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Stockholm Palace

4.0 stars


Crown Jewels

Entrance into Stockholm Palace has a variety of costs, depending upon what you would like to see. My friend and I decided that we were most interested in the crown jewels. Somewhat unexpectedly, they accepted American dollars along with Swedish kroner, British pounds, and Euros.

The crown jewels are kept in the Royal Treasury that is beneath the palace. It was a cool and dim set of rooms. My assumption is that for preservation, the precious items need to be in climate controlled areas and that light of any kind is probably somewhat damaging, so the low light is a trade off: tourists will pay to see the jewels and under low light, the jewels and other items will be preserved as much as possible.

There is a variety of swords, orbs, crowns, and keys, all encrusted with jewels. There are diamonds, rubies, emeralds, pearls, gold, silver everywhere that you look in the rooms. The pieces are all of the finest craftsmanship and are all very beautiful.

The sword of Gustav Vasa (the same Vasa as the famous warship) is one of the featured pieces. While the items were very beautiful and breathtaking, it almost felt anti-climactic. It felt like for the amount of money that we paid, somehow there should be more to see! [more ]

Organ Performance

On the day that we arrived to see the Stockholm Palace, there was a free organ concert by the royal family's personal organist. The concert was in the large chapel in the palace. Best of all, it was free! The concerts are on Fridays throughout the summer at 1:00pm. We stayed for 2 songs and then walked out. It wasn't a big deal, just wait until the song has stopped and people are applauding before entering or leaving. The music was beautiful and it was surreal to think that we were listening to the same musician who plays for all the important state and royal events.

You sit in wooden pews, which aren't that comfortable, but everything you can see is beautiful. There are paintings and carvings on the walls and ceilings. It's a lovely chapel. It felt very light and airy. It was a very nice atmosphere and stunning music. [more ]


The obelisk in front of the Stockholm Palace marks many meeting places for tour groups. It's hard to miss in the courtyard/square in front of the palace in Gamla Stan.

As we learned from our tour guide, the obelisk was built in honor of the merchant class by King Gustav III in the late 1700's. The King needed money for the war against Russia in the 1780's and the merchant class provided him with the cash to keep the navy going. Though sadly, not long after the obelisk was commissioned, King Gustav III was assassinated.

The obelisk is made of granite and it is 22meters (or about 68 feet) high. The obelisk is approximately the center of Gamla Stan. [more ]

Changing of the Guard

I very nearly was run down by the band during the changing of the guard in Stockholm. It all began fairly calmly at 11:45 when the band started playing and the changing of the guard began in the courtyard near the Palace. The guards saluted and did their fancy turns and the band played a variety of songs, I'm sure they were patriotic, but I didn't know any. Most of the manuevers took place within the small courtyard, but then, we were being motioned to move back by a couple of guards to let the band through. We moved back, but instead of straight back, we moved to the side, which turned out to be where the band was headed next.

It was fairly hilarious, I'm sure, to see the two of us along with other tourists try and snap pictures and then get out of the way of the 4 or so columns of musicians coming towards us. Unlike the changing of the guard in London, in Stockholm, it happens more out in the open and with no large barriers between the crowds watching. I must admit that I liked it better that way.

By around 11:30, a decently sized crowd had gathered and we weren't able to see as much of the main show in the smaller courtyard, so arrive early. The changing of the guard happens everyday at 11:45am (except Sunday) and goes on for about 15 to 20 minutes. [more ]

The Palace

The Stockholm Royal Palace is situated right in the centre of Stockholm and is a must see for all tourists. It's actually one of the biggest palace in Europe and this is probably partly because Sweden actually has a royal family- Carl XIV has been King since September 1973. Like Buckingham Palace in London, the changing of the guard is a popular tourist attraction and is a really important ceremony. There are about 600 rooms inside the palace and they house a wide variety of attractions such as the Royal Chapel and the Museum of Antiquities. The building itself is also very impressive- built in a baroque style. [more ]

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