Drottningholm Palace - home of the Swedish royal family
Location show on map
Drottningholm, Lovön Island, Ekerö, Sweden
Date of build
1579 - construction begins
Drottningholm Palace is a Renaissance-style palace built on Lovon Island in a suburb of Stockholm. The building is a residence for the Swedish royal family and a popular tourist attraction in Sweden.
The original stone palace was built in 1580 by order of John III Vasa for Catherine Jagiellon. In 1661 the building was bought by Queen Hedwig Eleonora of Sweden.
The owner of the palace is the Queen of Sweden.
The owner of the palace hired the famous Swedish architect Nicodemus Tessin the Elder to design and rebuild the residence. In 1662, construction work began. Almost 20 years later Nicodemus died, and the work was completed by his son Nicodemus Tessin the Younger.
During the reigns of Kings Charles XI and Charles XII, the palace hosted distinguished guests. It was then given as a gift to the later Queen of Sweden, Ludwik Ulrich Hohenzollern. The queen transformed the residence into the more refined French Rococo style and built a court theatre.
In 1777 the palace became the property of the Swedish state and a residence for King Gustav III and his family. During the reigns of subsequent rulers, the building was used only occasionally for grand ceremonies. When Charles XIV became King of Sweden (reign 1818-44), Drottningholm was abandoned and gradually fell into ruin.
Karl XIV's successor Oscar I took an interest in the building and after two years began to renovate it. The palace was modernized and adapted to the current fashion. It was not until 1907 that the palace was restored to its original state and began to be used regularly. Since 1981, until now, the palace has been a royal residence.
The palace has undergone numerous renovations and modernizations since its existence. The largest works related to electricity, heating, sewerage and water supply were carried out between 1907 and 1913.
Beginning in 1977, the interior of the palace was restored, and 20 years later the exterior walls were cleaned, rebuilt and repainted.
The main palace building is flanked by two large wings that surround internal courtyards. The south wing contains the private residence of the king and queen and is not open to the public.
Outside the south wing of the palace, the rest of the palace is open and accessible to the public all year round.
The huge Baroque gardens and park areas surrounding the castle and its buildings are also open to the public. The gardens have been created in stages since the castle was built, resulting in different styles of parks and gardens.
The name "Drottningholm", meaning "queen's island", comes from the original Renaissance building designed by Willem Boy. The stone palace was built by John III of Sweden in 1580 for his queen, Catherine Jagellon.
In 1991, Drottningholm Palace was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, mainly because of the Drottningholm Palace Theatre and the China Pavilion.
The China Pavilion was a gift from King Adolf Fredrik to Queen Lovisa Ulrika for her birthday in 1753. The old engine room next to the pavilion has been converted into Evert Lundquist's studio and museum. Oil paintings, charcoal drawings and dry engravings by the painter can be seen here.
The Drottningholm Palace Theatre is the best preserved 18th-century theatre in Europe and the only one in the world that still regularly uses the original stage machinery. In summer, tourists can be given a guided tour of the theatre.