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Stockholm: Views of the Palace

To reach the Kungliga Slottet (Royal Palace) in Gamla Stan (old town) from downtown, you must cross a bridge to Holy Ghost Island, walk through the courtyard of the Riksdagshuset (Parliament), and then cross another bridge to the Palace. Or you can bypass the Parliament by taking another bridge that seems to lead straight in to the north face of the Palace. Completed in 1754 after more than fifty years of construction, it is a fine example of Baroque and Rococo design.


The island hosting the Royal Palace has the Baltic Sea to the east and the vast Lake Mälaren to the west, making it the ideal site for a fortress and administrative center. When the previous castle, Tre Kronor Slottet (Three Crowns Castle), burned in 1697, its replacement was designed less as a fortress and more as a modern government center and appropriately regal residence for the monarch. This is one of the inner courtyards of the vast structure.


The south side of the Palace, facing the winter sun and an open square, is the most pleasant. In addition to the Royal Apartments, the Palace houses a Royal Treasury containing the Crown Jewels and the Royal Armory, with a vast array of medieval weapons, clothing, and even the stuffed horse of King Gustavus Adolphus, the "Lion of the North."


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Photos (c) 1997 Lawrence I. Charters

Revised October 25, 1997 lic
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