So far I have only seen the 'off-season' changing of the guards. These pictures were taking on a beautiful sunny day in March. The changing of the guards at this time of year doesn't take that much time, but it is still fun to see.
In the summertime the ceremony at the Royal Palace takes about 40 minutes. It starts with the arrival of the coming guard (with the military band in front). Normally, the coming guard brings its own colours in the front. Then a parade for the colours starts, the new sentries march away, the coming and leaving guards change places. After that, the military band performs a concert (about 15 minutes). When the relieved sentinels are back, both guards draw up for the final part of the ceremony (the leaving guard marches away, the new guard troops the colours and the military band leaves the Outer Courtyard.
I recommend the purchase of a combination ticket (130 SEK). This allows you to visit The Royal Apartments, The Treasury, The Tre Kronor Museum and the Gustav III Museum of Antiquities (separate admission of each place would cost 90 SEK each). The combination ticket is valid for 30 days from the day of purchase, so you don't have to do everything in one day.
The Royal Palace is a spectacular site in Stockholm. The current building was built in the 18th century. Previously, there was an older palace which burned down. The royal family do not live there these days, instead using the palace more as an office and place for office receptions. Visitors can take a tour through the royal apartments.
You will see the palace guard in their blue uniforms. Fortunately, I managed to get there to seeing the changing of the guard which was quite a cool sight.
No, this is NOT where the royal family live as they moved to greener pastures at Drottningholm Castle some years ago but this is still where the king has his offices and where the changing of the guard takes place. There has been a castle here for a long time but the old one ("Three Crowns") burned down in the 17th century and this, designed by famous architect Tessin, was built in its place. You can go on guided tours of many rooms as well as watch the Changing of the guards outside (times vary depending on season so please check Stockholm's official site).
Walking up the hill from the Royal Armoury, we came to another Palace guard standing at the entrance way to the Royal Palace.
The palace was built on the foundation's of the medieval castle - Tre Kronor (Three Crowns), dating back to the mid 13th century which was destroyed by fire.
It took 57 year's to build the new Palace, and no wonder!
It has 1430 rooms, 660 with windows and is one of the largest royal palaces in the world still in use for its original purpose.
I thought the way it's set out is interesting. The palace consists of four rows: western, southern, eastern, and northern, each represent's something different. The southern facade represents the nation, the west facade represents the king, the east facade represents the queen, and the northern facade represents the common royal. These four rows surround the inner courtyard.
The Royal Apartments are said to be magnificent, ranging in style from baroque to rococo to Gustavian neo-classisism, like the Pillar Hall, and on to the eclectic styles of the 19th century.
We didn't do a tour, as we wanted to see the changing of the guard's, and you had to buy a time-slot.
Entrance tickets are sold at the Ticket & Information office in the Outer Courtyard during regular opening hours.
Tickets are also sold at the entrance to the Treasury and the Tre Kronor Museum.
15 May–16 September: Daily 10:00–5PM
17 September–14 May: Tuesday–Sunday 12:00–4PM
ADMISSION IN 2011.....
Adults SEK 150
Children 7–18 years old and students SEK 75
Free entrance for children under 7 years of age in the company of a guardian.
Includes visit to the Royal Apartments, the Treasury and the Tre Kronor Museum within seven days.
From 15 May to 16 September, Gustav III's Museum of Antiquities is also included.
The guided tour takes approx 45 minutes. To follow a guided tour simply buy your entrance ticket and meet at the designated time and place for the start of the tour.
At a corner of Gamla Stan, the Kungliga Slottet, Royal Palace, is located. This is one of the nicest monuments of the city, at a great location. Two of the wings of this yellow-brown palace almost reach the water and the building is situated on top of a hill.
The current palace replaced the old Castle Tre Kronor (Three Crowns) that burned down in 1697. The old one had its origins in the 10th century and started as a fortress to defend the island. Later, when Sweden became a modern Kingdom, King Magnus Eriksson ordered to built a castle at the same place, named Tre Kronor, because he ruled over 3 Kingdoms: Sweden, Norway and Skane.
