Ebba Brahes lusthus
Ebba Brahe´s summerhouse from 1636, possibly the oldest in Sweden.
At the beginning of the 17th century, a bar-iron forge with three hammers was built at Bockhammar. Shortly afterwards, the ironworks was acquired by Magnus Brahe (the Lord High Chancellor), who already owned the works at Uttersberg. In 1633, his daughter, Ebba Brahe, inherited the works, which operated from 1607 until 1880.
Ebba Brahe’s summerhouse (1636), together with the timber-built manor house from 1817, are all that remains of the old ironworks.
On a small island in the river near the old works is a romantic summerhouse, painted pink and built in the style of an octagonal pavilion. Carrying Ebba Brahe’s name, it is the oldest summerhouse in the country—built in 1636, according to the date on the weather vane. However, the curved ceiling and the attractive interior decorations suggest that the building could be somewhat younger.
When she was young, Ebba Brahe (1596–1674) had a romantic affair with King Gustavus Adolphus. But their planned marriage was thwarted by the King’s mother. So 24-year-old Ebba instead married general Jacob de la Gardie. The couple had 14 children. After the death of her husband in 1652, Ebba Brahe managed with a deft touch the family’s various properties and ironworks around the country.
Countless tales, stories and anecdotes surround the name of Ebba Brahe, but she is described in all of them as a good and honest woman. The story of her romance with Gustavus Adolphus has also fed the imagination. Many believe that she still walks in the park around the summerhouse pavilion, in the form of a beautiful guardian angel, urging people to be kind and loyal. According to legend, as a young child she had two favourite songs, one in a major key and the other in minor. Since her death in 1674, the birds at Bockholmen can be heard singing Ebba’s songs.