Gunnebo House and Gardens is one of Scandinavia’s best restored 18th century estates. The ongoing restoration will reveal a beautiful updated interior with vibrant colours.

Open to the public since 1952, Gunnebo House and Gardens is the main tourist attraction in Mölndal with around 400,000 visitors per year who enjoy one of the tours, stroll around the lovely gardens, take part in courses and events, and eat in the estate’s organic restaurant.

Gunnebo House and Gardens: Careful restoration of 18th century estate

Photo: Gunnebo Slott

The mansion, surrounding buildings and gardens were all designed by architect Carl Wilhelm Carlberg and built between 1784 and 1796 as a summer residence for the wealthy merchant John Hall. More than 200 original drawings are still preserved, a valuable source of information for the intended layout of the rooms.

In 1996 a major restoration of Gunnebo began and the work is still ongoing. The main goal is to recreate the estate as it looked when it was first built. With the help of original drawings, paintings and other historical sources of information, things that had disappeared have been recreated, and also things that were planned in the 18th century but never built.

Gunnebo House and Gardens: Careful restoration of 18th century estate

Photo: Gunnebo Slott

The facade has regained its original design and colouring, the gardens have been rebuilt and the orangery has been reconstructed to its former glory. The latest focus is the interior. “Historic buildings need to be maintained to avoid decay,” says Johanna Lindén, curator. “It’s normal that floors are worn, paint on the walls is peeling and textiles in windows and on furniture are broken down by the sun. With the help of skilful craftsmen, we are restoring a number of rooms to reveal a new Gunnebo, for instance, visitors will be able to see more historically correct and vibrant colours in the rooms.”

The restoration is carried out slowly and carefully to meet the demands on historic building restorations. “It’s important to preserve the knowledge and to train a new generation of craftsmen,” says Lindén. “The project enables training in the traditional crafts used and is an investment in young craftsmen. If we don’t pass on the knowledge, nobody will be able to look after the estate in the future.”

Gunnebo is open all year round. In addition to tours and activities, the estate hosts one of the region’s most popular Midsummer celebrations on 21 June. On 7-8 September, this is the location for the popular Food and Crafts Fair (Mat och Hantverk), with heaps of exhibitors and activities, and of course lots of tasty options.

Gunnebo House and Gardens: Careful restoration of 18th century estate

Photo: Sofia Kvistborn

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