Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!

Old Town (Gamla Stan) Walk (Self Guided), Stockholm

Gamla stan (The Old Town) is the oldest part of Stockholm, officially known until 1980 as “The Town Between Bridges” (Staden mellan broarna). Established in the 13th century, the area abounds in medieval alleyways, cobbled streets, and archaic architecture, showing a great deal of North Germanic influence. There are quite a few historic sights in the area, including The Royal Palace, The Riksdag (Parliament) Building, The Museum of Medieval Stockholm and more. Follow this self-guided walk to see Stockholm the way it used to be back in the old days!
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Old Town (Gamla Stan) Walk Map

Guide Name: Old Town (Gamla Stan) Walk
Guide Location: Sweden » Stockholm (See other walking tours in Stockholm)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 17
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Author: Daniel
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Museum of Medieval Stockholm
  • Royal Palace
  • Stockholm Cathedral
  • Nobel Prize Museum
  • Stortorget
  • Köpmanbrinken
  • Österlånggatan
  • Den Gyldene Freden Restaurant
  • Marten Trotzigs Grand
  • German Church
  • Kindstugatan
  • Västerlånggatan
  • Riddarholm Church
  • Wrangel Palace
  • House of Nobility
  • Bonde Palace
  • Riksdag Building
1
Museum of Medieval Stockholm

1) Museum of Medieval Stockholm (must see)

The Museum of Medieval Stockholm (Stockholms Medeltidsmuseum) is a distinctive gallery with an exceptional story. Centrally located north of the Royal Palace, it came to be thanks to the wealth of discoveries unearthed during an extensive archaeological dig (dubbed Riksgropen, "National/State Pit" because of its depth and magnitude, involving over 50,000 meters of soil) in 1978-80. In order to make the finds accessible to the general public, a planned subterranean garage on the site gave way to the museum, inaugurated in 1986. This state-of-the-art facility, designed by artist Kerstin Rydh, received both national and international acclaim and won the European Museum of the Year Award in 1986.

The museum enables visitors to experience medieval Stockholm. The exhibit contains over 850 objects and artifacts – brick houses and booths, workshops, harbour, and gallows – mapping out the history of the Old Town area all the way back between the 1250s and the 1520s. Part of the exhibit consists of the Town Wall built in the 1530s by Gustavus Vasa. In 2010, to celebrate 800 years since the birth of Birger Jarl, founder of Stockholm, the museum opened an exhibition with a reconstruction of his face.

The Museum of Medieval Stockholm produces theme exhibitions with a medieval emphasis and arranges lectures, symposia and programmes. It engages in broad educational activities, in which children, youth and schools are a key target group. The museum has a shop that sells books relating to the Middle Ages, as well as postcards and jewelry.

Why You Should Visit:
Engaging exhibits and preserved archaeological remains – you can almost “smell” the old times!
Much larger on the inside than it appears; displays are described in both Swedish and English.
Kids would really love this – there are a number of exhibits designed specifically for them.

Tip:
For a minimal fee, the museum offers multilingual audio tours in English, German and French.

Opening Hours:
Tue, Thu-Sun: 12-5pm; Wed: 12-8pm; Free admission
Free guided tours in English: Tue-Sun: 2-2:30pm (Jul-Aug)
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Royal Palace

2) Royal Palace (must see)

Home of the Swedish Monarchy, the Stockholm Palace is a ceremonial and formal residence of the Royal family (the actual residence is at Drottningholm Palace). This is where Sweden's King performs his mandated duties as the Head of State. The palace is flanked by other stately buildings, such as the Parliament building which commands attention worthy of the government.

The original building on this site was a fortress back in the 15th century. Under the 16th century rule of King John III, the fortress was transformed into a luxurious Baroque palace designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger, who was also the designer of Tessin Palace. Visitors to the palace are greeted by the Högvakten, the Swedish Royal Guard, whose history reaches back to the medieval Sweden and adds much intrigue of this majestic structure. Shaded by an exquisite copper roof, the brick edifice with sandstone facades boasts 660 windows, over 1400 rooms, several lush courtyards and is said to be one of the largest in the world.

