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View to the Drottningholm Palace

The Drottningholm Palace (Swedish: Drottningholms slott) is the private residence of the Swedish royal family. It is located in Drottningholm. It is built on the island Lovön (in Ekerö Municipality of Stockholm County), and is one of Sweden's Royal Palaces. It was originally built in the late 16th century. It served as a residence of the Swedish royal court for most of the 18th century. Apart from being the private residence of the Swedish royal family, the palace is a popular tourist attraction.

History

The name Drottningholm (literally meaning "Queen's islet") came from the original renaissance building designed by Willem Boy, a stone palace built by John III of Sweden in 1580 for his queen, Catherine Jagellon. This palace was preceded by a royal mansion called Torvesund.
The Queen Dowager Regent Hedwig Eleonora bought the castle in 1661, a year after her role as Queen of Sweden ended, but it burnt to the ground on 30 December that same year. Hedwig hired the famous Swedish architect Nicodemus Tessin the Elder to design and rebuild the castle. In 1662, work began on the reconstruction of the building. With the castle almost complete, Nicodemus died in 1681. His son Nicodemus Tessin the Younger continued his work and completed the elaborate interior designs.
During the period of the reconstruction, Hedwig was head of the protectorate for the still-underage King, Charles XI of Sweden, from 1660 to 1672. Sweden had grown to be a powerful country after the Peace of Westphalia. The position of the queen, essentially the ruler of Sweden, demanded an impressive residence located conveniently close to Stockholm.
During the reign of the kings Charles XI of Sweden and Charles XII of Sweden, the royal court was often present at the palace; Charles XI of Sweden went there to hunt, and after 1700, Hedwig Eleonora again hosted the royal court during the absence of Charles XII of Sweden under the Great Northern War (1700–1721).
Drottningholm served regularly as a residence for the royal court from ca 1720 until 1792. After the death of Hedvig Eleonora in 1715, Queen Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden and King Frederick I of Sweden held court at the palace until 1744.
The palace was given as a gift to the then Crown Princess, later Queen of Sweden, Louisa Ulrika of Prussia in 1744 when she married Adolf Frederick of Sweden, who became King of Sweden in 1751. During Louisa's ownership of Drottningholm the interior of the palace was transformed in a more sophisticated French rococo style. Louisa was also responsible for having the Drottningholm Palace Theatre rebuilt in a grand style after the more modest original building burnt down in 1762. Louisa Ulrika and her spouse continued to reside at the palace during their regin (1751–1771). In 1777, Louisa sold Drottningholm to the Swedish state.
For much of the 19th century, the palace was ignored and started to decay. During the reign of Charles XIV John of Sweden (reign 1818–1844), the palace was abandoned. The king regarded it as a symbol of the old dynasty, and Drottningholm was left to decay. The buildings were severely damaged by the forces of nature, and their inventories were either taken away or auctioned off.
It was apparently opened to the public for the first time during this period: a tour was mentioned in 1819, and people used the park for picnics. Occasionally, the grounds were used for public events, such as the name day of Josephine of Leuchtenberg, which was celebrated on the grounds in August from 1829 onward, or to receive foreign guests, such Josephine herself when she first arrived to Sweden in 1823, and Tsar Nicholas I of Russia.
Both Oscar I and Oscar II were criticized for modernizing the palace and adjusting it to the fashion of the time rather than restoring it to its original state, and it was not until the reign of Gustav V that the palace and surroundings were reconstructed to their 18th-century appearance. In 1907, a major four-year restoration of the palace was begun to restore it to its former state, after which the royal court began to use it regularly again. (Source: wikipedia & Drottningholm)

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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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