"Here is a large brick building, beautifully formed as a wonderful palace and built with great grace and style; it is particularly impressive when viewed through the gardens and animal enclosures." (Andreas Lilonius: Uplandiae Elogia, 1651)
The von Ehrenheim family home at Gronsoo represents a rich and diverse example of Swedish fine arts and handicrafts from three centuries combined with well-preserved interiors. It is a remarkable example of a living cultural environment embracing the palace, park and orchard together with farming and forestry.
Chancellor Johan Skytte, tutor to the future king Gustavus Adolphus built Gronsoo palace between 1607 and 1611. To Skytte, the palace was not only his home, but also a sign of his newly won status in society. The palace is one of the few built during the period of poverty between the era of Vasa palaces and the elaborate palaces of the Era of Swedish Supremacy. It was built in Renaissance style of grey stone and brick after French models, with a saddle roof, roof turrets and four square corner towers. On the ground floor one can still study well-preserved 17th century decorations.
The Skytte family owned the palace throughout the 17th century after which it was confiscated to the crown. After this the palace changed owners several times and during the early part of the 18th century it was owned by the wealthy Falkenberg family. The palace, which had fallen into disrepair while it was owned by the crown, underwent extensive restoration work and the corner towers were demolished. The main structure however was solid and received the present noble and sober exterior, which we can still see today.
During the second half of the 18th century Gronsoo was owned by the Stockholm doctor David von Schultzenheim, who introduced smallpox vaccination into Sweden. He spent considerable sums of money in beautifying the palace and grounds in the then prevailing romantic style. The second floor became the family's living quarters and was decorated in the Gustavian style, much of which may still be seen today.
Von Schultzenheim's pièce de resistance is the Chinese pagoda built in 1786 beside the lake and today one of Gronsoo's main attractions. It was built to drawings by the English-Swedish architect William Chambers and the interior is decorated with seashells and minerals from East Asia
In 1820 marshal of the court Reinhold Fredrik Von Ehrenheim acquired Gronsoo and the still palace remains in the family's possession. Through inheritances from the Benzelstierna, von Engeström and von Ehrenheim families an unusually rich collection of furnishing was assembled at Gronsoo. This collection of furniture, books and works of art has never been divided and may still be seen in the palace.
Gronsoo has always been the home of its owners and still is today. The palace has never been completely rebuilt, but developed by each successive owner, generation after generation. In this way traces of each period have been preserved in a remarkable way.
Gronsoo is owned and run by the von Ehrenheim family and The Gronsoo Cultural and Historic Foundation. It consists of 720 hectares of land. Farming, forestry, fruit cultivation, tourism and preservation of ancient monuments are the main areas of business.