Tip:
It's always good to go on a tour for a more personalized experience, but the rooms are well marked in English.
The treasury room, with all the regalia, would justify taking the tour as you actually get to learn about what you're looking at.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Stockholm Cathedral

3) Stockholm Cathedral (must see)

Stockholm Cathedral, otherwise known as the Church of St. Nicholas or the Great Church, is a brick Gothic-style structure in the heart of Stockholm that is said to have been built by the city's founding father, Birger Jarl. The church served the Roman Catholic community until 1527, upon which it was converted to Lutheran Protestant. Late into the Middle Ages, it was once again retaken by Roman Catholics and, to this day, remains under the governance of the Archdiocese of Stockholm. The cathedral has been the preferred site for many ceremonies and celebrations in Sweden, including royal weddings, funeral services, and coronations.

Visitors to the place will want to see the large wooden statue of Saint George and the Dragon, which was carved in the 15th century. The statue is also a reliquary and, today, contains relics of the favored local saints. The pulpit was carved by Burchard Precht and is an excellent example of French Baroque style. The front of the pulpit portrays the biblical story of Matthew 15:21-28, the Canaanite woman; while the door of the pulpit displays a superb depiction of the head of Jesus Christ. The church is lined by special royal pews, which are adorned in blue velvet embroidered upholstery.

Why You Should Visit:
Architecturally interesting, culturally enriching, and very peaceful.

Tip:
Check for free organ recitals (usually at noon) and other events.
Make sure to pick up a brochure as it is very helpful in explaining several main focuses within the cathedral.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-4pm; extended hours on weekdays until 5pm in June-July and 6pm in August
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Nobel Prize Museum

4) Nobel Prize Museum (must see)

If you keen on learning about Alfred Nobel (1833–1896), a brilliant scientist whose interest in peace-keeping is world renowned, as well as the Nobel Prize and Nobel prizewinners, make sure to visit the Nobel Prize Museum, formerly the Nobel Museum (Nobelmuseet). The museum opened in spring of 2001, marking the centenary of the Nobel Prize. Its permanent display includes many artifacts donated by the laureates, presented together with their personal life stories, beginning with the Nobel Laureates of 1901 and continuing to the present day ones, including prominent individuals such as Marie Curie, Nelson Mandela, and Winston Churchill.

The museum celebrates the accomplishments and the memory of the Nobel Laureates with an immense range of exhibitions, films, and science-related productions. The Cultures of Creativity Exhibit takes visitors on an excursion through the process of selecting a Nobel Prize winner from the appointment to the actual banquet.

No such banquet is complete without a sample of the famous Nobel ice cream which is served each year at the awards ceremony. Discover each and every one of the 840 Nobel Laureates and what they have contributed to the society. Multilingual tours, including English, are offered on a daily basis. The museum also hosts numerous public events, conferences and workshops, and will work with guests to accommodate their needs.

For visitors who want to bring a piece of the museum home, a souvenir shop is available. One of the most popular items here is Alfred Nobel's gold medal made in dark fair trade chocolate. Another one is the Swedish “dynamite” candy flavored with jalapeño pepper, plus a lot of educational toys for kids, books by and about Nobel Prize laureates, and other unique items found nowhere else but here.

There is also Bistro Nobel featuring Nobel chocolate, Swedish cakes, as well as full lunch and dinner. At the bistro, they also serve the unique Nobel ice cream, plus the Nobel tea usually served at the annual Nobel banquet.

Tip:
Join the English tour to get the most out of your visit.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Thu: 11am-5pm; Fri: 11am-8pm (Sep-May); Daily: 9am-8pm (Jun-Aug, except Jun 21-22 – closed)

Free admission:
Fri: 5-8pm (Sep-May); Stockholm Pass, Stockholm Key of Honour, ICOM, AAM, SMI, WFTGA

Daily English tours (including the Martin Luther King Jr tour):
Tue-Fri: 11:15am, 1:15pm, 3:15pm, 4pm (MLK); Sat-Sun: 10:15am, 11:15am, 12:15pm, 1:15pm, 3:15pm, 4pm (MLK)
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Stortorget

5) Stortorget (must see)

Stortorget ("Grand Square") in Gamla Stan was never a stylish show-piece similar to the ones found in the heart of many other European cities during the Middle Ages. It was created gradually, with buildings and blocks surrounding the square, still sloping west, occasionally added haphazardly. The city's oldest square, Stortorget is an artistic and shopping hub, traditionally renowned for its annual Christmas market offering incredible performances, unique traditional handicrafts and sumptuous culinary delights.

