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Stockholm: Governments Old and New

Modern Sweden is a constitutional monarchy, with a strongly democratic, egalitarian flair and an image of peace and neutrality. When you cross this bridge from downtown onto "Holy Ghost Island," this image is reinforced by the ability to walk through the courtyard separating the two parts of the Riksdagshuset, the Swedish parliament building. Most of the building is roughly eighty years old; the glassed-in bulge on the right seems an unexpected bit of modernity, but it actually blends in quite well.

This egalitarian image is a recent one; from 1668 to 1865, Swedish nobles, meeting in the Riddarhuset (House of Nobles) assisted the monarch in running the country. The rich trappings of this Baroque building are a vivid contrast to the more subdued Riksdagshuset.


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Photos (c) 1997 Lawrence I. Charters

Revised October 25, 1997 lic
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