Tour the Swedish palaces and royal sites – a journey through history
Sweden’s royal palaces and breath-taking sites provide visitors with a fascinating insight into Swedish history and the life of the monarchy through the ages.
With a king on the throne for over a thousand years, the Swedish monarchy is one of the oldest in the world. In the Middle Ages, Sweden was divided into two kingdoms – Svea, occupying the central section of the country; and Göta, covering the southern parts. At this stage of its history, Sweden enjoyed a relatively high status as a regional power. This partly explains why there are so many medieval and renaissance castles and royal sites dotted around Stockholm and its surrounding areas.
Each of these stunning sites has its own distinctive architectural profile and interior décor, reflecting stylistic shifts as well as the personal tastes of the kings and queens who spent time in these magnificent castles and sites.
The palaces of today’s Swedish Royal Family – a study in Renaissance and Baroque architecture
King Carl XVI Gustaf, who’s reigned in Sweden since 1973, and his Queen Silvia divide their time between two castles of great historical significance – The Royal Palace of Stockholm and Drottningholm Palace.
The Royal Palace of Stockholm is one of the largest castles in Europe. Located in the Old Town within the city centre of Stockholm, this imposing palace is the official residence of the king – although it’s used primarily as the monarchs’ workplace and setting for grand receptions. And what an impressive venue it is. Italian Baroque in style, the master architect behind it – Nicodemus Tessin the Younger – modelled it on a Roman palace.
Drottningholm, meanwhile, is distinctly French renaissance in appearance, mirroring the European architecture style of the late 17th century. Built for Queen Hedvig Eleonora and completed in 1699, this UNESCO's World Heritage site is the best-preserved palace in Sweden.
Tessin’s father – Nicodemus Tessin the Elder – is the man behind the design of this beautiful palace, which the Swedish monarchs have called home since 1981.
Drottningholm stands on an island in Lake Mälaren in a suburb of Stockholm. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Drottningholm is the private residence of the King and Queen of Sweden.
Photo: Tove Freiij/imagebank.sweden.se
Aerial view over Stockholm
View over Stockholm.
Photo: Henrik Trygg/mediabank.visitstockholm.com