It is also the location of the Stock Exchange Building (Börshuset), home to the Swedish Academy, the Nobel Museum, and the Nobel Library, designed by Erik Palmstedt and built in 1773–1776. The nearby well, also designed by Palmstedt, dried up in 1856 due to land elevation, and was relocated to Brunkebergstorg, but then moved back to the original location in the 1950s, connected to the city water conduit ever since.

Stortorget sits at the highest point in Stockholm and presents a carefully restored rendition of the historical buildings, known only by their addresses. Among them are Stortorget No. 3 constructed in the 1640s, commonly known as Grillska Huset (Grill House). The nearby building No. 5 was another real estate of Antoni Grill, after whom the Grill House is named. The buildings at No. 18–20 were merged into one in the 17th century and named for Johan Eberhard Schantz. Stortorget had a violent history, as it once was the location of the Stockholm Bloodbath, which took place in 1520 and resulted in the beheadings of over 80 noblemen. Their bodies were left there to bleed out, leaving pools of blood running throughout the town, a ghoulish message to the Danish King’s opposition.

Stortorget No. 22, on the left side of the square, was built in 1758 and is easily identified by its green color. It was once occupied by the Saxon Polycarpus Crumbügel, who was one of the closest friends of King Charles XI. The antique cobble stones of Stortorget make you feel like stepping back into the times of Old Sweden, with the pastel buildings mimicking the colors commonplace in those days.

Why You Should Visit:
The Old Town (Gamla stan) is by far the most picturesque area in Stockholm, and while this square seems unpretentious at first sight, it has a unique ambiance.

Tip:
Make sure to stand in the middle and look all around you.
6
Köpmanbrinken

6) Köpmanbrinken

Köpmanbrinken ("Merchant's Slope") is a historic street composed of two slopes. The northern slope has been commonly referred to as Fiskestrandsbrinken ("Fishing Shore Slope"). Back in the Middle Ages, up until 1520, the area east of the slopes, between the alleys Nygränd and Brunnsgränd, used to be the major fish market, Fiskaretorget. Since the foundation of Stockholm, the slopes have reflected the original inclination treadled by the city's first inhabitants.

Walking along the street, visitors will find some of the most famous icons, like the replicated statue of Saint George and the Dragon, the medieval original of which is found at the Storkyrkan Cathedral. This bronze replica was cast in 1912 by Otto Meyer. Saint George is depicted as a young man in his battle armor with the lance impaling the dragon. In contrast to the Storkyrkan original, several parts of the statue have been altered, like the knight's helmet and the dragon positioned differently. Saint George sits atop a life-sized horse with the dragon’s legs pushing into the horse’s stomach. The plinth is embellished with reliefs of the martyrdom of the brave saint. The original piece was commissioned by the Swedish Viceroy, Sten Sture, in 1489.

Back in the day, on the narrow space along the slopes' eastern sides, where the Saint George statue is found today, there was an entire block, called Acteon, which collapsed in 1829. Following the collapse, the slopes were made less steep and, during the 19th century, were regarded as two individual streets, separated by Köpmantorget square. The two streets were subsequently united into one, with its present name, in 1885.
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Österlånggatan

7) Österlånggatan

For many centuries Österlånggatan has been one of the key thoroughfares in Stockholm. Back in the 1300s, the street used to reach outside the city walls and was filled with woodwork and blacksmith workshops supporting the local shipping industry. The shore line was eventually pushed eastward by land fillings of gravel and rubbish, so by the 14th century the street had become the 'long street east of the wall' (i.e. Österlånggatan), far from the water, paved and lined with shops and homes.

The shipping trade gradually disappeared and by the early 20th century virtually everything associated with it on Österlånggatan was gone. In sharp contrast to its old days as the backyard of the dock district, crowded with sailors, taverns, travellers, and traders, in the 1980s, the street had gradually transformed into a relatively quiet area, notwithstanding the many restaurants and shops attracting tourists. Historic buildings like the Royal Coin Cabinet, the Stockholm Concert Hall and the Stockholm School of Economics are all located along Österlånggatan. The famous statue of Saint George and the Dragon is also found here, at Köpmanbrinken (the Merchant’s Slope).

Many a tavern, popular with the business crowd, lined the street in the 17th century. Among them Riga at Number 19, Holländska Dyn ("Dutch Slough") at Number 21, Förgylda Draken ("Gilded Dragon") at Number 27, Tre Kungar ("Three Kings") at Number 28, Sveriges Wapen ("Swedish Arms") at Number 29, and Stjärnan ("The Star") in the Rococo building at Number 45. Of all these taverns, only Den Gyldene Freden ("The Golden Peace") at Number 51 has survived. Established in 1722, it is mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records as one of the oldest eateries with unaltered interior, which can hardly give a hint of the filth, stench, rows, and misery once hidden behind its romantic name.

