April 20, 2013

Royal Apartments at the Palace

The Royal Palace (Kungliga Slottet) is hard to miss if you are visiting Stockholm... located on the north-east corner of Gamla Stan, this palace actually has one more room than Buckingham Palace (in other words, quite large). The palace was built in the early to mid 1700's on the site of the original castle, Tre Kronor, which was destroyed in a fire in 1697. It is the main royal palace in Sweden and where the offices of the king and other royal family members are located, though their official residence is at Drottningholm Palace.
Just about every tourist that comes to Stockholm visits the palace at some point during their trip... whether they just take a walk around and admire the facade, see the changing of the guard or visit one of the many museums inside the palace (Royal Armoury, The Treasury, Tre Kronor, Museum of Antiquities). Another option is to visit the Royal Apartments, which is part of the palace interior, including the Guest Apartments, Hall of State, banquet hall as well as exhibition on the Swedish Orders of Chivalry.
Embarrassing as it is to admit, it had been decades since I last visited the Apartments... so I took an afternoon last week and rectified this. The entrance fee is 150 SEK for adults (75 SEK for children between 7 and 18 years) and it also includes entrance to the Treasury, Tre Kronor Museum and the Gustav III Museum of Antiquities. Don't worry... the ticket is good for 7 days, so you don't have to visit all of the museums on the same day! Also included in the entrance fee are the guided tours of the Apartments and Treasury. Click here for the times for the guided tours this summer (May 15th to Sep 15th). I wandered through the Apartments on my own without guide. It is a very interesting window on Swedish history from the 1700's to today as well as the design and style of the times. I also liked the room that contained the heraldic crests of the different kings & queens of Europe and Asia (all recipients of the Swedish Order of the Seraphim).
It is very easy to get to the Royal Palace from the Rival Hotel... just a 15 minute or so walk through Gamla Stan (old town). Photography is not allowed in the Apartments, so the pictures taken by me in this blog post (above) are from the stairwells and corridors outside of the Apartments. Please be aware that this is a "working" palace and the Royal Apartments may be fully or partly closed on certain days due to official receptions of the king.
Gustav III's Bedchamber, photo by Alexis Daflos, Kungliga Hovstaterna

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