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Stegeborg - castle ruin, harbour, tavern and campsite

Stegeborg is about 2 kilometres from Söderköping, and here you will find, among other things, a castle ruin from the 13th century. There is also a marina, a harbour restaurant, a garden hotel, a caravan park and an airfield for those who prefer to arrive in their own aircraft.

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Stegeborg

Stegeborg has a history that goes way back in time. It is known that piles were used here as early as the Viking Age to control shipping. The oldest building here is the ruins of Stegeborg Castle. Today's main building of the Stegeborg estate is located some distance from the old castle and is a white plastered three-storey building in neoclassical style, built in 1806.

Stegeborg

Stegeborg is located in the municipality of Söderköping, on a small island in a narrow strait in the deep bay of Slätbaken.

Stegeborg castle ruins

The oldest parts of the Stegeborg castle ruins date back to the early 13th century. The name "Stegeborg" has to do with logs, and refers to the piles used in the water to block the entrance to Söderköping. A lot of history has been played out here, and here are some examples for those who want to know more (information from the site's website):

  • 14th century: When Magnus Ladulås died, his son King Birger received Stegeborg and Östergötland. Incidentally, it was he who locked up his brothers in connection with the Nyköping's guest shower and let them starve to death.
  • 14th to 15th century: Queen Margaret and her foster son Erik of Pomerania spent some time at Stegeborg.
  • 1439: The castle was besieged several times by Karl Knutsson Bonde. In 1439 the siege lasted eight weeks, but the castle was not taken.
  • 1543: Stegeborg was in the front line during Dacke's revolt in 1543 and Gustav Vasa moved in for a period.
  • 1537: Gustav Vasa's son Johan was born at Stegeborg in 1537. Later, King Johan III rebuilt the medieval castle into a Renaissance castle.
  • 1595: Princess Anna, daughter of John III, organised a 'secret wedding' at Stegeborg for her lady-in-waiting Sigrid Brahe, who was being married off against her will. Three years later, Anna was forced to flee to Poland with her brother Sigismund after a defeat by Duke Charles.
  • 1622: Duke Charles' daughter Catherine moved in with Count Palatine Johan Casimir. Around 60 people lived in the castle and the finest were served 16 dishes per meal, three times a day.
  • 1689: Charles X Gustav's younger brother Adolf Johan was the last person to live at Stegeborg. His last years were characterised by decay and after his death the castle was abandoned until 1731, when it was demolished.

You buy tickets to the castle from a small machine in the car park outside. It costs 40 SEK per adult, and you are supposed to be able to enter through a gate by scanning a code, but it was far from easy to get through. We and many others had to turn to the ice cream parlour, where staff kindly press a button to open another gate. The area includes the castle, but also nature and a beautiful flower garden.

Peter i Stegeborg

Even though there are only ruins left, you realise that this castle was big and grand. It is really interesting to look around here, and there is also some written information. Definitely worth the 4o kronor!

Stegeborg
Stegeborg in the 17th century - Suecia verket
Suecia work

The harbour in Stegeborg

In Stegeborg, right next to the castle ruins, there is a large and charming marina. There is also a harbour restaurant and ice cream parlour.

Hamnen i Stegeborg

Liner ferry to Norrkrog

If you want to get across to Norrkrog, which is on the other side of the narrow strait, you can take the 'cable ferry'. On the other side, you can go on to Arkösund, for example, or to Meme - The Baltic Sea gateway to the Göta Canal.

Linfärja till Norrkrog

RV park in Stegeborg

At the harbour in Stegeborg there is also a large caravan park, with 45 places for motorhomes. We came here in the evening (after being met by a full site in Mem). If there was room? No, not a single one (the photo is from the day after when several had just rolled).

In any case, the site looked very nice, with clearly marked sites, electricity and other services. You can pre-book pitches at betala.stegeborg.se if you wish. According to the website, the fee is 150-300 kr/day including electricity.

Ställplats i Stegeborg

Garden hotels

If you're not travelling by motorhome, you can rent a cottage down by the harbour or book a room at Stegeberg's garden hotel. Super cosy! We peeked in and exchanged a few words with the nice guys at the breakfast buffet. They told us that many guests return year after year, and like to book well in advance so that they are sure to get "their" room. There are various activities in the surrounding area such as miniature golf, kayaking, swimming and sauna.

WIFI.se
Trädgårdshotell

Airport with free landing

If you're not travelling by campervan or car, perhaps you'd like to arrive in your own plane? Stegeborg offers an airstrip where you can land for free. The guys at the hotel told us that there are quite a few Cessnas taking advantage of this offer, and it seems to be true.

When we drove past in the morning there was one plane here, and in the afternoon the number had increased to four. The guys at the hotel, for example, told us that some German tourists landed on a profit and loss one day, and asked if they happened to have any spare rooms at the hotel.

Flygplats i Stegeborg

Skällvik church

Near Stegeborg is also Skällvik's church, and we chose to stop because it looked so nice. The church is from the first half of the 14th century.

Skällviks kyrka

RV park at Yxeltorp farm

So, where did we end up with the motorhome? The pitches in Mem and Stegeborg were full, and we started looking for somewhere to camp. We saw a cosy little boat dock at Yxeltorp farm, not far from Stegeborg. When we slowed down, we saw a sign saying "Ställplats 100 kronor". Perfect!

You have to call a telephone number on a sign, and then get a swish number and a code for the toilet and shower. There is also a rubbish bin, but no other services. But you stand nicely by the water! We were so pleased that we stayed two nights, and the second night we were joined by more motorhomes.

Have you visited Stegeborg? Do you like castles, palaces and history?

Östergötland
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Facts about Stegeborg

  • County: Östergötland
  • Municipality: Söderköping
  • Name: Formerly 'Stækaborg' (the same word as 'stock', referring to the pile system that used to exist in the water).

Facts about Stegeborg Castle ruins

  • Established: 13th century
  • Style: Renaissance
  • Material: Stone and brick
  • Owners: The Danielsson family
  • Open to visitors: Yes
  • Price for a visit: 4o SEK/adult, 120 SEK/family (2020)

Finding Stegeborg

  • Car: Just south of Söderköping, take road 210 towards Stegeborg and the St Anna archipelago.
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