The street was particularly loved by German immigrant merchants and was considered a middle class area up until the 1800s. It is crossed by several alleys, each of which has a unique name, usually associated with the buildings therein. Archaeological excavations in the late 1970s revealed the original beaten track, some three meters below today's pavement, along with the bricked walls that once surrounded the city in the Middle Ages. A good place to explore the historic part of the Swedish capital!
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Den Gyldene Freden Restaurant

8) Den Gyldene Freden Restaurant

Freden (“Peace”), as it's known locally, received its name from the Peace of Nystad (1721) by which Russia gained control over a hefty chunk of the Swedish territory, but strangely enough and luckily so (hence the Gyldene "golden"), allowed Sweden to keep Finland. One of Sweden's best-known eateries, this is the second oldest restaurant in the world to have retained its original interior, unchanged since the day it opened in 1722, thus making a unique example of an 18th-century tavern and a well-deserved entry to the Guinness Book of Records.

Throughout centuries, Freden has been a central gathering spot for many Sweden's noted authors, painters and songwriters. Anders Zorn bought the place in 1919, effectively saving it from closure. The house in which Freden is located is now owned and secured for posterity by the Swedish Academy. Each Thursday, the Academy (which nominate the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature) convene here for their weekly dinner. The restaurant initially gained its reputation and fame through the songs written by national poet, Carl Michael Bellman (1740–1795), and more recently by the singer-songwriter, Cornelis Vreeswijk (1937–1987).
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
Marten Trotzigs Grand

9) Marten Trotzigs Grand

Mårten Trotzigs Gränd (“the Alley of Mårten Trotzig”) is named after the merchant and burgher Mårten Trotzig (1559–1617), who immigrated from Wittenberg, Germany to Stockholm in 1581, and eventually became one of the city's richest and most influential merchants. He traded in metals – copper and iron – and bought up properties in the alley in 1597 and 1599, also opening a shop here, thus lending his name to the place. Trotzig met his demise in 1617 when beaten to death during a trip to Kopparberg.

Unique to the area, the alley is known to be the narrowest one, measuring at its smallest part only 90 centimeters in width. Possibly referred to as Trångsund ("Narrow strait") before Mårten Trotzig gave his name to it, the alley was mentioned in 1544 as Tronge trappe grenden ("Narrow Alley Stairs"). It has 36 steps narrowing towards the top, which can be somewhat visually intimidating as the narrowing is very apparent with each step taken upwards.

In 1608, the alley was referred to as Trappegrenden ("The Stairs Alley"), but a map dated 1733 calls it Trotz gr[änd], a name which, using various alternative spellings, was to remain in use, save for an attempt in the late-18th century to inexplicably rename it Kungsgränden ("The Kings Alley"). The alley was closed off in the mid-19th century, not to be reopened until 1945. Its present name was officially sanctioned by the city in 1949.
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
German Church

10) German Church

The German Church – also known as Tyska Kyrkan or St. Gertrude’s Church – is yet another attraction found in Gamla Stan. Back in the Middle Ages, it served a local German community, hence the name, and was built in honor of Saint Gertrude, the patron saint of all travelers. Several famed architects were involved in its design and construction. During the 17th century, the church became a major epicenter for church music in Sweden.

The massive, Baroque-style brick structure boasts a large steeple, which can be seen from several blocks away, along with the impressive copper-covered spire and Neogothic gargoyles perched on the top, overlooking the town. Large windows adorn the building, allowing much light into the interior during the day. The ceiling is adorned with an intricate painting by David Klöcker Ehrenstrahl, who was once a member of the church community. The gilded face of Saint Gertrude decorates the northern gate, while the southern portal is bordered by the statues of Jesus and Moses.

Tip:
Check the schedule – you may be able to catch a musical performance.
Visitors can hear the carillon every day, at 8am and 4pm.
If timing allows, you may see the inside with good lighting and be treated to the spectacular stained glass scenes.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10:30am-4:30pm (Jun 15-Aug 15); 11am-3pm (May 15-Jun 15, Aug 15-Sep 15); Wed, Fri, Sat: 11am-3pm, Sun: 12:30-3pm (Sep 15-May 15)
Free admission
Sight description based on wikipedia
11
Kindstugatan

11) Kindstugatan

This street dates back to the medieval times when it was known as Tverru Gatu ("Cross Street") passing between the eastern city gate (where Köpmantorget is currently located) and where one of the western gates once stood, at which point the street changes name to Tyska Brinken.

