Råda säteri, a famous manor next to Gothenburg

The front against the alley. Photo: Lars Gahrn.

The front against the alley. Photo: Lars Gahrn.

You have a lot of reasons to visit Råda säteri, a wellknown manor next to Gothenburg. The corps de logis was built in 1772 during the reign of king Gustaf III (king of Sweden 1771-1792). It is characterized by the so called gustavian style (neoclassical style), the most renowned and appreciated architectonical style of old Sweden. The corps de logis shows sublime simplicity and simple sublimity. The manor has two fronts, one against the alley for visitors and guests coming in waggons or on horseback, one against Lake Rådasjön for visitors and guests (especially the family John Hall) coming in boat from the southern side of Lake Rådasjön.

A famous architect

The front against Lake Rådasjön.

The front against Lake Rådasjön.

The architect is world famous: sir William Chambers (1726-1796), buried in Westminster Abbey in London. He was born in Gothenburg, a member of one of the many Swedish families with British origin. He emigrated to Great Britain and became one of the most renowned and appreciated architects in his new country. The manors Råda and Partille slott are drawn by sir William Chambers. They are his only works in his old native country.

The English garden

Sir William Chambers has drawn a lot of English gardens. In fact he introduced the English style of gardens. He drew the garden of Råda säteri, too. It is situated in the slope between the corps de logis and Lake Rådasjön. The manor has an English garden, namely the peninsula “Labbera”, in old times called Råda Näs. Here a romantic ruin was built. It is supposed to be the ruin of a church with its towers to the west and the altar, a great flat stone, to the east. Here to the east an apsis was built. In the ruin you can see a flat stone with a hexameter verse in latin: Sic redit in nihilum quod fuit ante nihil. (In this way that, which already before was nothing, becomes nothing again.) The inscription thus tells us that the ruin has never been anything other than a ruin. Time and vandals have broken down the ruin, and this evolution was foreseen by the author of the inscription. The stone of the inscription is broken, and perhaps it was broken even originally. The English garden of Råda säteri has a lot of oaks and beechs and a lot of paths for wanderers.

Many interesting buildings

A manor of old times was rather a village, and here at Råda you have almost all buildings preserved. Some of them are older than the corps de logis, and some are younger. Here you have the wings, the old magazines, the barn, the stable, the buildings for the gardeners and other employees. Here almost the entire milieu of the manor is preserved, not only some buildings.

Renowned owners

The corps de logis contains memories from the owners, some of them very famous. Martina von Schwerin (1789-1875) was a friend, correspondent and admirer of great Swedish authors, especially Esaias Tegnér. Chamberlain Magnus Lagerberg (1844-1920) was chief of the museum of Gothenburg. Thanks to his leadership the museums of Gothenburg experienced their first golden age. With magnificent hospitality he welcomed all sorts of guests at Råda. With lavish generosity he gave contributions to all sorts of culture. Another very wellknown owner is Gustav Ekman (1852-1930), chemist and industrialist, friend of Albert Einstein (who visited the manor).

A restaurant

The ruin in the peninsula Labbera. Old photograph.

The ruin in the peninsula Labbera. Old photograph.

The corps de logis is today a restaurant, well known for good cooking, beautiful saloons and wonderful surroundings. In springtime Wood anemones form enormous carpets. Then you can see countless photographers, fascinated by the innumerable white flowers.

Literature

Ulf Erixon, Råda uti Askims härad, 2004 (240 pages and many illustrations).

Dan Korn, Familjen Törngren och Råda säteri, Herrgårdsliv kring Rådasjön på 1880- och 90-talen, two chapters in the chronicle: Dan Korn, Mölnlyckeboken: Ett samhälles historia genom tvåhundra år, 1983.

Erik W. Gatenheim, Råda säteri, a chapter in the chronicle: Erik W. Gatenheim, Råda – bygd, socken, kommun, 1984.

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