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The main building was constructed in 1793 and rebuilt in 1921–1923, designed by architect Isak Gustaf Clason.
The estate was owned from about 1720 by the assistant vicar Olof Morell and then was inherited by two of his successors in office. In 1801 it was inherited by the Lagerlöf family and when Selma Lagerlöf's father Lieutenant Gustaf Lagerlöf died in 1885 his son Johan took over, but he was unsuccessful running the farm and went bankrupt. He moved to America and the mansion had to be sold. The family lost the ownership of the estate in 1889. Selma Lagerlöf bought back the main building in 1907 and in 1910, she could buy back the whole estate with the help of the prize money she received from the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1909. A few years later, when she had the building reconstructed, not much of the original appearance of her childhood home remained. The original red-painted cottage was extended eastward, a new floor and an attic were added and the grand facade completed its transformation into an elegant mansion.
Mårbacka is now kept as a memorial estate, as a result of the author writing in her testament that Mårbacka should be preserved and shown to the public in the condition it was at her death.
By paid entrance, visitors can get a guided tour of the main building and next to the building is also a garden, a cafe and a bookstore. In the barn there is a memorial exhibition of Lagerlöf's life and writings.
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