From the 16th century on the castle was made into a palace where the Royal Family moved in. This one didn't last long, because of the disastrous fire at the end of the 17th century. After that, during the regime of Charles XII, the palace was completely rebuilt in a Renaissance style. The palace became simple and robust from the outside and luxurious from the inside. Baroc rooms were built and everything was very classy for those days.
Today the Palace is still used by the Royal Family, but parts are open for public. If you buy a full ticket you will see the following things:
- The Royal Apartments: The rooms where the Royal family used to stay. With as most beautiful room the Hall of State, where official occasions take place.
- The Treasury: Here, deep inside the Palace, the Royal treasures are kept. Some unbelievebly beautiful crowns, coats and jewels are shown here.
- Tre Kronor Museum: A really nice museum that tells you everything about the long history of the Palace. You can even take a look at the oldest parts of the Castle: bricks that are 800 years old.
- Gustav III's Museum of Antiquities: This is a small museum with the private collection of, mostly Roman, statues. The special thing about this room is that it's in exactly the same position as it was in the 1790's, which you can see on an old painting of the room.
Kunliga Slottet, is the biggest Royal Palace in the world. The original one burnt down in 1697, so the present one was built in its place.
Its worth visiting, as its a gorgoeus building, that is very very big.
Changing of the guard takes place daily.
The last thing we wanted to see at the Royal Palace, was the changing of the Guard's.
We walked higher up the hill, and saw that already people were waiting behind barrier's. It was in full sun, so we walked further and found a shady spot. There were already a lot of people here, at least half an hour before.
On the pavement, you will see a painted line, make sure you stand behind that if you do not have any rope's to stand behind. The guard's will keep on coming and moving you all the time, and in the end, they get sick and tired of people not doing as they are told, and become aggressive.
We saw the guard's come marching in, the ceremony and then they marched out. There still was more going on, but to tell the truth, we were not that impressed.
A little sloppy, and the dark blue uniform's looked dullish and drab, if I had my time again, I wouldn't be bothered, and spend my time elsewhere!
Perhap's if they had been in the bright Blue uniform and on Horse's, it would have been a lot better.
May - August: The changing of the guard and Military Band daily at 12.15 hours (Sundays and holidays at 1.15pm). In the summer season, you may even see guards on horses approaching Stockholm's Royal Palace (especially in May)!
April, September, October: The Swedish changing of the guards can be seen Wednesdays & Saturdays at 12.15 hours, and Sundays at 1.15 pm.
Around April 30th - the King's birthday - look for horse displays as well.
the kungliga slottet, (new castle) was built on the site of the tre kronor fortress which burned down in 1697. the kungliga slottet took 57 years to build and it is the world's largest royal castle in use today. inside you can tour the royal apartments, the hall of state, and the throne room. the slottet is located in the gamla stan, the medieval quarter, of stockholm. be sure to walk around the neighborhood and visit the interesting shops and restaurants there.
The Stockholm Palace or the Kungliga Slottet is the place where the Swedish King (King Carl XVI Gustaf) works. However, the residence of the royal family is in the Drottningholm Palace, situated little outside of the city. Kungliga Slottet is situated in Stadsholmen island of the city in Gamla Stan area. It is very close to the Swedish parliament. The royal administrative offices are located here. The original building here was a fortress built by Birger Jarl in the 13th century. The fortress was extended to form a castle called the Tre Kronor ("Three Crowns") Castle. However, in a fire in 1697, most of the castle was burnt down. The palace was rebuilt in mid 18th century. The palace is one of the largest royal palaces in the world still used as a royal palace with 609 rooms. The palace has a variety of museums inside like the Tre kronor museum showing the remains from the original castle, the Antikmuseum of King Gustav III, the Royal armoury and the Royal gift shop.
