Riddarholmen Landmarks Walk in Stockholm, Stockholm (Self Guided)

Riddarholmen, a small island that is part of Gamla Stan, houses several beautiful historical buildings dating back to the 17th century. Its most important landmark is Riddarholmen Church, the burial place of Swedish monarchs. The Old Riksdag Building is also located here. The western side of the island offers a spectacular view of the bay, Riddarfjärden. Discover Riddarholmen’s historical landmarks in the following guide.
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Riddarholmen Landmarks Walk in Stockholm Map

Guide Name: Riddarholmen Landmarks Walk in Stockholm
Guide Location: Sweden » Stockholm (See other walking tours in Stockholm)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 km
Author: rose
1
Riddarholmsbron

1) Riddarholmsbron

Riddarholmsbron is a simple bridge that connects the two islets of Stadsholmen and Riddarholmen, in Gamla Stan, the old part of Stockholm, Sweden. Known as “The Knights Islet Bridge,” Riddarholmsbron was first constructed in 1630 as a wooden drawbridge for the Councillor Åke Tott, with consideration for both foot and horse traffic. In 1784, the wooden bridge was reconstructed out of stone with a high arch to accommodate passing boats and the carriages of the Royal Family and nobility. Designed by architect Erik Palmstedt, the bridge lasted less than 100 years and was destroyed in 1867 to make way for the railroad. The preferred materials of the time was cast iron to accommodate the weight and stress from the passing locomotives. During the reconstruction in 1867, architect Ragnar Östberg had an idea to preserve history and to recycle the bridge’s stone vault by reconstructing it as part of the gardens at the Stockholm City Hall. The Vault has come to be known as Palmstedt Grotta or “Cave of Plamstedt.” With the ever constant changes in the way people in Europe traveled during the 1950s, the bridge was demolished, once again, and a closed frame concrete bridge was put in its place to accommodate traffic from automobiles.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Hessenstein Palace

2) Hessenstein Palace

Designed by famed architect Nicodemus Tessin, the Hessenstein Palace was erected in 1630 for State Councilor Bengt Bengtsson. Tessin, who favored the Renaissance style of architecture, impressed the style upon the Hessenstein Palace. The palace was inhabited by nobility, over the years, including Bengt Gabrielsson Oxenstierna, a nobleman and Swedish diplomat, and his 18 children. In 1687, the Royal Family moved into the palace after a fire which destroyed the Royal Palace. The building is still being used today by the Swedish government. Currently, the building is used to house the Environmental Court of Sweden. Located in Old Town Stockholm, which is filled with many palaces and government buildings with histories which date back to the Middle Ages, the area sits up above the city at the highest point and, is filled with fabulously restored renditions of the historical buildings of the past. This is the place to go for tourists who want to be transported back in time. The attractive aged cobble-stone streets surround the many parks and historical sites. Visitors will enjoy walking throughout the area, visiting the numerous shops filled with handmade items or sampling some of the local flavor at one of the countless cafes that line the streets.
3
Gamla Riksarkivet

3) Gamla Riksarkivet

Gamla Riksarkivet was once used as the National Archive of Sweden. Located on the islet of Riddarholmen, the archives were housed in the building until the middle part of the 1960s. Designed in the Romanesque style of architecture, the building hints at the medieval past of this city, while articulating the grandeur of this architectural style. Designed by the architect, Axel F. Nyström, the building was once the tallest building in Stockholm and a distinctive model of the architecture of the late 1800s. The building is connected to the Stenbockska Palace and the Norstedts Publishing Building. Constructed on cast iron columns and rolled iron, the building was constructed with strength to last many years. The interior windows are emblazoned with decorative iron implements while the door frames and window sills are made of sandstone. The building was the first in Sweden to have an electric elevator. Much of the building was designed to be fire retardant. In fact, the only wooden part of the structure was the bookshelves. Spiral slides were added to the building in the 1940s to accommodate the quick removal of materials should it become necessary during World War II. The National Archives were moved in 1995 and at present, the building houses genealogical records.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Norstedt Building

