With too many pictures from day 1, we had to break this blog up into two posts. This is Part 2 of our sightseeing time in Stockholm. Picking up from where we left off on the afternoon of day 1, we next saw The Royal Palace. It is one of the largest palaces in Europe with over 600 rooms and the official residence of the King of Sweden.
Mainly used for business, official events home to several museums, the Royal Family actually lives in another residence outside the city. The Palace was built between 1697 and 1754. It certainly does not have the grandeur of palaces in England, Austria or France. There are Royal Guards on duty outside.
The Parliament House is the seat of the Swedish Parliament. The complex is huge, divided into an old building and a new building. The old building was constructed between 1897 and 1905 with an enormous Swedish coat of arms over the central bronze doorway.
The new building is connected to the old building with two large arches.
The Rosenbad complex are beautiful buildings that house the Swedish government and the Prime Minister’s office. The buildings were built at the turn of the 20th century.
The Sager Palace, built in the 19th century is the residence of the Prime Minister of Sweden. It is the building in the middle of the picture.
The Arvfurstens Palace, built in 1794, it has been used since 1906 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Adolf Gustav II (1594 –1632) was the King of Sweden from 1611 to 1632, and is credited for the founding of Sweden as a great power. He led Sweden to military supremacy during the Thirty Years’ War, helping to determine the political as well as the religious balance of power in Europe.
He is often regarded as one of the greatest military commanders of all time, with innovative use of combined arms.
The Royal Opera House was built in the late 19th century and is used for opera and ballet. King Gustav III was shot and killed at a masked ball at the Royal Opera House in 1792. The murder had been predicted four years earlier when the King anonymously visited a fortune teller.
St Jacob’s Church was started in the 1580s and completed sixty years later. It is a pretty church with a combination of late Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture.
The Grand Hotel, on the city’s waterfront, was Sweden’s first five star hotel. It opened in 1874 and bragged that it was the first hotel in Sweden to change the bedsheets between guests. Notice the American flag.
The National Museum of Sweden is the largest museum in Sweden. It was completed in 1866 and houses over 16,000 paintings and sculptures from the late Middle Ages to the early 20th century. There are around 500,000 drawings and graphics from the 15th century to the early 20th century. It is also the home to Scandinavia’s largest porcelain collection.
Nordiska museet is Sweden’s largest museum of cultural history, completed in 1907.
Hotorget is a public square used for open air markets with fresh vegetables and flowers, so common throughout Europe. This square has been used as a market since the 1640’s. Greta Garbo, a famous Swedish actress, worked as a sales assistant in the hat department of a department store that was once located at this square.
For dinner we stopped by a Mexican restaurant. Not great food, but okay.
By the time we took the subway home and walked to the apartment, we had walked seven miles. We decided to stay home and rest the next day. There are always blogs to write!!
After resting, doing laundry and working on blogs on Tuesday, Wednesday we took the subway back into Stockholm and took the Hop On Hop Off Bus to see other areas of Stockholm. These pictures begin day 2 of our sightseeing.
The buses were crowded which was made worse by long waits at bus stops. The bus company blamed it on heavy traffic but we think they didn’t have enough buses on the routes for the number of people.
Saturday, is Midsummer’s Day in Sweden. It is a national holiday and is the most important holiday in Sweden, second only to Christmas. In Sweden it is a celebration of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. People celebrate with picnics, family get togethers and many stores and restaurants are closed. Perhaps the upcoming holiday is why the crowds were so large.
The bus took us to some areas we saw on Monday, but it was nice to hear the running commentary on the areas.
The Royal Dramatic Theater, built in the early 20th century, is the main theater in Stockholm. Ingmar Bergman served as Director of the Royal Theater from 1960 to 1966. It has gold sculptures in the front. Unfortunately it was hard to get a good picture from the bus.
We passed by a large city park where young families and friends sat under trees enjoying picnic lunches. The entrance to the park is through a lovely blue gate originating in the 1840s.
“An Aviation Monument” is located in Stockholm’s Karlaplan area. It was given in 1931 by the Aeronautical Society in memory of those aviators who lost their lives during the North Pole expedition and during the 1917 missions. The monument is that of an eagle with his wings stretched out; not to be mistaken with a somewhat similar Nazi Eagle.
We found the Stockholm Hard Rock Cafe and Bill got his tee shirt. Since it was late we decided to stay for dinner, eating outside on their patio.
We then took the subway home, logging five miles walking for the day. Another great day in Stockholm.
- Bikes, including electric bikes and scooters are very popular means of transportation in Stockholm. It seems every street corner has them for rent. It was a white knuckle experience several times to see our bus and people on bikes appear to play chicken with each other. The bikers seem used to the traffic and had no fear.
- Pedestrians and cyclists have their own lanes and traffic lights. But many will go on RED which frustrates the cars and buses.
- The Swedish people seem tall and very fit. Lots of young families walking and many young mothers with strollers and young children on the subways. The Swedes are not a particularly warm, friendly people, more serious but willing to help if asked.
- It is popular to live on boats in Sweden.
- They throw Christmas trees in the lakes after Christmas because they feel it is better for the environment.
- Sweden was not bombed during WW 2 so after the war, while other countries were rebuilding, Sweden was replacing buildings to build newer ones.
- Stockholm is called “city by the rivers”, and was built on 14 islands. Some older historic homes are now leaning due to unstable foundations and historians are looking for ways to save them.
Up next: Embarking on our final cruise