There are many historic buildings to be found in Kindstugatan. One of them is the 17th century gray building at Number 4, known as Törnska huset (The Törne House), with two portals; the lintel on the left dating from the 17th century, while the lower parts are from the 19th century. The right one, now transformed into a window, used to be the entrance to the backyard. The cartouche on the building is carrying the message “Then Gudh wil hielpa kan ingen stielpa, Anno 1674, Olof Hansson Törne, Margareta Andersen”, which means "God helps those who let Him". The proprietor Törne made his fortune from scratch, became a city mayor, and was finally raised to peerage as Törnflycht. His thirteen children further extended his success story; his sons relieved him as a mayor, became county governors, and even governor general, while his daughter Christina (1673–1752) became the wife of Carl Piper (1647–1716).

The wall anchors at Number 8 reveal the building from 1657 which used to be occupied by medical doctor and personal physician to Swedish Queen Ulrika Eleonora the Elder, Johan von Hoorn (1662–1724). The latter introduced obstetrics to Sweden and published The Well-Trained Swedish Midwife (Den Swenska wäl-öfwade JordGumman) book in 1697 thus pioneering the development which by the early 20th century had made maternal mortality in Sweden a third of that in the U.S. Other famous residents here included surgeon Henrik Quant and several pharmacists.

The rose-coloured building at Number 14 is known for being the tavern Fimmelstången (The Thill, “wagon shaft”) were the renowned Swedish poet Lasse Lucidor (1638–1674) was stabbed to death in a fight. While Lucidor also wrote hymns and spiritual songs and renewed the genre, he is mostly remembered for his realistic portrayals of inebriety and his famous poem Skulle Jag sörja då vore jag tokot ("I would be a fool to grieve").

The variety of architectural styles seen in the street include Rococo, Baroque and Renaissance design. The cobble stones are well preserved and the landscaping is lush and green.
Sight description based on wikipedia
12
Västerlånggatan

12) Västerlånggatan

Today renowned as one of Gamla Stan's most picturesque and busiest tourist magnets, Västerlånggatan was for many centuries one of the main streets in Stockholm, together with Österlånggatan, both running outside the city walls. During the 15th century, they were collectively called Allmänningsgatan ("The Common Street") or Långa gatan ("The long street"). The current name Västerlånggatan ("the Western Long Street") was officially coined in 1885.

Originally, the street was little more than a pathway following the shoreline, linking the northern city gate, Norrbro, with the southern, Söderbro. In the 15th century, it became a high-traffic paved artery road with dwellings and shops on both sides. During the Middle Ages and the Vasa era, the southern part of the street formed part of the district centered on Järntorget, inhabited by influential merchants. Along the rest of the street, craftsmen had their small workshops, and the northernmost section, stretching between Mynttorget and Storkyrkobrinken, was called Stadssmedjegatan ("City's Smith's Street"), because the blacksmiths and coppersmiths had their shops here, confined outside the city limits due to the risk of fire. In the 17th century, this section was inhabited by goldsmiths which added to its prestige.

Starting the mid 19th century, the medieval street facades were transformed to the taste of the day; plaster ornaments and cast iron colonettes mail-ordered from Germany replaced the medieval fronts, resulting in the large shop windows usually displaying some well-preserved interiors.

Throughout the second half of the 20th century, the street scene began to change amid revitalization in its business district, seeing hotels, high-end businesses and restaurants moving in and many old shops, after more than 250 years in business, moving out, forced to relocate or shut down by soaring rents, subsequently replaced by more or less fitting successors marketing tourist-oriented gewgaws.

Today, Swedes and tourists alike love to mingle among the local boutiques, medieval gables and later additions, the street thus preserving its old ways — offering its musicians to Stockholmers hurrying to work in the morning; blustering pub-crawlers still vexing stoic dwellers, and the old forged iron signs continuing to ignore the neon signs still tempting passers-by with all sorts of gadgets.
Sight description based on wikipedia
13
Riddarholm Church

13) Riddarholm Church

The historic Riddarholm Church dates back all the way to the 13th century. Originally, it was built with two naves but, by the 1400s, one additional nave was added. This church facility represents the last abbey left in Stockholm and is a product of the Protestant Reformation in Sweden.

