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Royal Palace, West façade, Stockholm

Kungliga Slottet, the Royal Palace of Stockholm, is one of northern Europe's most magnificent palaces. Every day during summertime crowds gather at the palace's outer courtyard to witness the change of the guards. Stockholm Palace is located on Stadsholmen ("city island"), in Gamla Stan (the old town) in the capital, Stockholm. It neighbours the Riksdag building and Stockholm Cathedral.

Event though the Drottningholm Palace is now the official residence of the royal family, the Royal Palace is still used for official banquets and meetings with foreign dignitaries.

The Tre Kronor Castle

A defensive stronghold with a watchtower stood at this site as early as in the 10th or 11th century. Under the rule of Birger Jarl, legendary founder of Stockholm, the structure evolved into a castle in the 13th century.
During the 16th century, when a large tower was built, it became known as the Tre Kronor castle, named after three golden crowns that decorated the tower. The following decades, during the reign of John III, the castle was converted into a royal Renaissance style residence.
The castle was remodeled again in the mid 17th century, with the reconstruction of the north wing after a Baroque design by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger. This wing was the only part standing after a fire in 1697 reduced much of the castle to rubble.

The Present Palace

Soon after the destruction of the Tre Kronor Castle, Nicodemus Tessin the Younger started drawing up plans for the new palace, and that same year the restoration of the north wing started while the ruins of the castle were cleared.
But shortly after the construction of the new Royal Palace had started, the Great Northern War broke out and by 1907 the cost of the war had taken such a toll on the royal finances that construction of the new palace was halted.
Work only resumed in 1727, one year before the death of Nicodemus Tessin the Younger. He was succeeded by Carl Hårleman, who carried out Tessin's plans for the exterior, and built the interior in the new Rococo Style. The palace was finally completed in 1754, and Adolf Frederick was the first king to move in.

Architecture

Nicodemus Tessin the Younger built the Royal Palace around a rectangular courtyard. The exterior was designed in a Baroque style with High Renaissance elements.
On the east side is a small terraced garden, the Logården; the west side is entered via an outer courtyard surrounded by a semicircular colonnade. This is where the daily ceremony for the Change of the Guards takes place.
The south façade, bordering Slottsbacken, has a monumental entrance gate decorated with colossal Corinthian columns and large statues set in niches. The north façade is still the original from the 17th century; its design was inspired by the Farnese Palace in Rome. (Source: aviewoncities/Stockholm & wikipedia)

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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