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When In Stockholm A Visit To Drottingholm Will Amaze You

 A Visit To Drottingholm Will Amaze YouA short side trip barely 20 minutes outside of Stockholm on an island in Lake Mälar sits one of the most beautiful royal palaces in existence. Modeled after Versailles, but better, way better, Drottingholm Palace along with its Palace Theatre, the Chinese Pavilion, Canton Village, and gardens is an absolute jewel amidst the lush Swedish countryside. Whether your interests lie in gardens, architecture, interiors or royal history Drottinghom Palace will amaze you.

Don’t Enter Through The Back Door!

Drottingholm Palace from the backMany tours such as those arriving by boat drop bring you to the side of the palace which abuts the lake. While this is picturesque, it is nothing compared to entering through the garden, or the front of the palace. First glimpse at Drottingholm through the gardenFront of Drottingholm PalaceThe restored 17th century Baroque garden creates the proper drama required for viewing and entering Drottingholm for the first time.Royal Crest on gates at Drottinghom

Queen Hedvig Elenora

Queen Hedwig Elenora The palace was built by Queen Hedwig (Hedvig) Elenora in the year after she was succeeded on the throne by her son Charles XI, when she was Queen Regent.Hedvig Elenora's State Bedchamber

Inside Drottingholm

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to the current King and Queen of Sweden. Their residence is in the southern wing of the palace, however the rest of the palace and grounds are open to the public year round.Grand staircase ceiling at DrottingholmThis unusual 3D treatment of the cloud was very interesting. Parquet floor in Hedvig Elenora's State BedchamberFancy marquetry is usually reserved for fine furnishings, at Drottingholm this highly detailed parquet floor resides in Hedvig Elenora’s State Bedchamber.Library at DrottingholmThe light filled gilded library is a later addition under Lovisa Ulrika, Queen of Sweden between 1751 and 1771. The small sculptures are from Pompeii. Geometric marble floors at Drottingholm Subsequent royal inhabitants put their decorative stamp on the palace throughout the years. Much less glitz but equally impressive, these private quarters in icy blue and white are characteristics we often associate with Swedish interiors.

silk color samples from DrottingholmAt one point they made an unsuccessful attempt to raise silkworms and make their own silk at Drottingholm. Silk Cupboard in the Blue SalonThis beautiful marquetry cabinet houses silk color samples.

A Useful Garden Folly

The Chinese Pavillion at DrottingholmIn architectural terms, a garden folly is an extravagant building, purely for decorative pleasure. Unveiled as a surprise from King Adolf Fredrik to Queen Lovisa Ulrika for her birthday on 24 July 1753. The buildings served as an exotic royal retreat in a wooded section of the garden.

Corner detail on Chinese Pavillion at DrottingholmThe Chinese Pavilion, originally built between 1753–1769, is a visually extravagant yet useful group of Chinese-inspired buildings. Remember this was the time when all things Asian in design was what we would now consider trending. Though many had never traveled or seen true Chinese architecture at the time, this is a fantastical version loaded with color and embellishment. The Guards Tent at DrottingholmHard to believe it but the Guards Tent is actually a wooden structure. Detail of Guards Tent and DrottinghomIf this doesn’t scream folly, I don’t know what does.

The Confidence dining room building at DrottingholmA building titled The Confidence has got to be one of the most brilliant structures we’d never heard of. A standalone one room, one story structure sits atop a basement to which the entire dining table from above is lowered to and raised from. This allows the royal family and their guests to dine without servants milling about. The table would be set and loaded with food then raised into the dining room where the guests could pull up their chairs and converse over dinner in complete privacy.

The pristine elegance of the interiors and the grounds make Drottingholm an enchanting place to sample a significant example of early royal life and architecture from the 17th and 18th century. One does not need an entire day to enjoy Drottingholm but you could fill a day here. If visiting make time for this side trip, you will not be disappointed.


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