4) Norstedt Building

Designed by architect Magnus Isæus, the Norstedt Building was erected between 1882 and 1891. The impressive spire roof is a landmark on the Stockholm skyline and appears to be pointing into the heavens. The building has an impressive location and is surrounded by water on two sides. Located on the islet of Riddarholmen, the Norstedt Building sits amongst many historical landmarks of Stockholm. The building is perched on the eastern shore of the islet. The building itself got its name from the publishing house of Norstedts, which once was housed in the building. The islet is part of the Gamla Stan, or Old Town Stockholm, a popular spot among tourists. The western part of the island is a fabulous place to take in the incredible scenery surrounding the town and is a favorite spot to visit for photographers. The Vasabron Bridge can be seen in front of the Norstedt Building. The bridge connects Norrmalm to Gamla Stan. Visitors will want to explore the island and all it has to offer. The Old Town itself has a huge selection of architectural structures to explore, many of which date back to medieval times. Stockholm has a rich history and the Norstedts Building is a part of that history which should not be missed.
5
Birger Jarls Torn

5) Birger Jarls Torn

Birger Jarls Torn is a tower located on the north-western side or Riddarholmen. Named in honor of Birger Jarl, who was a leader in the Second Swedish Crusade and a Swedish Statesman. Birger Jarl was one of the most powerful men of his time and, was credited with ending the many years of hostilities between Sweden and Norway during the 13th century. He was a significant part of the Treaty of Lödöse, too. The Birger Jarls Torn is one of the oldest structures in the town. Build for King Gustav Vasa as a defensive tower, it is the only remaining tower of Vasa’s defensive system of the 16th century following the Protestant Reformation in Sweden. Birger Jarl was such an important man, that he is commemorated throughout the city of Stockholm. There are several other landmarks in the area named after Birger Jarls including the street Birger Jarlsgatan and the Hotel Birger Jarl. Located next to the Birger Jarls Torg, a square commemorating Birger Jarls, stands an impressive statue which was erected in his honor. A cenotaph intended for his remains is located at the base of the Stockholm City Hall Tower. However, the great duke remains at rest in Varnhem Abbey.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Wrangel Palace

6) Wrangel Palace

Wrangel Palace, known as Wrangelska Palatset, is a historical piece of architecture located in Stockholm, Sweden. The townhouse has been the home of government nobility like Svea Hovrätt of the regional court of appeals during the 18th century. During the first part of the 19th century, it housed the royal court. The building itself is combination of various architectural styles. One the Southern part of the building stands a tower which was one of the defensive towers of Gustav Vasa during the 16th century. During the 17th century, the palace was expanded by architect Nicodemus Tessin the Elder, who was responsible for many of the buildings in the Old Town of Stockholm. The building was constructed for Count Carl Gustaf Wrangel, the building’s namesake. In 1693, a fire broke out and the building was once again expanded during the rebuilding process. The Palace was rebuilt again in 1802 following another devastating fire. Over the years, the building has been home to many members of the Royal family and their court. The walls decorated with paintings of the royal family and their court which just adds to the regality of the facility. Visitors to the city will want to devote several hours to taking a walking tour of the city.
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Riddarholm Church

7) Riddarholm Church (must see)

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 are dedicated to the various kings of Sweden, whose remains rest within. In the chapel of Gustavus Adolphus Magnus lie Gustav II's bones 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 and, 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 better, because of the information and interactivity you get.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-4pm (Oct-Apr); 10am-5pm (May-Sep)
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Old Riksdag Building

8) Old Riksdag Building

Located in the Birger Jarls Torg, the Riksdag Building is known as “The Old House of Parliament.” The reason for this name is because this was the original home of Sweden’s Parliament for most of the 1800s. The Birger Jarls Torg is a square located on the island of Helgeandsholmen in Old Town Stockholm. The historic square is the location of many other historic landmarks which date back to ancient Swedish times. Once the seat of Sweden’s Riksdag, Sweden’s Parliament, the building dates back to 1833, when it was the estate home of Swedish nobility. In the 1860s, the parliament moved into the building and remained there until 1905. The building has a majestic front facade and is styled in the neo-baroque style of architecture. Flanked by Corinthian columns, two neoclassical wings span from east to west. A detailed relief of the Swedish coat of arms is inlaid into the grand bronze doorway at the entrance of the building and a statue of Mother Svea sits atop the balustrade. On the interior of the building, a massive staircase guides visitors to the two assembly halls, which were once used by the bicameral assembly and, each octagonal hall is protected by massive glass domes.

Walking Tours in Stockholm, Sweden

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Whether you are in Stockholm for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Stockholm has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Stockholm, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.