The place itself has been used as a funeral and memorial church since 1807 and is known for being the final resting place of many Swedish Royal family members. In fact, several chapels here are dedicated to the various kings of Sweden, whose remains rest within. In the chapel of Gustavus Adolphus Magnus lie the bones of Gustav II in a large marble sarcophagus, while the lower crypt holds the bodies of his decedents. The Karolinska Chapel was built in the 17th century and Karl XII is buried beneath a black marble sarcophagus along with his family, while the Bernadotte Chapel honors Karl XIV Johan. The Royal Graveyard at Haga holds remains of other members of the Royal family, while the Haga Wall displays the elaborate shields of the Royal Family members buried in the graveyard.

Why You Should Visit:
Interesting spire and external architecture – the history of Royal Sweden in this one building.

Tip:
Try to catch a guided tour (included in the entry fee) which lasts ~45 mins but makes the visit a lot more informative.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-4pm (Oct-Apr); 10am-5pm (May-Sep)
Sight description based on wikipedia
14
Wrangel Palace

14) Wrangel Palace

Wrangel Palace (Wrangelska palatset) is a historic townhouse mansion on Riddarholmen islet in Gamla Stan. Steeped in history, this building was constructed for Count Carl Gustaf Wrangel, and features a combination of architectural styles.

Its southern tower used to be part of the Gustav Vasa defence fortifications dating from the 1530s. Around 1630, the mansion was turned into a palace for Lars Sparre. In between 1652-1670, it was rebuilt and expanded by architect Nicodemus Tessin the Elder, author of many buildings in the Old Town of Stockholm, for Count Carl Gustaf Wrangel. In 1693, a fire broke out and the palace was rebuilt and expanded again, this time to accommodate the royal family after another fire left the Tre Kronor Castle in ruins in 1697.

Following that, Wrangel Palace remained the official Stockholm royal residence until 1754, when the Royal Palace of Stockholm was completed. During that period, it was called Kungshuset (The Kings House). From 1756 to 1928, the palace had housed Svea Hovrätt (the Court of Appeal) and Statskontoret (the State Office). In 1802, after yet another devastating fire, the palace underwent further reconstruction, led by architect C.G. Gjörwell.

Today, its walls are lavishly decorated with paintings of the royal family and their court which accentuates the regal status of the place. When in Stockholm, you may want to spend a few hours exploring this palace.
Sight description based on wikipedia
15
House of Nobility

15) House of Nobility

As of 2003, the House of Nobility (Riddarhuset) has been a private institution which maintains records and acts as an interest group on behalf of the Swedish nobles. Following 1866, when the old Parliament of the Estates was replaced by the then newly established Parliament of Sweden, it has been regulated by the Swedish government. This quasi-official representative body is also authorized to dole out noble titles, such as count, baron, esquire or knight.

Its name literally translates to “the house of knights”, as knights (riddare) belong to the higher ranks of the Swedish nobility, sometimes at par with counts (greve) or barons (friherre). This tradition dates back to the Middle Ages when Sweden, under the Kalmar Union, had only one knight, Sten Sture. All esquires in the country are also represented here; most of them being the so-called “untitled” (obetitlad adel).

The building itself was constructed in the mid 1600s, designed by French-born architect, Simon de la Vallée, who started the planning, but was killed by a Swedish nobleman in 1642. The construction was finished by his son, Jean de la Vallée, in 1660.

Throughout the centuries, the building has served multiple purposes. Between the 17th and the 19th century it was a chamber in the Riksdag of the Estates, the Swedish equivalent to the British House of Lords. In the 18th century, it often hosted public concerts, as well as parliament meetings and those of the Academies of Sciences and Literature.

The coats of arms of Swedish noble families are vividly displayed throughout the building. The ceiling is emblazoned with the allegorical painting of Mother Svea by David Klöcker Ehrenstrahl.
The south end of the building features Latin inscription CLARIS MAIORUM EXEMPLIS, along with a statue of Gustav Vasa.
Sight description based on wikipedia
16
Bonde Palace

16) Bonde Palace

Arguably, the most prominent monument of the Swedish Empire (1611–1718) era, the Bonde Palace (Bondeska palatset) was originally designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Elder and Jean De la Vallée in 1662-1667 as the private residence for the Lord High Treasurer, Gustaf Bonde. In the 18th century it accommodated the Stockholm Court House and since 1949 has housed the Swedish Supreme Court.

