Sunday, June 12, 2011

Drottningholm – 4 June 2011

Drottningholm is the residence of the Swedish Royal family, and a UNESCO site as well. The picturesque way to get there is on a boat across Lake Malaren, starting once again from the City Hall. The trip passes places of interest, such as the site of the original Electrolux factory where the only remaining part, the staff canteen, is now a Michelin Star restaurant called 'Lux'.

The Palace was built in the 17th century, and as the Swedish Royal family were not as wealthy as other royal houses, it was a clever use of fake marble to create an opulent look. This applied especially to the theatre, built in 1762, which has wooden curtains behind the boxes, wooden 'marble' fireplaces and so forth. The theatre was 'lost' for over 100 years, after Gustav III, the “Theatre King” was assassinated in 1792. Gustav was passionate about the theatre, but when he was killed, it was left totally untouched, and eventually totally forgotten about.

The third element to the area being protected by UNESCO, is the Chinese Pavilion. This is one of the best preserved buildings of it's type. It was a birthday present for Queen Louisa Ulrika in 1753. Nearby was a fascinating small Chinese styled building which was used by the royal couple to eat alone. The table was raised through a trap-door in the floor, ready set by the servants in the basement below. This process was repeated for each course, with no servants present for totally privacy.

After returning to the city by boat, we attempted to take the Katarinahissen 19th century lift up to the top of the hill in Sodermalm. It was out of order, but there is a modern lift nearby, which provides access by walkway to the old lift where there is a great city view. Nearby is the City Museum, which has a small Millennium Trilogy exhibition, and a walking map about the books of the Millennium Trilogy, and the places they were set in Stockholm. We spent an enjoyable couple of hours looking at the various places mentioned in the stories.

During this time, we also had a side trip to a booked ride on the Sky View – a pod on the Ericson Globe. This is a sporting venue built in the largest spherical building in the world, but the outside has been turned into another attraction – two mini-globes give rides to the top of the globe for a great view.

No comments: