppsala. He would in1858 marry his neighbor at Skånelaholm Castle, Hedvig Lovisa Juliana Jennings. The same neighbors whose balls Lotten had attended.
“Let’s see if we can get back there this summer. Then, with nature in all its splendor, it must be glorious, for even now during the winter it was sincerely pleasant.”
Did Lotten go back in the summer?
Our visit to Skånelaholm
Kerstin and I have picked a glorious day to visit Skånelaholm. We are going by car. Our dresses fill up the entire front seats. I wish Lotten could see us.
We connect my iPhone to the Apple CarPlay in the dashboard and ask Siri for directions. She answers in English even though we are in Sweden. Estimated arrival time is 4 pm. Unfortunately, that is the time that Skånelaholm castle closes for the day. Maybe we can make it before closing?
The winding road through large fields of oats and flax is delightful with their hues of green and blue. Lotten would have loved it. But how would she have described travelling in a car – the comfortable seats, the speed, and the air conditioning?
The last hundred meters of the road to the castle is lined with tall trees. Then we see the most beautiful little pink castle! It is 5 minutes before closing. We park and dash to the office located in one of the wings. Of course, we will not be able to tour the castle this time, but we chat with the women in the gift shop and buy ice creams. We are more than welcome to explore the gardens and the park, and we promise to come back again.
And then we are alone by the castle. We stroll through the park where Lotten would have practices pistol shooting and then find some chairs by the lake where we can sit and eat our ice creams.
Yes, Lotten, with nature in all its splendor, Skånelaholm is a glorious place!
I juni 1851 begav sig Augusta och hennes vänner till Djurgården för att se Joseph Tardinis första ballonguppstigning i Sverige.
Och äntligen kunde Sara och jag göra vår efterlängtade promenad på Djurgården. I strålande sol och närmare 30 graders värme åkte även vi båt till Djurgården. Som Augusta skulle sagt utgjorde ”vår sköna huvudstad en vacker tafla från sjösidan”.
Vi promenderade i skuggan under almar och ekar till Rosendal där vi fick en privat visning av det sköna lustslottet som Karl IVX Johan lät uppföra under 1820-talet. Vi vandrade genom alla de vackra salarna, alla i olika färger, möbler i Karl Johanstil, sköna konstföremål och allt som Augusta skulle älskat, allt som var så modernt när hon bodde i Stockholm i början av 1840-talet. Så intressant att jämföra med lustslottet Charlottenhof i Sanssouci som vi besökte på vår Tysklandsresa 2017 och Augusta imponerades av på sin resa 1847. Slotten är byggda exakt samtidigt och i båda dessa sommarslott ser man inspiration från romerska fälttåg, med möbler och draperingar inspirerade ett liv i tält. Rosendal ritades av Fredrik Blom, Charlottenhof av Karl Friedrich Schinkel
En junidag 1851 träffade Augusta kronprinsessan Lovisa, prinsessan Eugenie, prins August och kronprins Karl (blivande XV).
”I Onsdags promenerade vi af till Skeppsbron för att om möjligt i båt transportera oss öfver till Djurgården, der en Italienare ämnade uppstiga i luftballon, men den täta menniskomassa som stod sammanpackad hela caien utåt visade oss omöjligheten att på den vägen komma till målet. Erik lånade derföre af en skutskeppare en båt som var så full af vatten, att Nanna och jag måste stå uppe på ett bräde med fara att i hvart ögonblick balancera i sjön.
Anlända till ort och ställe valde vi en backe derifrån vi bäst skulle kunna se ballonen och råkade der i sällskap med Kronprinsessan, Prinsessan Eugenie, Prins August, hvilka till fots kommit från Rosendahl, Kronprinsen till häst och en hel mängd hofdamer och cavaljerer, alla inpackade bland den öfriga folkmassan och med ögonen följande den allt högre stigande luftseglarn. Sedan vi hos Davidsons intagit en kopp the och undvikit en störtskur åkte vi hem i Omnibus.”
Efter vårt intressanta och roliga besök på Rosendal dukade vi upp vår lilla picnic under äppelträden i Rosendals trädgård. Så vandrade vi vidare mot backen där Augusta förmodligen såg ballonguppstigningen, jag gissar att det var ungefär vid nuvarande Hazeliusporten. (1851 fanns ännu inget friluftsmuseum här, först 1891)
Och om Augusta drack te på Davidsons så tror jag hon hade gillat Arturs kafé ännu bättre. Här satt Sara och jag och drack öl och åt fantastiska bakverk under ett parasoll, inramade av den ursprungliga porten till Skansen och Artur Hazelius vackra citat och byst medan eftermiddagssolen gassade.
