The 18th Century: Age of Liberty and the Time of Gustaf III

"... to provide the Kingdom with lasting and neat buildings"

Practically nothing was built in Sweden during the first decades of the 18th century, the time of the Great Nordic Wars. When the Age of Liberty dawned, the country was rebuilt and for fifty years from 1740 in creasingly ambitious projects took shape. The work of the First Surveyor continued into the 18th century. Tessin the Younger had a number of distinguished successors: Carl Hårleman, Carl Johan Cronstedt and Carl Fredrik Adelcrantz. The main focus of the First Surveyor was still on castles, but the position was expanded. Under Adelcrantz, a special office of the First Surveyor was formed "to provide the Kingdom with lasting and neat buildings." For the most part, the emphasis was on redeveloping and refurbishing existing buildings: the Royal Palace in Stockholm, as well as castles and palaces in Uppsala, Drottningholm, Västerås and Örebro.The Crown also had a number of buildings constructed to support commerce. The revolutionary tiled stove was invented by the First Surveyor as a way of making better use of firewood. Designs were also drawn up for military residences, government buildings and official residences, but the largest undertaking of the period was the sea fortress of Sveaborg (Suomenlinna) utside Helsingfors (Helsinki), Finland – then a part of Sweden. The king, Gustav III, was passionately interested in architecture. During his reign, a number of facilities for science, art and pure pleasure were created: Drottningholm Palace Theatre, Haga Park and its pavilions and the Linneanum in Uppsala. The design inspiration was French, with architects and craftsmen drafted from France. It was the comfort able and soft interiors of the Rococo style that dominated. Towards the end of the 18th century and with Gustav lll's passion for antiquity, interest returned to Italy and the cleaner lines of Neo-Classicism.