Askersund is a charming and idyllic little town with low wooden houses, cafés, boats and waterside walks. Just outside the town, in northern Vättern, is an archipelago of 250 islands, islets and skerries. Stjernsund Castle is also located here, surrounded by water from several directions.
On 6 June 1776, Askersund suffered a terrible fire that destroyed the entire town, with the exception of a few houses. The town was rebuilt as a harbour town on Lake Vättern, including a zinc mine. When you arrive as a tourist on a warm July day, you are struck above all by the pleasant holiday atmosphere with cafés, holidaymakers, pleasure boats and ... countless mobile homes.
Askersund is located in Örebro County, at the northern end of Lake Vättern.
Cosy neighbourhood in Askersund
When we saw the huge amount of motorhomes crowding the streets, we gave up hope of finding a pitch. We parked in a regular car park, took out the electric bikes and went for a bike ride. What cosy alleys and nice wooden houses!
On one of the streets we also had the chance to cycle on a long "rag rug". Isn't it nice?
Sager's cottage - Askersund's oldest house
As we cycled along the seafront, we passed a small house called Sagers stuga, which is Askersund's very oldest house. This is one of the houses that managed to escape the catastrophic fire of 1776.
The very first owner, glassmaker Nils Bergström, does not appear in the rolls, but from 1752 onwards there is a list of all the owners and residents of the farm. The list is on a sign next to the house. The house is still privately owned, but the current owner has a new residence on the site.
Coffee at the harbour in Askersund
As soon as we arrived in Askersund, we contacted our friend Kenneth who lives nearby. Just as we cycled around town, he showed up and we could have a coffee together in the harbour. Super fun to meet again and chat away for a few hours!
Harbour and parking area for motorhomes
So, where did we go with the motorhome then? There is a nice parking space in the harbour called "Askersund Citycamp & Gästhamn". It was packed when we arrived, but when we read a little more carefully, we realised that the site also has a site a little further away, called "Ställplatsen Sundsängen".
There is no service at the Sundsängen site, but you can use the toilets at the guest harbour. The price is 150 SEK/day for these places, and here we managed to grab one of the last places.
Just south of Askersund, on a headland in the northern part of Lake Vättern, lies Stjernsund Castle, which we also took the opportunity to visit. The history of the estate goes back to the 17th century, when Johan Oxenstierna built a manor house here. In 1785 the estate was bought by Olof Burenstam, who built the neoclassical castle you can see today with plastered facades and four magnificent columns at the entrance.
Between 1823 and 1860, Stjernsund was owned by the Bernadotte family. King Karl XIV Johan used the castle as an "overnight shelter" during his travels to Norway. His grandson, the 'singer prince' Gustaf (who died young and has a monument to his memory in Hagaparken in Solna), enjoyed the castle and took an interest in its interior design. When he died, his brother August took over, but he wasn't so keen on spending time in the country, and his contribution to the castle is a giant pool table in one of the wings.
In 1869, the estate was purchased by the Cassel family, who were known for their cattle breeding and development of the Swedish red-brown cattle breed. The castle's last private owner, Mrs Augusta Cassel, lived alone in the castle for a long time after she was widowed. When she died, she bequeathed the castle and its furnishings to the Royal Academy of Sciences. In 1965, Stjernsund Castle and its park was declared a listed building under the Cultural Heritage Act.
Guided tour of Stjernsund Castle
You cannot visit the castle on your own, but you can join the guided tours that are organised. Seeing the inside of the castle was by far the most interesting part of the visit. Our guide Annika told us with great enthusiasm about the history of the castle, and about the people who lived here, both the nobility and the servants.
What's fascinating is that the last owner left the castle exactly as it was, with all the furnishings intact. In fact, her toothbrush is still in the bathroom. If you visit the castle, we recommend booking a guided tour! The castle also has a café and a castle shop which, like the castle, is open during the summer months.
More to see in the neighbourhood
Askersund is a neighbour of the the beautiful Tiveden National Park, where you can hike in beautiful nature or just enjoy the sun and lake swimming. Just north of Askersund you will find fine Örebro with our 10 tips. If you head south instead, you'll find Motala, and Forsvik and Sweden's oldest lock, and Karlsborg with its Karlsborg Fortress. It is also very interesting to make a detour to Vadstena Abbey!
