Drottningholm Palace, Stockholm
Welcome to the World Heritage of Drottningholm. The history surrounding Drottningholm involves a succession of queens. The first one was Katarina Jagellonica, who in around 1580 was given the first castle by her husband Johan III. The property was then called Torvesund. In honour of the Queen, the King changed the name to Drottningholm. Drottning is Swedish for queen.
In 1991, The Royal Domain of Drottningholm was included in the UN's UNESCO World Heritage List of the world's most significant and important cultural heritage sites that must be conserved for all future. Nowhere else in Sweden are you able to so vividly experience different historical garden ideals side by side as you can at Drottningholm: the strict and disciplined symmetry of the Baroque Garden, the 1760's more intimate garden by the Chinese Pavilion and the 1780's English Park, where the soft shapes of nature are accentuated. Together they embrace the well preserved 17th and 18th century architecture that you can see and visit in the palace area. It is also this unique whole that made UNESCO include The Royal Domain of Drottningholm as a World Heritage site. It includes Drottningholm Palace, Drottningholm Theatre, the Chinese Pavilion and the Palace.
At Drottningholm you can attend guided palace tours, see theatre performances and visit different events in the park - each season has something new to offer. Drottningholm Palace Park is open all year around for you to tour on your own.
The first palace at Drottningholm
Johan III had the very first palace building erected in the 1570's for his wife Queen Katarina Jagellonica. The Queen dowager Hedvig Eleonora bought the palace in 1661 but on New Year's Eve that same year the building was ravaged by a fire. She hired architect Nicodemus Tessin senior to design a new palace, which came to be the current one. The construction work began in 1662 and the new palace was completed 37 years later in 1699. Nicodemus Tessin jr. carried on the work with the interior fittings of the palace after his father had passed away, as well as with building the park.
The palace as a morning gift
In 1744 the Princess Lovisa Ulrika of Preussen married the Swedish heir to the throne Adolf Fredrik and she was given Drottningholm Palace as a morning gift. She hired architect Carl Hårleman to add one floor to the palace wings and the red façade plaster from the Baroque period was now replaced with light yellow. Valuable decor has also been preserved from this period. However, in 1777 the Swedish government were forced to redeem the palace due to Lovisa Ulrika's large debts, but the royal right of disposition remained.
Renovations in Drottningholm Palace
The palace has been renovated on a recurrent basis for 400 years but the most extensive renovation was done in 1907-13, when heat pipes and electricity was installed. Water fittings and drains were renewed and the palace roof was refitted. Major renovations were also done to the interior. During a twenty-year period, up until 1997, the large stairwell was restored along with the library and The Hall of State. The palace was now also equipped with full fire protection. The year 1997 was the start of the National Property Board of Sweden's five year project on renovating the facade of Drottningholm Palace. The palace has been a listed building since 1935.
Since 1981 the Swedish royal family resides in the palace. Large parts of the building are on display to the public.In the palace area there are several buildings that have been erected for the royal court.
The Drottningholm Pavilion - or Karamellan as the building came to be named - was most likely built in the second half of the 19th century, exactly when is not known. It was originally a Schweizeri, a more upscale café that also served alcohol. You could find many Schweizeries in public parks in the 19th century. The name Karamellan was established as early as the previous century.
The building has also been called Landelius confectionary, after royal pastry cook J C Landelius, who ran the business here until 1913. The building gained its current appearance during a reconstruction in 1903. The veranda was glazed during the first decades of the 20th century.
Visitors centre with shop and café
Today Karamellan is a visitors centre with a shop, ticket sales and information section for the world heritage Drottningholm. Here visitors can find information about everything that one can see and do at Drottningholm. Inside the building is also Drottningholm Palace Café.
Modern renovation behind a preserved facade.
In 2008 the National Property Board of Sweden bought Karamellan in order to, in cooperation with Drottningholm palace administration and Palace Theatre, renovate the building and make it a new visitors centre. Karamellan is not classified as a listed building but since the house is a part of the protected environment on Drottningholm, the National Property Board chose to preserve the exterior. The interior required a more extensive change in order to accomplish a modern and accessible visitors centre. For example, in order to make the building more airy and light the entire upper floor was removed.
The Royal Stables
The stables in Drottningholm Park were built in the 18th century. Carl Hårleman designed the three rows on the west side in the 1730's and in the 1770's the other two rows were added, most likely designed by Carl Fredrik Adelcrantz. They form the foundation of the existing Royal Guard and stable wing, where the stables were lated turned in garages.
Carl Fredrik Palmstedt designed several proposals for reconstruction of the stable in 1787, which were not realised but that are close to what was eventually implemented. Two levels were added to the middle section and this section was made into a Royal Guard building. The reconstruction was done in connection with the demolishing of the Royal Guard wing in 1787, the so-called Corps de Garde (Guardhouse). It was located as a wing from the palace down towards the water, across from this building. Gustav III then built the bridge and most likely did so as to not block the palace with another building as you approached that road.
On the ground floor there were rooms for officers and boatmen, the middle floor served as accommodations for palace administrators and the royal housekeeper up until the middle of the 20th century, and the upper level was fitted with 13 chambers for the same needs as the old Corps de Garde. Today, it accommodates 28 military personnel of The Royal Guard who are on duty. The stables were built into garages in 1928 and is a listed building.
- Guided tours
Place on map
178 02 Drottningholm
- Nicodemus Tessin the Younger, Carl Hårleman