Tidö Castle in Västerås is a beautiful 17th century castle. If you come here during the summer season, you can book a guided tour of the parade floor, or visit the castle's bicycle and motorbike museum. There are also two cool church ruins nearby.
Tidö Castle is still a privately owned residence, but visitors are nevertheless welcome. Of course, it will be extra interesting if you visit the castle when it is open for guided tours or visits to the museums. Unfortunately, we missed this, so we have reason to return at another time.
Tidö Castle is located in Västmanland, about 19 kilometres southwest of central Västerås.
Tidö Castle - from great power to the present day
Tidö Castle is perhaps one of Sweden's best-preserved castles from the period of great power. Axel Oxenstierna, who was Gustav II Adolf's chancellor and Queen Christina's guardian, had the castle built between 1625 and 1641. He was assisted by perhaps the best architects of the time: Simon de la Vallée and Nicodemus Tessin the Elder.
The castle was built in an austere Dutch Renaissance style. Most striking are the beautiful sandstone portals.
Tidö Castle was owned for around 200 years by the Oxenstiern family. They sold the castle in 1840, followed by a period of around 50 years when the castle changed hands six times and fell into disrepair. In 1890 it was bought by Carl-David von Schinkel and a new era began. Since then, the castle has been managed by the family for four generations.
Tidö Castle is still in use as a residence, but during the summer season the castle's parade floor is shown during guided tours. The rooms you can see during a tour include:
- Knight's Hall is the most interesting room in the castle. There are beautiful doors and full-length portraits of the Oxenstiernor.
- Yellow parlour has walls covered in yellow brocade silk. The room is furnished with Gustavian furniture and decorated with medallions of Gustav III, Carl Michael Bellman and Tobias Sergel.
- The gallery has a stucco ceiling from the time of Carl Gustaf Oxenstierna. The ceiling includes a ceiling painting depicting Venus.
- Blue dining room has 18th century furnishings and a 17th century blue and white Delft vase.
Tidö's oldest building is an old castle that was probably built at the end of the 15th century by Ivar Magnusson Gren. Axel Oxenstierna's wife Anna Åkesdotter Bååt lived here, and when her mother died in 1610, Axel Oxenstierna became lord of Tidö. Today the castle is a ruin behind a fence and cannot be visited.
Tidö castle garden
However, what can be visited all year round is the Tidö castle garden. We especially liked the statues around the castle, such as the mighty bird of prey that meets before the entrance.
We also liked all the other imaginative statues. For example, how about an angel riding a fish?
Tidö Castle Bicycle Museum and MC Collection
This spring we have lowered our expectations of what will be open, mainly because of the pandemic but also because it is early in the season. So we often don't check, and are grateful if we can walk around a castle garden or around some ancient monuments.
At Tidö Castle we should have checked a little more carefully. The bicycle and motorbike museum was open for the season, but it was a public holiday. A collection of bicycles and motorcycles is displayed in the beautiful stone stable at Tidö Castle.
- Tidö Castle Cycling Museum shows a cavalcade of cycling history from early wooden velocopeds to modern speciality bikes.
- MC Collection Tidö Castle displays a collection of motorcycles from the early 1900s to the present day, and tells the story of motorbike personalities who have or have had motorbikes as part of their lives.
Stockholm Toy Museum
Formerly known as the 'Tidö Collection of Toys & Comics', the museum was housed at Tidö Castle until 2016, when it moved to the Bergrummet on Skeppsholmen in Stockholm. The collection contains almost 40,000 items, making it the largest toy collection in Northern Europe. This is a really nice and fun museum that we have visited before and can highly recommend.
Lilla Rytterne church ruin
In the neighbourhood of Tidö Castle there are two church ruins that are worth checking out. The last service in Lilla Rytterne church was held in 1817 and the church is now a ruin.
Stora Rytterne kyrkoruin
At Stora Rytterne church ruin there are burial slabs from the 17th century and two rune stones from the beginning of the 11th century. Those who erected these stones were Christians, but the site may have been a gathering place even in pre-Christian times.
More to see and do in Västerås
There is of course much more to see and do in Västerås. The old town is really charming and it is also nice to walk along the Mälarpromenade or visit Djäkneberget. You can also visit the Vallby open-air museum, Anundshög with all the ancient remains or the royal castle Strömsholm.
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Have you visited Tidö Castle?
Have you visited Tidö Castle, or perhaps another attraction in Västerås? Please tell us about your experiences!
Facts about Tidö Castle
- Country: Sweden
- Landscape: Västmanland
- Municipality: Västerås
- Behaviour: 1625-1641
- Developer: Axel Oxenstierna
- Architect: Simon de la Vallée and Nicodemus Tessin the Elder
- Style: Dutch renaissance
- Owners: David von Schinkel
- Read more: You can find more information at the castle's website
Services and practical information
- Opening hours: The castle park is open all year round. The museums are open during the summer months. See the castle's website for exact times.
- Inn: The hostel accepts bookings all year round.
- Parking: Free parking is available. Camping is not allowed.
Tours and activities
- Tour of the penthouse: Guided tours are given during the summer months. See the castle's website for exact times.
- Guided tours for groups: Groups of at least 20 people can book a tour all year round.
- MC Collection and Tidö Castle Cycling Museum: The museum is open during the summer months. See the castle's website for exact opening hours. Special tours can be booked all year round.
- Conference: You can book a conference in the castle's historic rooms and combine it with lunch or dinner and visits to the museums.
- Hunting: Hunting can be customised according to your wishes.
History at Tidö Castle
- 1625-1641: The palace was built by Axel Oxenstierna, chancellor of Gustaf II Adolf and Queen Christina's guardian. The architects were Simon de la Vallée and Nicodemus Tessin the Elder.
- 1840: The castle was sold by the Oxenstiern family. For half a century, the castle went through a period of decline and changed hands six times.
- 1890: Tidö Castle was bought by Carl-David von Schinkel. Since then, the castle has been owned by four generations of the von Schinkel family.
- 1971: Carl-David von Schinkel decided to open the castle to the public, although it still serves as a private residence.