Christinehof – the Golden Castle of Österlen
Meet Christina Piper – a remarkable woman
Castles usually have a lord of the manor. But not so Christinehof Castle, which had an influential lady of the manor! The Golden Baroque Castle was erected in 1741 by Countess Christina Piper, one of the most successful entrepreneurs of her time. In the vicinity of the castle is the Alum Works, which made Christina Piper one of Sweden’s richest women. Christinehof is today a cultural palace run by the cultural association Christina’s Wänner.
New exhibition Rebel Girls
In 2020 the cultural association Christinas Wänner at Christinehof castle celebrates that it’s 300 years since Christina Piper moved to Skåne. The castle opens on May 16th – with all required rules for the containment of covid19.
Christina Piper became the ancestor of many women. The exhibition Rebel Girls tells of Christina Piper’s wild descendants and grandchildren Stina Piper and Christina Sofia Bielke, and great-grandchildren Magdalena Rudenschöld and Aurora Taube – four girls who swirled around and made their mark on 18th-century court life, culture and politics.
Rebel Girls – The party girl, the spy, the mistress and the conspirator – the wild 18th-century heirs to Christina Piper.
Stina Piper: Christina Piper’s beautiful granddaughter who marries at Christina’s Krageholm, soon becomes a widow and heir to Skarhult, one of the 18th-century party girls who lives with her cousin Carl Ribbing and becomes the mother of three “illegitimate” children by him. She leaves the children with her lover when she marries into the supreme power elite of Sweden, but underneath the glossy surface, a tragedy hides.
Christina Sofia Bielke: Political activist and French spy who grows up with grandmother Christina Piper at Krageholm. Christina Sofia marries her love Carl Rudenschöld, holds political salons and meetings at home, financed by France, which secretly remunerates her with 6000 Swedish crowns per year. Translated into today’s monetary value, a rather big annual salary of almost three and a half million Swedish crowns.
Magdalena Rudenschöld: Beautiful and talented daughter of Christina Sofia, a free-spirited woman who grows up with new ideas and currents in culture, science and politics. Magdalena becomes a maid of honor at king Gustav III’s court, and mistress of the king’s favorite, Gustav Maurice Armfeldt. But after Gustav III’s death, she is accused of conspiring against the new regime and sentenced to death. The sentence is converted to prison and Magdalena becomes Sweden’s first female political prisoner in an apartment cell at the Långholmen prison.
Aurora Taube: “As long as there are no masquerade parties, I can stay away from men, but when that time comes I cannot resist.” Adorable Aurora was a great granddaughter of Christina Piper. Aurora marries count de Geer at Finspång castle, a man twice her age. The castle became, under Aurora’s leadership, a meeting place for culture; Aurora often found herself in the lead role in the theater and dance performances – she was a brilliant star both at Finspång and the court. But where was she buried?
Christinehof – cultural palace in an ecopark
Interactive concept, shows and concerts
Since 2017, the cultural association Christina’s Wänner has been running the castle. Their concept is to tell Christina Piper’s story and highlight her life and enterprising spirit, and at the same time enliven her time, the dynamic 18th century, for the visitors. Christinehof is today a vibrant cultural palace with a large selection of guided story-telling tours, exhibitions, lectures and concerts. In the entrance hall of the castle is the charming café, furnished in the Swedish Gustavian style. Christinehof is located in an ecopark with beautiful hiking trails that are open all year round.
Christinehof is open to visitors from mid-May through September. Christinehof is planning for two new main exhibitions 2020: The Rebel girls. Lovers, spy, actor and conspirator – the female descendants of Christina Piper and Long Live the Copies! The local master carpenters that copied the 18th century and turned ordinary living rooms into royal salons.
This year the cultural association Christinas Wänner and Christinehof castle are celebrating 300 years since Christina Piper moved from Stockholm to the southern Swedish province of Skåne. We begin the celebration of the formidable Christina presenting:
Christina Piper’s Letter Archive
It’s a dream come true. The project started in February 2018 and is expected to continue for at least two more years; translating and interpreting letters written in 18th century quirky and difficult-to-read Swedish is meticulous and painstaking work. Our hope is that Christina Piper’s letter archive will provide students, researchers and everyone interested a rich and deep insight into the life of Christina Piper and her accomplishments as an entrepreneur, landowner and builder in the 18th century.”