Stockholm is the capital of Sweden, and one of the largest Scandinavian cities, known for the colorful buildings of the original color and open here “Stockholm syndrome”. The name of the metropolis translates as “an island fortified with piles” or “an island on pillars. This reflects the peculiarities of the area: Stockholm, with a population of 921,000, occupies 14 islands that are connected by bridges.
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The picturesque city lies on Lake Mälaren at its confluence with the Baltic Sea. Both world wars spared Stockholm and its magnificent buildings, preserving its Nordic flavor for travelers.
The city is home to the Riksdag, ministries and the Supreme Court, and is also the seat of the Catholic bishop. The Swedish capital has a lot to show tourists: there are more than 100 museums, churches and castles. Stockholm stores satisfy the most demanding customer. Fans of “nightlife” will not be disappointed.
The streets of Stockholm Strandvägen Embankment The statue in the background on Riddarholmen Island
From castle to major city
Stockholm was first mentioned in historical chronicles in 1252. The founder is considered Jarl Birger – known as the “king without a name. Under his leadership a fortress grew on the island of Stadholmen. The location was so good that trade flourished in these places. But the locals did not live quietly – in the XV century there was a rebellion. Rebels called on Sweden to secede from Denmark. But the uprising failed, and its leaders were executed.
In 1634 the city has the proud status – it was named the capital of the Swedish kingdom. In the XIX century, Stockholm occupied 14 islands. In the XIX century the population of Stockholm jumped from 75,000 to 300,000 people, which led to a number of social problems: before 1861 the city had no sewage, and he was almost the dirtiest city in Europe. But today Stockholm is one of the most beautiful and cleanest capitals in the world. In the city and its surroundings live about 1.6 million people.
Among the important milestones of the city’s development is the establishment of the Nobel Prize Award ceremony in the early 20th century. You can learn about the history of the city thanks to the exhibits collected in the Historical Museum. Much of it is devoted to the medieval history of the settlement.
Stockholm 1693 View of Stockholm from a hot-air balloon. 1868 Traffic jams in 1925
Getting to know the center
The central and oldest district, Gamla Stan (Old City), sits on three islands. Here you’ll find the Bunde Mansion, the Elders’ House, the German Church – the most famous buildings in the city. The main pride of the area is the Royal Palace. Nearby are the Armory and the Treasury. Also here is the Nobel Museum and the Knight’s House.
The center of the ancient district is the Great Square. Here in the 15th century was a mass execution due to a rebellion. It is said that the number of white stones on the facade of the red building corresponds to the number of victims. In addition to the famous sights, in the center you can look at the narrowest street. Its width is only 90 cm.
Famous sights of the capital
The pride of Stockholm is the Royal Palace. The building was designed by a representative of the Scandinavian Baroque, the Swedish architect Tessin Jr. This is the largest active residence in the world, so tourists do not have access to all the rooms of the palace. But what they do get to see is impressive: the state regalia in the treasury, antique military equipment in the Armory, and the chic furnishings of the rooms. The changing of the guard is also regularly observed – daily at 12:15, and on Sunday at 13:15.
Church of St. Nicholas in Stockholm
Want to touch the oldest structure? The first stone building is the Church of St. Nicholas – it was built in 1264. Inside – a huge hall, impressive height of the arches, lots of benches. Even the handles with Masonic symbols speak of the antiquity. This is the main cathedral of the country, and to this day here is the coronation of Swedish monarchs. There is a statue of St. George the Victorious made of oak, as well as his relics. On the occasion of holidays the church is decorated, for example, for Christmas there are installations with biblical themes. At the entrance you can buy a short booklet, including one in Russian. From time to time, St. Nicholas Church hosts organ music concerts. Together with the Royal Palace, the temple forms a remarkable composition.
Near the cathedral are two other landmarks – the Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Nobel Library. In the same building as the “temple of knowledge” is the Nobel Museum. All the exhibits resonate with the most prestigious award. You can find out information about Alfred Nobel, Nobel Prize winners and their works.
Interior of St. Nicholas Church Building of the Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm Nobel Museum in Stockholm Stockholm City Hall
A symbol of Stockholm is the Stockholm City Hall, located on Kungsholm Island. This place is associated with Nobel Prize winners – banquets and balls in honor of the famous prize are held here. Today the building is occupied by the City Council and the Central City Administration. First look at the Town Hall should be seen from a distance. The building with the tower, where the three royal crowns are decorating, looks majestic. The building stands on the shore of pristine Lake Mälaren, where rainbow trout live. There is a patio adjacent to the twentieth-century building. On the 106 meters high tower there is an observation deck, which is open from May to September.
Golden Hall of the Town Hall
The main hall of the Town Hall is made of handmade brick, and its area is comparable with the size of a soccer field (1600 square meters). There is a powerful organ with 10 thousand pipes in the building, there is also a Golden panel with images of historical subjects. There are excursions in Swedish and Russian.
Another “classic” attraction is the Knight’s House. This building is considered the most beautiful in Stockholm. It was erected in the XVII century. The hall is made in the style of the late Renaissance. The statues that decorate the building symbolize virtue. In past centuries, the Upper House of Parliament met here, and today three times a year, the nobility of Sweden meets here.
The Royal Opera House in Stockholm
Visit the elegant hall of the Stockholm Opera as well. In its decoration, it rivals the palaces of Sweden’s monarchs. The majestic hall for up to a thousand guests, framed by patterns and sculptures from the XVIII century. The golden foyer is astonishing with its shimmering crystal.