Karlberg Palace

Solna, Sweden

Karlberg Palace houses today the Military Academy Karlberg. The three local farms were bought by Lord High Admiral Carl Carlsson Gyllenhielm (1574-1650) in the 1620s and subsequently unified into a single estate named 'Karlberg' after himself. He then had master mason Hans Drisell build a Renaissance palace featuring pink plaster and tall gables.

As Gyllenhielm's widow died six years after her husband, a lengthy litigation regarding the inheritance followed. Plans in the mid-1660s to transfer the estate to the widowed QueenHedwig Eleonora were cancelled as Lord High Admiral Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie (1622-1686) sold one of his palaces to the queen (today Ulriksdal Palace) and bought Karlberg from the heir of his precursor in 1669.

De la Gardie, at this time one of the most influential men in Sweden, had Jean de la Vallée (1620–1696) develop the palace into one of the grandest in Sweden. The new palace, H-shaped in plan in accordance to the style of the day, featured two wings and a terrace facing the waterfront, while wings facing north formed an enclosed courtyard. Additionally, a church was created in the eastern wing. Some of the red festoon stucco ornaments from this era are preserved in the façade, as are the curved cornices facing the garden, and the sumptuous stucco ceilings of Carlo Carove together with other exclusive interior details, including walls covered in leather, velvet, and boiseries. The park was furnished with an orangery, ponds, fountains, parterres, and boxwood patterns - all in the manner of French Baroque architecture.

Following the Reduction, De la Gardie lost his influence and most of his fortune, and since King Charles XI declined to buy the palace, De la Gardie was finally forced to hand it over to Johan Gabriel Stenbock to settle a debt and in 1683 Stenbock took over the newly rebuilt palace, only to sell it to the king in 1688. Karlberg thus became where crown prince Charles XII spent much of his childhood and where he used to hunt wolves in the surrounding forests. His mother, Queen Ulrika Eleonora the Elder (1656 - 1693), had a school created for orphaned girls where they could create tapestries, and her son took personal charge over the school to honour his good-hearted mother. When Charles XII died in 1718 his coffin was taken to Karlberg before being interred in the church Riddarholmskyrkan.

While the Three Crowns Castle was being rebuilt in the early 1690s, and following the disastrous fire which destroyed it in 1697, the royal family chose Karlberg as their temporary home. The entire court resided at Karlberg until 1754 when the present palace was finally completed.

The red panelled log houses west of the main building are believed to date back to the 1720s, while the stables carrying four sandstone vessels were designed by Carl Hårleman (1700-1753) under Frederick I (1676-1751) in the 1730s, thereafter rebuild into barracks in the 1790s.

In 1766, Karlberg was made a wedding gift to King (then crown prince) Gustav III (1746-1792) and Sophia Magdalena (1743-1813). In the early 1790s Gustav had plans to found a war academy at the Ulriksdal Palace, plans however interrupted by his death in 1792. As his widow choose Ulriksdal as her private residence, the Kungliga Krigacademien ('Royal War Academy') was instead located at Karlberg where the first generation of cadets started their training later the same year. During the regency of Gustav's son, Gustav IV (1778-1837), architect Carl Christoffer Gjörwell (1766–1837) was ordered to enlarge the palace to accommodate the cadets, which in 1796 resulted in the elongated wings today giving the palace much of its character.

The park, dating back to the 17th century, has suffered gradual encroachment. During the 1860s, the north-eastern corner was cut off by the railway, and a century later Essingeleden and other motorways had their shares. The exterior of the palace was however restored in the 1980s. Furthermore, in 2001 an archaeological examination of a nearby burial site, associated with one of the villages out of which Karlberg once was created, unveiled fragments of runestones — including one from an image stone and another featuring the proto-Norse Elder Futhark. Karlberg Palace is owned by the State and is managed by the Swedish Fortifications Agency.

In the park are found, among other things, a 'temple of Diana' (originally dedicated to Neptune) and the burial site of Pompe, the dog of King Charles XII. Notwithstanding the palace remain a military institution, the park is accessible to the public and is open 06-22 daily.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 1634-1795
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Sweden
Historical period: Swedish Empire (Sweden)

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Андрій Галай (2 years ago)
Well organized king's palace. Feel the power and order.
Joacim Hallberg (2 years ago)
A great piece of military history, still used on daily basis, as the oldest military academy in the world.
Kamila Maśląg (2 years ago)
must be nice place for chilling when it's warm - still nice views and a walk in autumn when sunny
Celeste Scheepers (2 years ago)
Enchanting Castle, fantastic nature reserve for orientering
Anders Thomasson (2 years ago)
Nice location for a picknic. Looking at people passing by in kayaks, boats and on paddle boards.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Derbent Fortress

Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.

Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.

A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.

The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.

The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.

In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.

In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.