What to do in Örebro? The fact is that Örebro has a lot to offer, regardless of...
Wadköping is a living open-air museum in Örebro where you can walk around in beautiful historical...
Boo Castle is a beautiful terracotta-coloured palace reminiscent of a fairytale castle. Not too far...
Tiveden National Park offers wonderful nature experiences in wild forests with dramatically large boulders. Here there are ...
Have you been to Askersund?
Have you been to Askersund or visited Stjernsund Castle? How was your experience? Please tell us!
Facts about Askersund
- Municipality: Askersund municipality
- County: Örebro County
- Landscape: foolishness
- Population: About 11 400 (2020)
- Name: The village is mentioned in the 14th century as Eskersund and in the 15th century as Askasund. The name may refer to an ash grove and the outlet of Alssund in Alsen.
Things to see and do in Askersund
- Attractions: Stjernsund Castle, Sager's cottage (Askersund's oldest house), the local community centre in Askersund's city park and more.
- Activities: Knalla mine (working life museum in a mining environment), hiking at the Harge headlands and more.
- Parking spaces: Askersund Citycamp & Guest Harbour
- Camping: Husabergsudde camping
The history of Askersund
- 14th and 15th century: The town is referred to as Eskersund and later Askasund. Three roads met here and there was a sheltered harbour, which made it a natural trading place for the iron goods produced in the area.
- 16th century: During the time of Johan III, Askersund became a market town under Vadstena.
- 1643: On 23 June this year, Askersund was granted town privileges.
- 1650: It was decided that all bar iron transported via Alsen from the mills in the area would be weighed and taxed in Askersund. They also traded, for example, malt and spirits.
- 1651: The city's first own church was inaugurated.
- 1664: The town was often confused with a nearby village of the same name, and a request was made to call the town 'Carlsund'. The request was rejected in 1675.
- 1719: The city gained a monopoly on all trade in nails in Bergslagen.
- 1776: A fire raged and the whole town burned down. Only about 8-9 houses survived, and one of them is still standing. Ten years later, the town was rebuilt.
- 1812: Askersund Girls' School was founded, which was the second school in Sweden to offer serious education for girls.
- 1854: Steamship traffic started between Askersund and Gothenburg.
- 1883-1884: A narrow gauge railway was built between Askersund and Skyllberg, linking the town to the country's railway network.
Facts about Stjernsund Castle
- Address: Stjernsund, 696 92 Askersund.
- Location: Headland in Alsen, northern Vättern, just south of Askersund.
- Implemented: The castle was completed in 1808.
- Architect: Carl Fredrik Sundvall
- Owners: Royal Academy of Sciences
- Opening hours: 15/5 - 31/8 11:00-16:00 (2020)
- Prices: Adults 60 kr, students 40 kr and children under 12 free (2020).
- Service: Parking with toilets, castle shop, castle café and guided tours.
- Read more: You can find more information at Royal Academy of Sciences.
The history of Stjernsund Castle
- 1637: The estate was founded by Johan Gabriel Oxenstierna, through a merger of the homesteads Ölmesund, Åviken and Stockbråtet. The estate came through marriage to the Soop family.
- 1717: The estate came through marriage to the Dohna family.
- 1785: The estate was sold to Olof Burén, knighted Burenstam, who built the current castle.
- 1798-1801: The castle was built to the designs of Carls Fredrik Sundvall in the neo-antique style, which was fashionable at the time.
- 1823: The castle was sold to King Karl XIV Johan, but the king's tenant let the castle fall into disrepair.
- 1851: Oscar I sold the castle to his son Prince Gustaf.
- 1856: After Prince Gustaf's death, Stjernsund Castle was sold to Prince August.
- 186o: Prince August sold the castle to Knut Cassel, a mill owner, and after his death the castle was taken over by his son Albert Cassel, and then by Albert's wife Augusta Reuterswärd.
- 1951: When Augusta Cassel died, she had bequeathed the castle to the Royal Academy of Sciences to preserve it as a cultural monument.
Find to Askersund
- Car: Askersund is located at the northern end of Lake Vättern. If you are coming from Örebro, take the E20 south, then turn off on road 50 towards Askersund. From the south, you can take road 49 from Skövde or road 50 from Motala.