About 150 km south of Stockholm in the bucolic tranquility of Södermland region, lies a mansion like no other: Julita Manor. The estate started as a monastery in the Middle Ages (Julita Abbey) and continued to grow and receive big donations from the Swedish kings and other members of the aristocracy. But during the Protestant Reformation, King Gustav Vasa seized the abbey and gave its rights to his vassal, the bailiff in Nyköping. After becoming a secular domain, Julita changed hands many times between members of the Swedish nobility, but it never went back into the possession of the church.
What sets Julita apart from all the other manor house in the region is that it’s still a working farm. Julita Manor still maintains all its original structures that insured its sustainability in the past.
Visiting Julita Manor
The beautiful country estate that you see today dates from the turn of the 20th century and has been preserved with all its elegant interiors and parks. And not only the manor and parks have been preserved, but also the church, the fire station, the barns, the mill, the kitchen garden, the green house and even the dairy building. It is for a good reason Julita Manor is considered Sweden’s largest open-air museum.
The manor house itself was erected in 1760, after a fire destroyed an earlier structure on the site. Visiting Julita Manor is like stepping back in time into a world of luxury and elegance, a world long forgotten.
The estate park and rustic cottages inspired by Skansen are particularly beautiful. One can easily spend the whole day at Julita, going inside all buildings, taking a horse drawn carriage tour through the park, visiting the church, the museum, the dairy. Everything is very well preserved and presented.
Even though today some of the structures on the estate have been turned into a museum, Julita Manor still functions as a farm with some 200 dairy cows, orchards, and vegetable gardens. Its grounds are part of the national gene bank for apples, pears, and other agricultural products. The country estate encompasses 360 buildings across 2,200 hectares.
Events at Julita Manor
Julita hosts lots of events and festivals all year round. From Walpurgis Night, to Midsummer and Christmas Market you can experience old Swedish ceremonies celebrated in traditional style. In summer there is an International Chamber Music Festival, the Julita Festival, featuring classical concerts performed by young international musicians. There are also Theme Days that are arranged every year, such as Agriculture Day in June, or Apple Day in September. The beautiful Skansen Church can be hired for weddings and christenings.
Restaurants, Shops and Accommodations
Julita Manor is a great place to spend a day. There is a small restaurant where you can enjoy a light lunch and a variety of pastries, cookies and sweets. At the Museum Shop next to the entrance you can find handicrafts, gift items, books, toys and other Swedish souvenirs. There is also a Garden Shop in the green- house, offering plants, gardening tools and accessories, plus fresh apple grown on the property. You can even order your own apple tree from the Julita Manor gardening team. Julita also offers overnight accommodations in the two wings of the manor house, or at the Youth Hostel.