Brahehus – A Legacy of the past

Our story begins in the year 1602 Although not from Brahehus, but 450 km north of here in what is called Uppland. just North of Stockholm.
Per Brahe the younger was born on 18 february 1602 at the Rydboholms Castle, Uppland, And died on 12 September 1680 at Bogesunds Castle in Uppland, And son of Abraham Pedersson Brahe (thereby grandson of Per Brahe the older) and Elsa Gyllenstierna.
He was also the Swedish Count of Visingsborg until he passed away.


Brahe spent the years 1618–25 to study travels abroad until he became the Chamberlain to the King Gustav II Adolf in 1626.
During the years 1626–28 he participated in the battles of Prussia by his kings side. Brahe was appointed Colonel 1628 and in 1630 to the state advisor just before he again followed the king in battle to Germany.
Here he was by his Kings side in the conquest of Würzburg, But was sent back to Sweden to take his place in the State council.
In 1632 he became a member of the Svea Hovrätt, (The Swedish Court of Appeal)and the year after he inherited the County of  Visingsborg, after his uncle Magnus Brahe.
This heritage would forever change Sweden and the regions of Jönköping,
Per Brahe ordered the construction of Brahehus in 1637, but was not completed until mid 1650’s.
Construction was very complicated to start with, and was made even more difficult because the building material, that in parts consisted of the local Vättersandsten* witch had to be transported up the steep hills to the Castle site.
Brahehus was originally intended as a widow housing for his wife Kristina Katarina Stenbock, As faith would have it, Kristina Katarina Stenbock past away in early 1650 even before the castle was completed, When the castle was completed in the mid 1650 it was used to house Per Brahes visitors and friends.


In the County Visingsborg the Count Per Brahe also ordered an extension of the Castle Visingsborgs. At the same time he had the Castle Västanå completely refurbished. Together these 3 Castles formed a triangle, in the middel of this triangle he laid the foundation for the town Brahe-Grenna in 1652.
At the Castle Visingsborg the Count had a small army of around 200 soldiers. In Röttle just south of Gränna they also laid ground for a several small factories that would produce weapons and other items for his small Army.
There was also a papermill. On the island Visingsö Per Brahe also adapted a printshop that was run by Johann Kankel, and on the Visingsborgs Castle you would find a very impressive library. Already in the year 1636 he had also, despite resistence from the Church, founded a School on the island.
Per Brahe was a creative man, and responsible for a great deal of developments in the region and on the island Visingsö.
Far out on a cliff by the lake Noen,  In Jönköpings county Per Brahe also founded the Castle Brahäll, a place mostly used for festivities and pleasure for the citizens.


In the year 1680 Per Brahes passed away, and Brahehus was emptied for all its interior. And shortly after the County was revoked and turned over to the State under King Karl XI:s control. Autum 1708 was a devestating day for the Brahus. there was a big fire in the nearby village Uppgränna, and the fire also spread to Brahehus that met its faith that day, and burned to the ground.
Brahehus is located on 270 meters (890 feet) over the ocean, and 180 meter (590 feet) over the lake Vättern, Right next to the ruins runs Swedens highest located highway the E4. The so called Vätterleden runs just east of Brahehus.
Just a short walk to the Brahehus from the Highway where today you will find a Resting area with a fantastic view over the Brahehus and the lake Vättern with the island Visingsö. This area also has Restaurant, Gasstation, Truckstop and a hiking trail.
Vättersandsten – A special kind of rock that was available from to bottom og the hills close to the water at the lake Vättern.


After the fire disaster in 1708 the Brahehus has been untouched and never rebuilt to living standard, Why.. nobody really knows. One can only speculate.
But the stone walls are still standing and are the remaining of the Braehus that can be visited whenever you like free at charge.
Walking inside the Brahehus skeleton walls is a fantastic feeling, and with just a little imagination you can get a feeling of how it would have been to live here in the 1650’s.


A breathtaking view over the lake Vättern and its island Visingsö is one you will never forget, have a coffe and a seat in the wide open windows and your mind are surely to go back in time.
Altough it may not seem like much, the ruins still tell a story that we all should know about, without Per Brahe this region of Sweden. and maybe even Sweden itself would be a different country today.


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