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The history

EVERY YEAR, THOUSANDS OF VISITORS COME TO SOFIERO TO ENJOY THE MAGNIFICENT GARDENS, ROYAL TRADITION AND THE FANTASTICVIEW OVER THE STRAIT OF ÖRESUND. BUT HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN?

Sofiero’s history began in 1864 when Crown Prince Oscar and his wife, Sophia of Nassau, visited the “Pearl of the Sound” – Helsingborg. The young couple were enchanted by the beautiful views, the wooded gullies and the proximity to Denmark, and decided to buy the homestead, known as Skabelycke. Here they built their summer residence, Sophie-Ro.

In the summer of 1866 Oscar and Sophia were able for the first time to move into their dream summer home, which then looked slightly different, with only one storey. Ten years later, when Oscar became king (Oscar II), the palace underwent extensive renovations and its appearance altered to what we know today.

Oscar and Sophia were to spend many wonderful summers at Sofiero but, in 1905, they gave it as a wedding gift to their grandson Gustav Adolf when he married his first wife Margareta from England. On a sunny July day about a month after the wedding, Gustav Adolf and Margareta arrived in a horse-drawn carriage through an entrance lavishly adorned with oak leaves and topped with a royal crown. The people of Helsingborg waved the Swedish and British flags in a warm welcome for Sofiero’s new owners.

Crown Prince Gustav Adolf and Crown Princess Margareta were both extremely interested in gardening and it was not long before a new garden started emerging at Sofiero.

The palace gardens develop

Crown Princess Margareta, who grew up among the magnificence of traditional English gardens, was extremely knowledgeable about plants and had a well-developed sense of colour and form. With her expertise and curiosity about gardening she involved herself in the creation of Sofiero’s flowerbeds and walkways. Together, Margareta and Gustav Adolf developed rock gardens, planted rhododendrons and created beautiful borders as well as a kitchen garden. A greenhouse was built and a professional gardener hired. In less than fifteen years they had created a stunning park and garden.

Margareta died in 1920, leaving a husband and five children. Gustav Adolf remained true to Sofiero and spent his summers there until his death in 1973. In 1923 he married Lady Louise Mountbatten from England.

Gustav Adolf became King of Sweden (Gustav VI Adolf) in 1950, but he continued to have time for gardening. Gradually he developed a unique interest in rhododendrons. During his time at Sofiero he planted more than 5,000 specimens, which included with more than 400 different species. Most of them grow in the two gullies that run north and south of the palace.

A royal garden legacy

On the king’s death in 1973, Sofiero was bequeathed to the city of Helsingborg. Thanks to Margareta’s and Gustav Adolf’s passion for Sofiero’s gardens, tens of thousands of visitors now enjoy this beautiful park each year.

Many expert gardeners and designers now work at Sofiero to preserve the heritage that Margareta and Gustav Adolf left behind, with the royal couple’s same innovative attitude. Gustav VI Adolf’s rhododendrons and Margareta’s flowerbeds are still the garden’s finest attractions, and these have since been supplemented with a beautiful dahlia area, a pleasure garden and an impressive kitchen garden. To celebrate Sofiero’s 150th anniversary in 2016, a large Jubilee garden was inaugurated by King Carl XVI Gustav and Queen Silvia.

Dela denna sidan:
CONTACT SOFIERO

Address: Sofierovägen 131
Zip code: 251 89 Helsingborg
Phone: +46 42-10 25 00
E-mail: sofiero@helsingborg.ses

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Sofiero Palace and Park - a part of Helsingborg City.