The crown jewels of Sweden!!! Nothing displayed in this museum was open to the public before 1970. Now you can see their swords, crowns, sceptres, etc. Even Gustav Vasa's sword from the 16th century is here! The regalia is still used by the royal family at special events like weddings, christenings, and funerals.
Open May 15 - August 10 AM - 4 PM daily (until 5 PM June 28-August 15)
September - May 14: Tuesday through Sunday 12:00 noon - 3:00 PM.
When in Stockholm try to be at the Royal Palace at noon and enjoy the changing of the guards! We experienced it twice and really enjoyed it! And it seems to be a little bit different each time:
of course there are different guards (surprisingly both male and female), different bands playing and slightly different procedures. And boy, some of the steps those poor fellas have to perform are highly amusing!!!
The changing of the guards takes place every day at noon and lasts about half an hour.
The ceremony started right at 12.30 pm and the entire area was crowded with tourists. The new guards were introduced while drums were played. There was a colourful parade and commentry in English too (very touristy indeed). But the entire thing was something that I really loved. The feel can't be described in pictures, but still I put the best ones here. The ceremony continued for about an hour and I loved every bit of it.
Stockholm Palace is the official residence of His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf. The Royal Court's administration offices are located here as well as those of Carl Gustaf and his wife, Queen Silvia and the Duchess of Halland, Princess Lillian. It is at the Royal Palace that the setting for most official receptions are also held.
The King directs his foreign ambassadors here. During the event of an official state visit, the visiting Head of State has their temporary accommodation on the guest floor. King Karl XI:s gallery is where the three or four official banquets are held each year.
Archaeologists researching the Middle Ages found ancient wooden constructions dateable back towards the end of the 900's. During the period of the Vasa regime (1521-1654) it was reconstructed from being a defence castle or fort into a magnificent renaissance palace, lead by the Dutch architect Willem Boy.
A devastating fire broke out on the 7th May 1697. It ruined the majority of the palace. Nicodemus Tessin the younger, presented his designs to the Swedish government 3 weeks later, reassuring them that the palace should only take up to five years to re- build. In reality, the palace was completed in 1754. This meant that the royal family waited close to 60 years before they could move in to their 608-room home again.
Kungliga Slottet is the official residence of the monarch (Carl XVI Gustaf), the Swedish Royal Family, as well as the offices of the Royal Court of Sweden. The royal family's private residence is Drottningholm Palace. Kungliga Slottet boasts 608 rooms, making it the largest palace in the world still used by a head of state. The palace itself is a sight, both inside and out. It also offers other smaller things to do to fill out your day in Gamla Stan.
Below are all the things I would recommend seeing the same day you visit the Royal Palace.
-Skattkammaren (The Treasury) - Located in the cellar vault of The Royal Palace. See the crown's of the several princes, Erik XIV's crown, King Gustav Vasa's sword of state, and so much more. I highly recommend taking one of the guided tours. They are really informative, and make a huge difference in the experience. You will be amazed by the beauty, and history of these crowns.
-Museum Tre Kronor (Tre Kronor Palace Museum) - Located in the cellar of the Royal Palace. Take a look at remnants of the Tre Kronor Castle, destroyed by a fire in 1697.
-Livrustkammaren (The Royal Armoury) - Located in the cellar vault of the Royal Palace, see the attire worn by the court, as well as armor, weapons, and carriages.
-Gustav III's Antikmuseum (The Museum of Antiquities of Gustav III) - This is Sweden's oldest public art museum. This museum showcases Gustav III's collection of sculptures he purchased on his journey to Italy in 1783-1784.
-The Changing of the Guards ceremony takes place Wednesdays and Saturdays at 12.00 and on Sundays and public holidays at 13.00.
**No trip to Stockholm is complete without a visit to The Royal Palace. The Royal Palace is in my Top 5 sights in Stockholm.