Photographer: Nina Broberg
The Old Auction House in the quarters of Västertorn i situated on the islet of Riddarholmen.
The Old Auction House in the quarters of Västertorn
The building is currently known as the Old Auction House (Gamla Auktionsverket), in the quarters of Västertorn, has since the mid 18th century housed a number of private residences, mortgage brokers, auctioneers and offices.
Many residents of Stockholm came here during the 19th century to pawn their belongings and borrow a few pennies. In times of severe hardship, the queue of people could stretch as far as the public square.
The row of buildings sited between the Tower of Birger Jarl and Wrangel Palace is made up of five attached dwellings. It is still possible to see remnants of the separate dwellings in the ornamentations on the west-facing façade overlooking the quay while the roof and east-facing façade is uniform. Internally, the dwellings became interconnected in conjunction with a major restoration at the beginning of the 1950's. The oldest part of the building dates back to 1750 but additional extensions were made until 1863. The office of the Royal General Assistance was located here from 1774 until 1890 when Stockholm City Pawnbrokers moved in.
In 1835, the Old Auction House moved into one section of the building and in 1953, the premises were taken over by Sweden's oldest public authority, the Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency (Kammarkollegiet). The National Property Board of Sweden manages the Old Auction House and has recently renovated the buildings on behalf of its current tenants – Svea Court of Appeal and the Office of the Chancellor of Justice . The Old Auction House is a listed historical site, as is the islet of Riddarholmen.