Drottningholm Palace

Drottningholm Palace main
Front View of Drottningholm Palace
Photo by: Kolossus, Creative Commons

The Royal Family of Sweden’s permanent residence, Drottningholm Palace, is one of the country’s top tourist destinations. Built in the late 16th century by Nicodemus Tessin, it is the most well preserved royal castle in Sweden today. Aside from this distinction, its architectural style is representative of European architecture for that period. Due to this, UNESCO added Drottningholm Palace to its prestigious World Heritage list.

Visitors flock to the palace for three things: the exotic Chinese Pavilion, the magnificent palace theatre, and the majestic palace gardens.

The Chinese Pavilion was a gift from King Adolf Fredrik to Queen Lovisa Ulrika on her birthday in 1753. It was a truly grand gesture as chinoiserie, especially lacquer work, was in demand among Europe’s elite and wealthy at that time. The old machine house by the pavilion has been converted into Evert Lundquist’s Studio and museum. Here you can view oil paintings, charcoal drawings and dry-point engravings of Evert Lundquist. Also in the studio are art works of his wife Ebba Routercrona and sons Manne and Hymme. Also called the Chinese Pleasure Palace, the pavilion is open from May to September.

The Drottningholm Palace Theatre remains the same as it was when completed in 1766. Still in active use, it is best visited in the summer when its popular opera festivals are being held.

The baroque garden is the oldest in the palace grounds. Situated right by the palace, it was inspired by the palace gardens of France. North of the baroque garden is the English garden. It has two ponds with canals, islets connected by bridges, and copies of ancient statues scattered along the winding walkways. Lastly, the Chinese Pavilion is itself surrounded by a garden highlighted by a mix of Swedish trees.

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