The National Property Board's project : Accessibility in cultural environments

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"The issue of adapting environments that have been created over the centuries represents a major challenge. New functions and techniques have to be added to old environments, at the same time as we cherish our unique cultural heritage. Preserving and changing at the same time is a task that demands special skill, creativity and prudence."

Läckö Castle was built in the Middle Ages on a rocky headland so as to be as inaccessible as possible to visitors with hostile intent. Under the direction of Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie in the 17th Century, Läckö took on its present-day form.The Läckö Castle area is a suitable pilot project as extensive work is in progress to restore the castle area to a more authentic 17th Century setting.

Little by little, the National Property Board is now making the castle area accessible to more people. Improved footpaths with modest gradients and better surfacing are being created to increase the experience of nature. Gravel is being removed and limestone paths are being widened and lengthened in the courtyard.

As the upper floors of the castle cannot be reached by wheelchair, parts of the summer exhibition are displayed in a separate accessible building. A ramp to the castle garden is being built for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

To make Läckö Castle a cultural heritage accessible to everyone, it is essential to create interaction between communicative and practical accessibility. Completely new information material is being prepared with a special brochure in easy-to-understand Swedish, information in braille and on audio cassette, a tactile map of the area. Information boards in the area indicate slopes on roads and paths so that disabled visitors can assess for themselves whether they can use them. The work on making the Läckö Castle area accessible has only just begun.

More information on this project and a similar one can be found in the joined document "The National Property Board, accessibility [a process]".

Accessibility and Cultural Heritage - A book about experiences, thoughts and processes :

The National Property Board has produced a book and a dvd that describe thoughts, processes and experiences in putting into practice the vision of an accessible society under unique conditions. Pilot projects at Wrangel Palace and in the Läckö Castle area are described.

"Our aim has been to provide inspiration and show possible ways forward, not just for ourselves but for others too. And not least to foster knowledge and awareness among all who in one way or another work on cultural environments.

When the heritage was created, nobody gave a thought to making the buildings and places accessible to people with functional impairment. Attitudes are changing and making new demands on society and on those of us who are actively involved in it. Today the National Property Board is working to make the heritage accessible to all. In Accessibility and Cultural Heritage we describe processes, experiences and thoughts to do with realising the vision of a heritage accessible to all. Presentations include pilot projects at the Wrangel Palace on the island of Riddarholmen in Stockholm and Läckö Castle in Västergötland.

The aim of this documentation is to give inspiration and guidance and, not least to disseminate knowledge and awareness to everyone who, one way or another, is actively concerned with or just interested in our heritage sites. But this is not just a compilation of facts. Instead the book and accompanying dvd describe an approach to the task of making physical environments accessible to everyone. This is most often a question of attitudes, of working with heart and mind, and a matter of co-operation."

(Illustrated, 240 pages; 2005; Prize incl dvd: 635 SEK, VAT not included  - Order from (in swedish only): Svensk Byggtjänst).

Contact :
The National Property Board
Box 2263, 103 16 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone : +46-8-696 70 00
Website :