Solliden Palace on the island of Öland was built by Queen Victoria, who had drawn her inspiration from Swedish doctor Axel Munthe’s Italian villa San Michele on Capri. Victoria was plagued with bronchial problems and escaped to the milder climates of Öland in the hope of relief. “You can breathe here”, the Queen is said to have expressed during one of the early reconnaissance trips to Öland. The first foundation stone was laid on 25 September 1903, Victoria could move in on 15 September 1906.
With Axel Munthe’s help, Victoria was able to purchase construction features and statues from Italy, which were incorporated into the walls of the building. Victoria was a collector, not least of vintage tiled stoves, of which a large number have been erected inside the palace. The architect was Torben Grut – his most famous work is Stadion in Stockholm, built for the 1912 Olympic Games.
After the death of Queen Victoria, Solliden was inherited by her husband, Gustav V. The park was now opened to the public, something that would have been unimaginable for Victoria. Gustav V bequeathed Solliden to the hereditary prince, Carl Gustaf.
The current royals frequently visit Solliden to enjoy the island’s fine weather. It is also the royal family’s official summer residence.