The southern part of Sweden which we call Skane is often referred to as Castle Country. Depending on who you ask and how they define the word ‘castle,’ there are anywhere between 150 and 350 castles in this region. Many more castles were destroyed by Valdemar, the king of Denmark, during the Swedish-Danish wars over the ownership of Skane.
The ones that remain standing are mostly private residences, but some have been converted into hotels or tourist attractions. Bjersjoholm Castle in Ystad is a mere remnant of what it once was, but you can still come see what remains even though it is now part of a large farm.
Bjersjoholm was once a huge and elegant castle surrounded on three sides by an impressive moat, and on the other by Lake Bjersjoholm. The moat was filled in around the end of the 1800s, and the lake has since receded so it no longer abuts the castle. Still, one building remains of the castle, and repairs to a newer part of the building were done in the 1990s.
You can still see the gate of this castle, which was reconstructed in the 1570s by Bjorn Kaas. It is thought to have been originally built in the late 1400s, but as with most historical buildings things before this are really not too clear yet. Valdemar may not have been able to maintain control over Skane, but he was sure able to muck up the history of the time via his destruction.
If you look close at Bjersjoholm Castle, you can see parts that are of the Early Renaissance style, and other parts have more of a German feel to them. This is because of renovations when the moat was filled in. Really, very little outside the gables could be saved so they kind of just did what they wanted.
Back then they weren’t real concerned for the preservation of the original feel. Now this castle is under the protection of the Swedish National Board for the Preservation of Antiquities so further changes are not likely. I could only stand and stare at this castle’s remains and wish that it had been restored closer to what it once had been.
Honestly, there is not a lot to see and do at Bjersjoholm, but it is not so far off the main highway through Ystad that you shouldn’t at least give it a look for pictures if nothing else. There is a touristy placard explaining the history of Bjersjoholm Castle, and is in several different languages including English. It is a nice spot to stretch your legs and take in a bit of Sweden’s history, or Danish history for that matter.