SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please consider donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!

Palaces & BuildingsSweden

A look at Solliden Palace, Sweden’s summer residence

Situated on the island of Öland, Solliden Palace has been the summer getaway for Swedish royals since 1906. Today it offers a beautiful summer retreat for the family and plays host to Crown Princess Victoria’s annual birthday celebrations in July. But at the time, it provided a much-needed getaway from city life for another Crown Princess Victoria.

Construction on the palace started in September 1903 with the purpose of giving the future Queen Victoria, who suffered from ill health, a more hospitable climate to help with her issues.

Architect Torben Grut, who later worked on the stadium for the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, took on the project completed in September 1906. Victoria took a great interest in the construction, and the building was inspired by Axel Munthe’s Villa San Michele on Capri. Many items, such as statues, were sourced from Italy for the palace, and Victoria also collected tile stoves that were integrated into the home.

Embed from Getty Images

After Queen Victoria’s death in 1930, Solliden was given to her husband, Gustaf V, who opened up the park to the public.

In a statement on Solliden’s official website, King Carl XVI Gustaf says:

“Welcome to enjoy Solliden’s beautiful parks with their showy flowers, trees and shrubs. Solliden is a piece of cultural heritage that I feel very warm about. It was built by my grandfather’s mother, Queen Victoria, and was completed in 1906. When my grandfather’s father, Gustav V, passed away in 1950, I inherited the castle. My ambition is to manage Solliden so that future generations can also experience this unique environment. ”

Today, Solliden serves as a private home for the Royal Family, but its grounds are also open to the public to enjoy each summer and features a range of events and exhibits. Each year, the official summer photographs of the Royal Family are taken on the grounds at Solliden.

The highlight of the summer calendar is Crown Princess Victoria’s birthday celebration, Victoriadagen, on 14 July, when people from Sweden and visitors from around the world gather to greet Victoria and her family.

Embed from Getty Images

Due to the ongoing pandemic, there might not be a public event for the second year in a row, but a statement from Solliden says: “It all depends on the infection situation and what restrictions apply at the time.”

Other events, such as art exhibits, a children’s playground, and Solliden’s Enthusiast Vehicle Exhibition on the first Sunday in August, bring Swedes to this idyllic location every year.

Solliden’s gardens are open on select dates from May through September. A special photo exhibition called “Royal Summers” will be on display in the pavilion this year, extended from 2020 due to pandemic closures. The exhibition features “pictures of His Majesty’s summer life here on Öland from childhood until today”, including previously unseen photos from the family’s private collection.

About author

Kristin was Chief Reporter for Royal Central until 2022 and has been following the British royal family for more than 30 years. Kristin has appeared in UK and U.S. media outlets discussing the British royals including BBC Breakfast, BBC World News, Sky News, the Associated Press, TIME, The Washington Post, and many others.