In Cecilia’s memory album, there is a beautiful drawing of a chapel by a lake. The drawing is signed, Louise Rudenschöld.
I assume that Louise copied a print, maybe of a chapel in the Dolomites (based on the architecture of the chapel and the mountains in the background).
Eva Christina Lovisa (Louise) Rudenschöld was born on October 4, 1828, at Hinderstorp, a large estate south of Lidköping. Her parents were Count Thure Gabriel Rudenschöld and Countess Augusta Charlotta Lovisa Stackelberg. Louise had two younger sisters, Emma Augusta Ottilde, born 1830 (also at Hinderstorp), and Adèle Marina, born 1832 at Tyresö castle.
Louise’s maternal grandparents, Count Carl Adolf Ludvig Stackelberg and Eva Sofia Adelsvärd owned Hinderstorp where the family lived. They then bought a magnificent castle, Tyresö, southeast of Stockholm. Now, the extended family moved to Tyresö, where they attended their first church service in Tyresö parish in May of 1832.
Louise was 3 ½ years old. Her early childhood memories would have been from Tyresö: running through the huge rooms of the castle, maybe being scared of the portraits on the walls, walking under fragrant linden trees in the expansive park, and maybe playing with a little dog.
In May of 1838, the family moved to Stockholm. Why did they give up their opulent lifestyle (yes, the number of servants in the household, listed in the church records, is mind-blowing, as are their titles or tasks) for an apartment in Stockholm? Maybe it was because of Louise’s father’s position as a chamberlain. Maybe they missed social life. Louise was now 10 years old.
The year Louise gave Cecilia the memory card, the family lived in Jacob’s parish at Malmskildnadsgatan 32. That’s where the shopping center Gallerian is located today.
Going to School
Did Louise and her sisters attend Edgren’s school? I know that Louise’s sister Adèle did (she will get her own story told in a separate blog entry). One would assume that all three sisters attended Edgren’s school and were friends with Cecilia and our Augusta.
ErnstWilhelm Emanuel (1859-1927)
Anna Cecilia Augusta (1860-1909)
Christina Lovisa Gabriella (1862-1934)
Johan Samuel (1867-1872)
Carl Wilhelm Eugen (1871-1927)
The youngest child in the family was Wilhelm. He was musical prodigy.
”Dinner with Countess M. Leijohufvud, together with Lieutenant Adolf von Koch, his Baroness, Mrs. L. Stenhammar, and others. In the afternoon music, among others by the young, 7-year-old Vilhelm Stenhammar, who improvised and played so extraordinarily well that those who had not heard him before, must be amazed at what they rightly called him “a prodigy”. Yes, in truth it may be said here – what may become of this child?” (Diary entry on 2 April 1878 by Pastor B. Wadström).
Wilhelm grew up to be a famous composer and pianist. He composed the music for a national anthem – a song called Sverige (Sweden), that is played on Swedish Radio at midnight every New Year’s Eve.
Louise was raised in a deeply religious family. Her father was one of the founding members of The Swedish Evangelical Mission Society (Evangeliska Fosterlands-Stiftelsen). Pastor Wadström, who wrote the diary entry above, was a spiritual mentor to Louise’s grandfather. In his book From Memories and the Diary – Notes from the years 1848-1898 (Swedish: Ur Minnet och Dagboken – Anteckningar från åren 1849-1898), Wadström also included writings in his memory book by his friends. Lousie, her parents, her sisters, and her husband, all contributed to Pastor Wadström’s memory book and Louise even made a drawing.
Louise, her sister Adèle, their father, and their paternal grandfather were all hobby artists. Louise specialized in portraits and made drawings and watercolor paintings. Adèle was a sculpturist. Their father made landscape drawings and oil paintings while their grandfather made landscape drawings.
According to Uppsala University Library, the following drawings were made by Louise’s grandfather (who had the same name as her father, Thure Gabriel). These drawings of Tyresö were supposedly made in 1820-1830. Could they actually be drawings by Louise’s father? Nevertheless, they are beautiful drawings.
