The Royal Palace of Stockholm, Stockholm

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Nov 8, 2002
The Royal Palace of Stockholm

The Royal Palace of Stockholm is the sovereign's official residence. Their Majesties the King and Queen and the Duchess of Halland have their offices here. The administration of the Royal Court is located here, and this too is the setting for most of the official receptions given by the Head of State.​

The history of the Royal Palace goes back many centuries. Extensive excavations of the surrounding area (Helgeandsholmen) between 1978 and 1980 revealed traces of very ancient timber structures, dateable to the end of the 10th century. These finds have been variously interpreted. Some take them as proof that a fortress already existed on Helgeandsholmen at the end of the 10th century, while a more circumspect theory is that there were barriers of piling in the shipping lane from Saltsjön ("Salt Sea") into Lake Mälaren. These barriers may have been guarded, but the question is whether they had a full garrison of soldiers or just a single watchman. But of one thing we can be sure: the shipping lane now called Norrström ("North Stream") was of sufficient strategic importance for somebody to put barriers across it a thousand or so years ago.​

Rimkrönikan, the Swedish medieval rhyming chronicle, states that in the mid-13th century Birger Jarl had a fortress built where the Royal Palace now stands. According to the latest research, this tradition is in all probability correct. The fortress consisted of two parts: the keep had a large, walled bailey. The thick walls were built at first of granite rubble, but as they gained height, brick was used instead. The change of materials suggests that this building carried a great deal of prestige, brick being a much more costly building material than stone.​

It was probably in the reign of King Magnus Eriksson, in the mid-14th century, that the castle came to be known as Three Crowns. King Magnus at the time held sway over three kingdoms - Sweden, Norway and Skåne - and this is what the Three Crowns device is taken to stand for.​

Much of the north wing of the Royal Palace as we know it today has survived from the Castle of Three Crowns. The Baroque façade conceals medieval towers with loopholes.​

In 1521 Gustav Vasa seceded from the 1397 Union of Kalmar between Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. This marked the beginning of the modern nation state of Sweden, and the Castle of Three Crowns became the principal residence of the monarchy.​

Under the Vasa monarchs, however, the medieval fortress was turned into a magnificent Renaissance Palace, partly under the direction of the Dutch architect Willem Boy.​

During the "Great Power Period", after the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, extensive alterations were planned for the Palace, in keeping with Sweden's new-found status. Work did not actually begin, however, until 1692, under the direction of the Palace Architect Nicodemus Tessin the Younger. It was then that the north wing of the Palace, overlooking Norrbro, acquired the stern Roman Baroque exterior we see today.​

A disastrous fire on May 7, 1697 destroyed practically all of the old Palace, but the newly altered north wing was left more or less unscathed. Three weeks after the fire, Tessin submitted drawings for the new Palace to the Swedish government. The plan was for the new Palace to be built in about five years. In the event, the royal family was not able to move back in until 1754, nearly sixty years after the fire.​

In spite of the new Palace taking such a long time to build, the 1697 drawings were implicitly complied with. Work on the interiors began in the mid-1730s under the direction of the architect Carl Hårleman.​

Each of the four façades of the Royal Palace has its own distinctive character. The western one, overlooking the outer courtyard, was the King's façade and is appropriately decorated with masculine and marshal attributes. The Western Archway includes the Western Staircase, which was also the King's.​

The east side of the Palace was the Queen's - the feminine side. The Eastern Archway includes the Queen's Staircase. The east façade of the Palace is decorated with colossal pilasters, the reason being that in the old days it was visible all the way from Ladugårdsgärde (the area surrounding the present-day Telegraph Tower). The eastern part of the Palace includes Logården ("the Shot Yard"), which is a miniature palace garden.​

The south façade represents the nation. The centre of it, in the form of a gigantic triumphal arch, is the façade of the monumental Southern Archway, which is flanked by the Hall of State and the Royal Chapel: the Altar and Throne were the two poles of the good polity.​

The north side of the Palace, overlooking Norrbro and Gustav Adolfs Torg, represents the more gentle aspect of royalty, since the main apartments of the King and Queen face this direction. Now the Palace was built, not only as the principal residence of the Swedish royal family, but also as the nerve centre of Swedish government. Offices were fitted out here for the cabinet and the ministries, the main debating chamber of the Swedish Riksdag (parliament) was here, and the Royal Library - the national library, in other words - was housed under the same roof. The Royal Palace, quite simply, was a Sweden in miniature.​

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My favourite picture

It occurs to me that it might come from the webpage.


