Tuesday, February 20, 2007

...speaking of workplaces

This is - by far - the most beautiful place where I have ever worked.
Strömsholms Castle, some 20 kms west of Västerås, is a very small castle open to the public a few months every summer. No one lives there, it's a museum owned by the Swedish royal court.

(this was one of the places where I worked - in the café and as well as an assistant inside the museum itself - trying to make ends meet during/right after my studies.) <--- perrrrfect for a med student - don't you think? Taking care of an old wreck ;)

(ouch ouch ouch, that is NOT a nice thing to say, errrr, WRITE)

Initially it was built by Gustav Vasa, later it was rebuilt again almost from scratch in 1669. Some of the grounds from the Vasa-era remains, to be seen in the basement.

It does NOT house any ghosts. I was so disappointed to hear that :(

I really love the place, and despite being extremely happy that I have a better job now I still miss it from time to time.


Steve Bates said...

What a splendid place to work, Siv!

Almost three decades ago, I played a couple of concerts in the grand hall of Schloss Eggenberg, just outside Graz. It was drafty and a bit damp even in the middle of summer, but the atmosphere and acoustics were both wonderful, and our stand (music desk) lights, to my surprise and delight, were great, fat, bright candles! So I can't really say I've worked in a castle, but I thoroughly enjoyed the gigs I played in one.

Siv said...

Oh, I've been to a concert a lot like that. Perfect summer night (they are sometimes quite hot even in Sweden), a string quartet (young guys, extremely telented and with an interesting repertoire!) performing - perfect acoustics and flickering candles in beautiful candelabra as dusk set in. Pure magic!

They don't do it very often in "my" old castle (although it does happen from time to time), but another castle about ten kms east of Västerås - Engsö slott - has loads of arrangements like that every summer.


Congratulations on having been a part of something like that. Your audience probably still remember it too.

Cecilia said...

What a beautiful little palace! I haven't seen it live, or Engso for that matter, shame on me. I guess I am stuck on the worng side of the lake Malaren when I go to Sweden :-). Plenty of palaces on that side too...

Siv said...

Well Cecilia - you have he best one, Gripsholm, veeery close. Compared to Gripsholm both Engsö and Strömsholm humbly blush with envy ;)

Actully, Gripsholm "rules" Strömsholm, so I was really hired by Gripsholm, but working in Strömsholm.

During your next visit to Sweden you'll stay at last one night in Västerås and I will take you and R for a trip. Deal? :)

jams o donnell said...

It really is a beautiful building Siv. You would find nothing with that sort of architecture here in the UK. There are a couple of good stately piles within easy drving distance from where I live. Audley End and Hatfield Palace are well worth visiting.

Siv said...

It's inspired by French baroque-buildings, very common in Sweden at that time.

Myself I'm more of a gothic style-gal :) Draaaama!

Cecilia said...

We can go palace spotting :-).
Here of course there is a dire lack of palaces. If I still lived in London I would have taken you to Hampton Court, one of my faves and close to where I used to live for a while. Lovely place, Hampton Court, but a baroque praline it isn't.

Siv said...

Sinze I'm crazy about just about anything connected to Henry VIII/Elizabeth I, that would have been nice ;)

It's been on my to-do-list for ten years, but I never seem to get there.

Cecilia said...

How long are you in London this spring? You need at least a couple of hours at the palace of course, but getting there takes perhaps a little shorter than you might think. Commuter trains (Southwest trains) from Waterloo is the trick, 35 min train journey, the station Hampton Court is just 5 min walk from the palace.

siv said...

2,5 days, of which I still don't know how much is free time and how much will be "booked".

We'll see! It's REALLY up there at the top of the list.

Cecilia said...

I hope you have great chunks of free time, even though I know that's unlikely.