The original design by Simon de la Vallée and Tessin the Younger, was based on French Baroque and Renaissance prototypes commonplace in the 17th century, featuring H-shaped plan with two southern wings flanking the main court, and northern wings surrounding a small Baroque garden. It also had an exquisite, tall, steep-pitched, copper-dressed roof covering the central building surrounded by cupolas of the corner pavilions, with facades decorated with massive Ionic pilasters, festoons and portraits of Roman Emperors dotting the walls.

Following the devastating fire of the royal palace Tre Kronor in 1697, the Royal Library and the Svea Court of Appeal were lodged in the Bonde palace. Its original elaborated roof was destroyed by fire in 1710, while the original cupolas survived. In 1730, the palace was finally bought by the city as the seat for the Town Hall.

In this capacity, the palace commenced its central role in the Swedish legal history by witnessing several dramatic events, such as the public flogging of the regicide Jacob Johan Anckarström on April 27, 1792, and the mob beating, kicking, and trampling the statesman Axel von Fersen the Younger to death in 1810.

During the 19th century, the building gradually failed to accommodate the court house, fell into decay and by 1920 had found itself on the brink of demolition. However, in 1925 it was restored. In the 1940s, the building underwent further comprehensive restoration, followed by series of others in 1986 and 2003–2004, carefully recreating its 17th-18th century look using the original materials and craftsmanship to the maximum. Today, the building is classified as a historical monument of national interest and maintained by the Swedish National Property Board (Statens Fastighetsverk).
Sight description based on wikipedia
17
Riksdag Building

17) Riksdag Building

The Parliament House (Riksdagshuset) is the seat of the Swedish parliament, the Riksdag. Even though the building is more modern compared to some of the nearby structures, the influence of the local Baroque Revival and Renaissance style is evident in its centered facade section and throughout the structure. Built between 1897 and 1905, the complex was designed by Aron Johansson with the only stipulation made to him that it should not outshine the Royal Palace.

The two buildings of the complex were originally intended to house the Riksdag in one, and the Sveriges Riksbank (Swedish National Bank) in the other, of a semicircular shape. However, after the bicameral Riksdag was replaced by a unicameral legislature in 1971, and the bank relocated, the latter building was converted to house the new Assembly Hall.

Located on the island of Helgeandsholmen, the building is flanked by water and is impressive on the horizon, especially at night. On the eastern part of the island, visitors will find restaurants, which have been serving the local cuisine since 1832, along with an exquisite public park, offering incredible views of the Riksdag and the surrounding landscape.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Stockholm, Sweden

Create Your Own Walk in Stockholm

Create Your Own Walk in Stockholm

Creating your own self-guided walk in Stockholm is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Sodermalm District Walking Tour

Sodermalm District Walking Tour

Södermalm, or "Söder" for short, is a borough in central Stockholm, incorporating a large island of the same name (formerly known as "Åsön"). Although considered an island, the water surrounding Södermalm to the north and south does not flow freely, but passes through a series of locks. Visitors are charmed by the borough's narrow, cobbled streets and neat squares, as...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
The Museums Island Walk

The Museums Island Walk

With almost 70 museums in operation, Stockholm houses more museums than most cities on the planet. The island of Djurgården, inside Stockholm, is home to an array of museums and historic monuments, including Scandinavia’s most popular Vasa Museum and Sweden’s first open-air museum. To explore these and other museums of Djurgården in detail, follow this self-guided walk.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
City Center (Norrmalm) Walk

City Center (Norrmalm) Walk

Once an independent city, Norrmalm has been a part of Stockholm (one of its central areas, these days) since 1635. Many of Norrmalm's old buildings were torn down during the 1950s-60s to clear space for modern construction. Still, the most notable pieces of local architecture are in place and reveal a wide range of styles - Late Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque. Among the many places of interest...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Souvenir Shopping Guide: 15 Distinctly Swedish Products to Buy in Stockholm

Souvenir Shopping Guide: 15 Distinctly Swedish Products to Buy in Stockholm

If you come to Stockholm on the trail of Karlsson-on-the-Roof character (Swedish: Karlsson på taket), created by Astrid Lindgren, you're bound to enjoy yourself big time! Just don't forget to spare some time for gift shopping, so as to please your loved ones back home. In doing so, you...