Our history

An island with a rich heritage

Sandhamn Seglarhotell has roots dating back to the 19th century when the building was inaugurated by King Oscar II as the Royal Swedish Yacht Club's clubhouse. Follow in the footsteps of Zorn, Engström, and Strindberg. Sandhamn is steeped in history and memories.

Elias Sehlstedt

The pilots and customs officers

As early as the 17th century, pilots and customs officials arrived on the island. With the increasing maritime traffic and the activities of piloting and customs, there arose a need for a so-called ‘inn cottage,’ and in 1672, the first inn opened on Sandhamn. The most famous customs inspector of all time was the poet Elias Sehlstedt. During his tenure (1852-1869), the island was still very rugged and sparsely populated. Elias was anything but pleased with his posting; it was said that he had been forced to this place of exile for financial reasons. In a poem about Sandhamn, he wrote, ‘He who has robbed the mail and killed both father and mother should live here.’

However, summers must have been a bit more enjoyable for Sehlstedt. In 1865, Sandhamn got its first regular steamboat connection with Stockholm, and the first summer guests arrived. This makes Sandhamn one of the oldest seaside resorts in Sweden. Since the late 19th century, Sandhamn has also been the home waters of the Royal Swedish Yacht Club (KSSS). Here, royalties have competed for honor and trophies, and champions have been crowned. In 1897, Oscar II inaugurated the KSSS clubhouse (now the Seglarrestaurangen) during a jubilee regatta to celebrate his years as regent of Sweden and Norway.

A source of cultural inspiration

I slutet av förra seklet kom också många kända skalder och konstnärer till Sandhamn för att finna inspiration och inte minst för att roa sig. Anders Zorns berömda tavlor ”På Sandhamn” och ”Svanen” skapades till exempel på ön. August Strindberg, Verner von Heidenstam, Gustaf Fröding, Richard Bergh och Axel Sjöberg var också trogna besökare. Liksom Bruno Liljefors. Det finns massa sköna skrönor om Liljefors festande på Sandhamn med bland andra Zorn och Albert Engström i spetsen – det så kallade ”Bullerölaget”.

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