"What needs to be rebuilt..."

"What needs to be rebuilt and what needs to be improved." During the 17th century, Sweden established itself as the great power in Northern Europe.

In around 1618, Axel Oxenstierna organised administration of the state into five boards. Of these new boards, the Chancery was made responsible, in consultation with the governors across the country, for civil building projects by the state. The construction of coastal defences was made the responsibility of the Admiralty. Nya Älvsborg Fortress and the Kronan and Lejonet redoubts were erected outside the newly established city of Gothenburg, itself of defensive importance. Carlsten Fortress was made one of the strongest in Europe. The greatest construction project of the age involved moving the country's main naval base from Stockholm to the completely new town of Karlskrona.
The year was 1680 and the architect was Erik Dahlbergh. The lands conquered during the Age of Greatness had buildings that were now incorporated into the Kingdom of Sweden, for example Landskrona Citadel and the castle of Malmöhus. From the outset, the architecture of the Age of Greatness was wedded to Dutch Classicist ideals, but beyond the mid-17th century we see the Swedish interpretation of Roman Baroque flourish. The master-builder to the court in Stockholm was given more and more responsibility. He was commissioned "not only here in Stockholm but also in other locations that it pleases us to command... to complete what needs to be rebuilt and what needs to be improved." Alongside the constant improvements to the Royal Palace in Stockholm, work started on a completely new palace and garden – Drottningholm. The architect was Tessin the Elder. A host of private castles and palaces were built for the noblemen victorious in war: the castle of Skokloster and the Oxenstiernska, Bondeska and Wrangelska Palaces in Stockholm. These were later purchased by the Crown. At the peak of the Age of Greatness, in 1697, Tessin the Younger was tasked with designing a new Royal Palace for Stockholm. Tessin had responsibilities far beyond those of his predecessors and was given a new French-style title: "First Surveyor of all our castles, houses, gardens and buildings".