Since 22 May 1953, Harpsund has been used as a country retreat for the prime minister of Sweden.
The oldest parts of the mansion are from the 17th century, but the main building was built in 1914. The Estate, with its farm and forestry, was donated to the State on 27 December 1952 in accordance to the will of industrialist Carl August Wicander. It was to be used as retreat and recreational estate for the prime minister. The donation was approved by the Riksdag on 22 May 1953. The estate consists of 1,650 hectares (16.5 km2). Some adjustments were made in the conditions of the donation, which states that, with the exception of the main building, the estate could be made available to governmental conferences. Harpsund would soon be a venue for informal summits between the Government, industry and labour organizations. It was called Harpsund Democracy (Swedish: Harpsundsdemokrati). Through the years many foreign leaders have stayed there as guests. Especially noticed was the visit by Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union. It is tradition that guests at the estate take a small trip, with the prime minister, in the rowing boat (Harpsundsekan), a tradition introduced by Prime Minister Tage Erlander.
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