Thanks to Family von Schinkel, the owners of Tidö Castle, for the kind permission of making photos inside the museum as well as for copyright to some of the images.
The year was 1608. A young man by name of Axel Oxenstierna moved to Tidö after his marriage to Anna Bååth, daughter of the lord of the manor. Tidö was at that time really an island, as the "ö" in its name suggests. In times past the waterlevel of Lake Mälaren was much higher than today. The rest of its name is a shortening of "tidigt" - early. This has to do with spring arriving earlier than on the mainland. Eventually "Den tidiga ön" - the early island became Tidö.
Anna och Axel Oxenstierna lived in an old cottage from the 14th century to begin with, but this soon felt crowded. Furthermore young Axel had seen lots of more beautiful buildings during his journeys through Europe, so he started designing a mansion. When Anna inherited her father in 1625, the building started. It took many years to finish and Axel had not only become chancellor of Sweden, but also had to rule the country after the death of king Gustav II Adolf, while waiting for queen Kristina to come of age. In spite of his many duties, Axel Oxenstierna often returned to Tidö, which he loved dearly.
The mansion was owned by the Oxenstierna-family until 1840, when it was sold. During the coming 50 years it was resold another 7 times until it was bought by David von Schinkel, in 1890. By this time the building was utterly decayed. The family von Schinkel has since these days not only affectionately restored the building and its furniture, but also opened in 1974 Sweden's first toy museum, with thousands of toys from all over the world.
They have got it all - starting with king Carl XVI Gustaf's tin soldiers to paper models of ships, cars and aircrafts, cut out from an weekly family-magazine. There is as well an international representation of rocking-horses, electric railway-sets and dolls until my very own money-box, which I filled with my first pennies during the 50's.
Don't miss this treasure, which certainly not only shows toys, but also supplies a lot of cultural history through them. Do also take your time for a guided tour through the mansion, the rooms are furnitured with care and knowledge. You'll be surprised of the change of atmosphere, when you leave the Knight's Hall from the 17th century and enter in the Yellow Room, held in the elegant lightness of the following century.

Tourist information: Tidö slott is situated 14 km south of Västerås (if you go by car, don't take the road to "Tidö-Lindö"!)
In summertime bus number 23A leaves the busstation in Västerås every (working day) tuesday - friday at 11.30 a.m., and returns from Tidö at 3.00 p.m.. The journey lasts 25 minutes.
Opening hours at Tidö slott: noon - 5 p.m. every day during June - August, and weekends during May and September. Guided tour through the mansion at 2 p.m.

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last update: 23.8.1996 by