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Tjolöholm Castle, Kungsbacka

Tjolöholm Castle, built 1898–1904 under the direction of Blanche Dickson, was created already from the beginning as a world of its own. A British estate with inspiration from the Arts & Crafts movement with elements of national romanticism, designed by a young Swedish architect who never set foot on the British Isles.

Tjolöholms Castle is located on a peninsula in the Kungsbackafjorden, along the Swedish west coast, surrounded by dense forest and with a mile-long view of the Halland archipelago. With its distinctive architecture, Tjolöholm has been the scene of celebrated movies such as Lars von Trier’s film Melancholia, where a struggle against the realization of the end of the world is reinforced by the towering and dark figure of the castle. Since 2022, it has been on the European Film Academy’s list of locations that have been significant in film history.
The ambition with Tjolöholm was to create representative and comfortable living according to the motto ‘the good home’. The castle was filled with all the modernities of the time; electricity, telephone and central heating. At the same time, a small village of red cottages was built nearby, which served as workers’ housing for the servants. In the village there was a church, hospital, school and a People’s House for joint gatherings and activities. The majority of the houses are still preserved today.

Tjolöholm is in many ways an enchanted world of its own. All around the castle are scores of creature-like figures and magical animals playfully incorporated into both the interior and exterior. In the castle dining room, there are small cut-out troll faces in the panel teasingly peering at the dinner guests, and in the ornamentation to the fireplace dragon figures watch. Even the forest and the sea that surround the castle and the village carry an interesting history that become entrances to worlds that existed on the site long before the castle itself was built.


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