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Garbo's House in Sweden


Hårby - Garbo's the Swedish home. It was the first house she purchased. Hårby gård was a large estate in Sweden. It is situated on Lake Sillen outside the town of Gnesta in the county of Södermanland. An hour's train ride southwest of Stockholm. It was a beautiful thousand-acre forested estate with fifteen-room manor house. Garbo purchased it in 1936, for her mother and her brother Sven and his family. Hårby is slightly 40 Milessouthwest of Stockholm, on the mainland. The Estate covered 1000 acres and dated back to the 16th Century when it was owned by the noble family of Leuhus. It was owned by Greta between 1936 -1947.Garbo's brother Sven took care of the estate and lived their, along with his family and mother, from 1937- 1939, until they moved to California.

Greta bought it in 1936

Greta bought Hårby in summer of 1936 and paid 276,000 kronor. She found the property with the help of her brother, Sven. The Wachtmeisters also helped to find the place. Garbo had sent Sven the money to buy it from California in 1936 . It was a working farm before Garbo bought it.

A large Garden

It included a modest selection of livestock and a large garden. Hårby gård had one hundred and sixty acres of farmable land. The original estate dated back to the sixteenth century when it was owned by a noble family.  The main house was a typical Swedish manor. It faced Lake Sillen and was hidden behind a wall of birches, poplars and oaks. The Oaks lined Hårby's private road.

Crayfishes and Elks

The estate also encompassed a series of smaller lakes. One of the lakes produced crayfish. Greta bought separately a section of wooded land called Torsnäset. During the winter, a herd of elk often sought shelter in the wooded land section.

Greta's brother took care

Sven was the caretaker of the big property. He took his new role seriously. Sven even went to Tistad to study how the Wachtmeisters ran their farm. When the main house was ready for occupancy. Sven, his wife, his little daughter and Greta's mother Anna Lovisa, moved to the estate.

A typically Swedish house

A local antique dealer helped to furnish the rooms. Greta was given her own three -room suite within the house. The white and blue bathroom is surely the smallest ever owned by a famous film star. It has no provision for cosmetics. Hårby was a typically Swedish house. It was cream colored with wooden shutters. Pointed gables highlighted by bright touches of green, red and blue.  Guests could stay in a nearby summer house.

Garbo's first stay at Hårby

Greta couldn't wait to get to her new Swedish home. She left Hollywood in December 1937,  to spend Christmas in Sweden and Hårby. This was the first time Garbo had seen Hårby. She was greeted upon arrival by a warm, traditional welcome.  Her mother and brother had lined the snow-covered drive from the road to their door with dozens of torches.

The curtains of every window had been drawn to reveal lamps shining brightly within. Garbo had said that the things she missed most in Hollywood were smorgasbords and snow.

Pictures of Garbo at Hårby

Hårby in 2001 and in 1936

Movie Mirror Article

Many stars of the era had their homes on show in movie magazines, but quite a few of them weren't their homes at all, only nice pictures of nice homes, published to show how nice the stars were living. This "Movie Mirror" article from the early 1930s, claims that Garbo had a house on an Island in the Swedish archipelago   but we think that this was only a made up "Hollywood stars at home!" story. Click  HERE!

Garbo and Sweden
Garbo's Apartment in New York 
Garbo in Berlin 
Garbo's Grave 
Garbo's Estate 
Places where Garbo lived 
Garbo Stockholm Tour 


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