I have been interesting in castles in Sweden for a long time, I have a blog written in swedish about castles and manor houses in the county of Scania in Sweden and when I travel abroad to visit castles I sometimes have been misunderstood. Because when we say castle in sweden we have a broader meaning than the english language has. That is what this post is about!
After you have read this post you will be able to google and understand web pages in swedish abit more and the differences.
In United Kingdom, if a ask for a castle, I will be guided to a kind of fort, or at least a bulding built for defence. It may be a large fortification or sometimes a lonely standing keep. If I translate the english word castle to swedish it is “slott” that I would choose. But…
…The thing is that “slott” is not only used in sweden for buildnings made for defence, it is also used for, what in english would be, Manor House, House, Palace, (sometimes) Mansion, Noble house.
So it has happened that I have become disappointed when I was expecting a great House full of furniture and luxury, but was shown a castle/fortification with huge stone walls and damp air with water dripping from the roof.
That can olso be interesting but you understand what I mean. It was not was I expecting.
If you are in sweden and are looking for castles, the ones built for defence, then you should ask for a “borg”. The word borg, means castle in english.
Are you lost or are you still with me?
In sweden we describe castle as a house that is a large house, has rooms for representation and was built by a noble family or the state/goverment/state.It may have a defence purpose but it can also be a grand House built for bragging and showing the common people who really rules the world.
So if you are searching swedish texts you should look for “herrgård”: Manor house, but could also be a non noble house that is grand and have room for representation, or “slott” whish means castle but will almost to 100% include only buildings that people have acually lived in. If you are looking for castles (buldings for defence) you should ask for a “borg”.
Hmm, strange, is it not?
And to make it more complicated we have the word Palace, that is not like in england, where it can be a grand, huge, house on the country side, like Blenheim Palace, no in Sweden, a palace “Palats” is a noble house (later also non noble but very, very rich people) that is built in a city with no or almost no garden/park around it.
It is all clear is it not?
Comment or e-mail me if you need further explanation. i would love to hear from you!