Glimmingehus: A Swedish Medieval Castle With a Playroom

Glimmingehus, a Medieval castle, in Skane, Sweden
Glimmingehus looks rather imposing; a big stone box just sitting on the vast fields of Ystad, Sweden.Whether this well-preserved Medieval structure (the best preserved of its kind in all of Scandinavia) should be called a castle or a fortress is up for debate: it was was meant as a fortress rather than a residence, although it’s not believed that there was ever a battle there. Another source of debate is whether  we should be calling the castle/fortress Swedish or Danish because Sweden’s Skane region was part of Denmark when it was built from 1499-1506.  But what’s not up for debate is that how family-friendly this attraction is. In a small outer building, across from the castle/fortress, is a playroom full of blocks!

Very family-friendly -- Glimmingehus, a medieval castle in Sweden, has a playroom for kids who feel inspired to build their own fortress!

Very family-friendly — Glimmingehu has a playroom for kids who feel inspired to build their own fortress!

We went to Glimmingehus last July on our first full sightseeing day in Skane, Sweden. We had made the 6-hour drive from Stockholm to stay with our Swedish friend Elisabeth, her husband and their toddler. Our day of sightseeing in the Osterlen region of Skane had begun in the charming fishing village of Kivik, where we had a lovely lunch. Then she brought us to Glimmingehus. Remember I had said that the weather changed constantly when we were in Sweden? Well, look at the stormy skies in the Kivik photos and these gorgeous blue skies. It’s hard to believe they were taken with two hours of each other.

The caretaker of the Glimmingehus castle in Sweden -- you better pay your respects to him or he'll put a curse on you!

The caretaker of the Glimmingehus — you better pay your respects to him or he’ll put a curse on you!

Something else that can change just as quickly as the Swedish weather? The toddlers’ moods. Each family had a toddler, 20 months and 23 months. The toddlers did not really care for the tour of Glimmingehus. They didn’t even want to hear about the moat (which you can see in the top photo) or drawbridge. They didn’t care about false doors or dungeons (probably a good thing). And my toddler totally prevented me from properly hearing the details of story behind the statue of the little man who’s the symbolic caretaker of Glimmingehus. All I remember is that you better treat him with respect or he could put a curse on you.

The front of Glimmingehus Castle, the best preserved Medieval stronghold in Scandinavia.

The front of Glimmingehus Castle, the best preserved Medieval stronghold in Scandinavia.

So what changed the toddlers’ moods? The playroom full of blocks, of course. There must have been hundreds of blocks and they had a lot of fun making towers and then knocking them down. At first, they were just content running around in the Glimmingehus courtyard. But then we explored the little buildings and saw this cool playroom. It’s such a testament to how family-friendly Sweden is; I couldn’t imagine this at a US historic attraction. But when we were in Stockholm, we noticed that most of the attractions had something dedicated to children. For example, the Nordiska Museum had a room full of art supplies where the children could draw.

The beautiful Osterlen countryside right by Glimmingehus.

The beautiful Osterlen countryside right by Glimmingehus.

While the blocks are a nice perk of Glimmingehus, this Swedish (or should we say Danish) castle (or should we say fortress) is a must for any history buff in Southern Sweden. It has been regally appointed to serve as a residence for nobility and, then, in less glamorous times, it was merely an enormous storage space for grain. There are rumors that Glimmingehus is haunted, and I would not be surprised if the noise of block towers being repeatedly demolished has woken up a few of the castle’s previous residents from their deep slumber.

9 Responses to Glimmingehus: A Swedish Medieval Castle With a Playroom

  1. Andi
    Twitter: andiperullo
    June 8, 2013 at 2:41 am #

    What a lovely place!

  2. Cat of Sunshine and Siestas
    Twitter: sunshinesiestas
    June 10, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    Looks cool! I’m like a little kid when it comes to museums of this type. I love anything interactive, anything that can be played with, and anything miniature!
    Cat of Sunshine and Siestas recently posted..Seville Snapshots: The Sights of Alcalá de Henares

  3. gabi klaf (the nomadic family)
    Twitter: nomadfamtravels
    June 10, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    oh my god, these pics are delish. i know i’m supposed to look at the scenery, which is lovely but that little adorable child just made me stop and smile. fortress, moats, castles, medieval anything and i’m hooked. and child friendly. oh, tell me when i can go too! thank you , gabi
    gabi klaf (the nomadic family) recently posted..Country #12 Contest: Where In The World Is The Nomadic Family

  4. wanderingeducators
    Twitter: WanderingEds
    June 10, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

    WHAT a cool place! i so need to go (and be kind to the gatekeeper!)
    wanderingeducators recently posted..Florida Culture for the Week of June 10 by Josh Garrick

  5. Lillie
    Twitter: WorldLillie
    June 12, 2013 at 2:44 am #

    So cute! This makes me happy. :)
    Lillie recently posted..12 Strange, Funny Pregnancy Symptoms of Months 1-4

  6. Sandra Foyt
    Twitter: SandraFoyt
    June 12, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    As lovely as the photos are, and as interesting as the history of the castle is, it’s the warmth that prompts the kids’ play area that make me want to visit this place!

  7. Micki
    Twitter: barefootnomads
    June 13, 2013 at 2:59 am #

    What a lovely idea! As a traveling parent (kids 4 and 7), I’ve often wondered why more attractions didn’t offer a small area for kids to play or draw. It’s often amazing how a short break can get our kids excited and ready for the next adventure. By amusing the kids a bit, I’d bet many attractions would increase the amount of time (and thus money!) parents spend.
    Micki recently posted..25 Free Must Have iPhone Travel Apps

  8. Terry at Overnight New York July 1, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    Every medieval fortress sound have a playroom!
    Terry at Overnight New York recently posted..The Kimberly Hotel: See Shakespeare in the Park


  1. Sandhammaren: The Best Beach in - June 25, 2013

    […] sightseeing we went to the charming fishing village of Kivik and then onto the medieval castle of Glimmingehus. For our second day, we had an amazing lunch at Olof Viktors in Glemminge and then we were off to […]

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