Louise lived a long life and died in Stockholm in 1902. Her diary from 1884-1899 and some correspondence with her family members can be found in Wilhelm Stenhammar’s Archive.
Today’s card in Cecilia Koch’s memory album is from Adèlaide Peijron. I wrote about Adèlaide in 2018 when I was searching for the girls who, like Augusta, lived with the Edgren family in Stockholm. Soon after writing the blog post, I received an exciting email from Adèlaide’s great-great-granddaughter (and our new friend), Kathinka Lindhe. At that time, she was working on a book about Adèlaide’s son. More about that down below.
Tomt och ödsligt blir Ditt lif Om ej någon vän du äger Wänskapen Ditt hjerta gif Den allt annat öfverväger Den är fast som klippans stål Och ur denna verld dess mål
My translation (I am no expert on translating poetry and this time I took some liberties to improve on a simple literal translation)
Empty and desolate your life will be,
if not a friend you have.
A heartfelt friendship, do bestow,
a gift that beats all else.
Friendship – solid as a rock,
aim for it in life.
Who was Adèlaide?
Adèle’s full name was Adèlaide Virginia Peijron and she was born on 13 June 1831 in Stockholm. She was almost 13 years old when she wrote the loving poem to Cecilia.
Adèlaide’s mother was Adèlaide Elisabet Schön (1808-1837) and her father was the officer Edouard August Peyron (1796-1858) who had been introduced into the House of Nobility in 1837 with the new name, Peijron. In 1844, when Adèlaide wrote the poem to Cecilia, her father was a chamberlain (kabinettskammarherre) to King Oscar I.
Adèlaide’s mother died when Adèlaide was only 6 years old. It is understandable that the father could not take care of his young daughter. In 1840, at the age of 9, Adèlaide was therefore boarding with the Edgren family. She lived with the Edgrens until they left Stockholm in May of 1844. She then moved in with Mademoiselle Andriette Frigell who continued the school.
”My own Augusta!
Thank you, thank you, for your latest and, for so long, an anticipated letter which was dearly received.
… Yesterday, I was visiting Mademoiselle Frigel and she always asks about you and she sent you her warmest regards. Adèle Peyron also sent you lots of greetings. Erica Degermann and I are invited to Mademoiselle Frigell on a graduation ball on Tuesday…” (Lotten Westman’s letter to Augusta, 16 April 1846)
In September 1846, Adèlaide’s father married Anna Maria Bagge (1810-1858) and Adèlaide now had a stepmother. This upcoming wedding was already news in Mademoiselle Frigell’s school in the spring of 1846:
“Speaking of Mademoiselle F., Adèle Peyron’s father will remarry, with Mrs. Bagge, born Groen. So Adèle gets a stepmother. She went with her on May 1st but Adèle did not look happy at all, said Erica Degerman who saw her. Poor Adèle, I do not think it should be fun to have a new mother when you are that old.” (Lotten Westman’s letter to Augusta, 6 May 1846)
In 1853, Adèle married chamberlain Gabriel Gerhard Sigge Sparre af Rossvik and they had 2 sons and 2 daughters. One of the sons was Sixten Sparre.
Sixten Sparre was married and had two children when he became infatuated with a beautiful circus performer, Elvira Madigan. He left his family and convinced Elvira to leave the circus and join him. They traveled to Denmark but had no means to support themselves. Their ”honeymoon” ended in tragedy. Their bodies were found in a forest, Elvira presumably shot by Sixten who then shot himself. Their short story was the perfect fodder for the press – a romantic love story of a lieutenant and a beautiful circus artist who in desperation jointly committed suicide. Did they?
For the surviving family, it was something else – the tragedy, the shame, the history that should be forgotten and not mentioned. Kathinka Lindhe writes about this in her book Vacker var han, utav börd: Sixten Sparre, mannen som mördade Elvira Madigan (Transl. He was beautiful, of noble birth: Sixten Sparre, the man who murdered Elvira Madigan), published in 2020. It is a fascinating narrative about Sixten Sparre. She also writes about Adèle’s life after her son’s murder/suicide.
Adèle had had her own marital problems. Her husband had squandered all the wealth she had brought into the marriage. He had been forced to declare bankruptcy, and when he died in 1897, there was no inheritance for Adèle to live on. She had to manage on a pension but fortunately, she later received a substantial inheritance from a relative. She died in Stockholm in 1909, at the age of 78.