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Pictures from the Palace Church at the Royal Palace of Stockholm, the seat of the Royal Court Parish. Every Sunday and public holiday, the parish holds services that the public is welcome to attend. Otherwise, the Palace Church is used by the Royal Court Parish for their activities. Pictures from the Royal Court and Corbis.


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The Royal Palace of Stockholm:


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so i was at the royal castle and saw some of the rooms

one of them was where Victoria had her coming of age ceremony rikssalen
and the guide said that the last time it was used in a royal connection was at he 18th birthday
sometimes there are concerts there

I also saw the representation rooms
some rooms was very dark and some was so so
but then there was rooms with great wallpapers bright colours lovely patterns
i may self could think of having it in a rooms as a foundation on one wall

i need to ask i think i saw the ball room but it was not very big
and when there is no ball there are a lot of tables and sofas in old style placed
are there any photos of a ball room at the royal castle?

I asked if any state visit have taken place at drottningholm the guide said no all state visits take place at the royal castle but was not the reception for the German state visit at drottningholm?

I also saw the guest apartments where the head of state of other countries stay when on state visit
there was some great rooms grand and in old style
what i did not know was there is many small rooms in the back of the big rooms and often many guests stay in these rooms but they have the whole apartment to their disposal and the castle pack down all tourist information and places computer and tv and other things that is modern i saw nothing about this modern things when i was there
here are a few photos of the inseide of the royal castle

when was the last time they painted the royal castle and drottningholmk


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Royal palace
Karl XI Gallary

a table set for 160 people
at gala the table is set with the brazilien silver "servis"
it comes from Queen Josefinas sister Queen Amailia of Brazil


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Royal palace
Gula salongen

the sofa where all children of Gustaf Adolf and SIbylla has informed of their engagment


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what i have been thinking is do you think the king and queen will move back to the royal castle when Victoria starts a family?
the same why the king and queen of Norway moved back to the castle in Oslo
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Vita Havet, the White Sea, at the Royal Palace of Stockholm, which is used as the salon when dinners are held in Karl XI's Gallery. (the picture is from a postcard)


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WOW! I haven't seen this thread before. I can't imagen growing up in places like that. I must have been amazing! :D
1: Queen Lovisa Ulrika's audience room, the Royal Palace of Stockholm
2: The Victoria Salon, the Royal Palace of Stockholm

(both are from a brochure)


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Nice rooms. Are these non public rooms? When I visitied the royal castle in Stockholm i did not visit these rooms :(
mixer2002de said:
Nice rooms. Are these non public rooms? When I visitied the royal castle in Stockholm i did not visit these rooms :(
What you get to see on the tours in the Royal Palace is a very small piece of what is really in the palace. There are hundreds of rooms, and only a small part (well quite large too, if you don't think of the whole) are open to the public. The rest are used by the Royal Family for their work, and for the staff of the Royal Court, and some parts are just not open to the public.
do you think victoria will get her own apartment at stockholm castle
You find the apartements in the east wing, which is closed to the public. Prince Bertils apartement were formelly the apartement of King Gustav V, I don´t think it is in use today. When I visited it some 10 years ago it was locked up and not in use. A lot of furniture had those white covers on...Prince Bertils kitchen seemed very out of date.

The apartement of Princess Sibylla is used by the king today, here you can find the famous green engagement sofa. The kings former playing room is now his small dining room in white and gold with red silk damask on the walls. Quite nice.

Josefine said:
Here is a graphic with general directions (for visitors) at the Royal Palace of Stockholm that I've re-made into English from a Swedish version. The original graphic comes from the Palace's jubilee programme from 2004 issued by the Royal Court.


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Are you alowed to take pictures inside the palace?
robby86 said:
Are you alowed to take pictures inside the palace?

No I don´t think so, as far as I can remember when I have visit the palace they have some signs telling you that you aren´t allowed to take photos.
rop81 said:
No I don´t think so, as far as I can remember when I have visit the palace they have some signs telling you that you aren´t allowed to take photos.
I dont get that... ok, perhaps the flash could "harm" some, but without I really dont see the big deal :)

does anyone know why this rule exist?
Yennie said:
I dont get that... ok, perhaps the flash could "harm" some, but without I really dont see the big deal :)

does anyone know why this rule exist?
I think it has to do with old material, that flashes and too much light can torn and damage things like old wall papers and things like that. At least that's what I've been told. Maybe someone else who knows exactly why could explain this better?
Do they use the Palace church for weddings or funerals? or is it just for church services?
acid_rain3075 said:
Oh wow! How depressing! This is possibly the ugliest Palace I have ever seen! Just my opinion of course!:D
I doesn't look like a palace at all.
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