Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Castle of Skokloster

Yesterday I and my friend P went out to Skokloster castle, where her boyfriend, who's studying to become a director at the Dramatic Institute, was shooting a scene for his thesis-film, and to wich i have drawn the storyboards. The film is set in 1713 and tells, in short, the nightmarish story about the downfall of Count Magnus Stenbock, a nobleman and general under King Charles XII.

But i shall write a little about the castle, for those not already familiar with it. It is one of my favorite places, and a major tourist attraction, and has been since the early 1700s.
Northwest of Stockholm, Beautifully situated by Lake Mälaren lies one of. it not THE most well preserved baroque castle in the entire world. It's construction began in 1654, as a display of the power and wealth of Count Carl Gustaf Wrangel, however construction took a halt upon his death in 1676. Probably one of the most interesting rooms is the huge, unfinished banqueting hall and a suite of adjoining guestrooms, standing just as the workers left them, tools and all, just as they stand today.

The castle is a marvelous treasuretrove with more than 50.000 objects from some of the wealthiest and most powerful noble families in sweden. The room depicted above and below is a royal guestroom. The gilt leather wall hangings are 17th century but weren't put up until 1837 wich is why they've retained much of their colour - Skokloster has one of the biggest collections of gilt leather in the world, in eight rooms and alltogether around 550 square metres of it.
The room has an exquisite collection of chinese inspired furniture from around 17th to 19th century. Some of the chairs were made in Paris around 1780 and later copies were made. The canopy-bed dates from around 1700.

The room used for the film is the so called Brahe dining room where a scene between Stenbock and the king was filmed, and to my horror some of the extras cas as courtiers were wearing the most excruciatingly bad costumes! Not only were they the wrong period but in the worst cuts and fabrics you can imagine, not to mention the hair. I wish i had known and i would have put a stop to it, but too late to say anything at this point, it is just a school production after all, but i do hope they won't show too much!