Riddarholmen Church

Stockholm, Sweden

The Riddarholmen Church (Riddarholmskyrkan) is the burial church of the Swedish monarchs. The congregation was dissolved in 1807 and today the church is used only for burial and commemorative purposes. Swedish monarchs from Gustavus Adolphus (d. 1632 AD) to Gustaf V (d. 1950) are entombed here (with exceptions such as Queen Christina who is buried within St. Peter's Basilica in Rome), as well as the earlier monarchs Magnus III (d. 1290) and Charles VIII (d. 1470).

Riddarholmen church is one of the oldest buildings in Stockholm, parts of it dating to the late 13th century, when it was built as a greyfriars monastery. After the Protestant Reformation, the monastery was closed and the building transformed into a Protestant church. A spire designed by Willem Boy was added during the reign of John III, but it was destroyed by a strike of lightning on July 28, 1835 after which it was replaced with the present cast iron spire.

Coats of arms of knights of the Order of the Seraphim are in the walls of the church. When a knight of the Order dies, his coat of arms is hung in the church and when the funeral takes place the church bells are rung constantly from 12:00 to 13:00.

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Details

Founded: ca. 1270-1300
Category: Religious sites in Sweden
Historical period: Consolidation (Sweden)

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Eileen Weed (2 years ago)
I actually took a wrong turn on Rick Steves "Gamla Stan (Old Town) Walking tour" in August 2019 (in his invaluable guidebook, "Scandinavian & Northern European Cruise Ports Guidebook" - highly recommended) and ended up at this church instead. It is extraordinarily beautiful outside, though simple inside (free entry), and highly meaningful because it is the final resting place of most of Sweden's rulers for the last few hundred years. I would definitely recommend stepping in for a few minutes if you are nearby. The area is also picturesque with the Stenbock Palace (now Court of Appeal) and other old buildings, plus a pier nearby.
Melissa Prostrollo (2 years ago)
We didn't hit the right time to visit the inside, but the architectural details on the outside alone were worth stopping by. There are historical models outside to help explain the history, which we liked a lot. It was chilly out the day we went and the were doing some construction (looked like public works stuff) right by the one end of the church, so we didn't spend as much time in the area of the church as we might have, but it was definitely worth the walk over there.
Lukasz Graniczek (Lukegeetravels) (3 years ago)
Breathtaking church! The pictures do not do it justice but this church is MASSIVE! Very beautiful cobblestone all around it with a beautiful plaza around. It was closed at the time I arrived but the pipe organ is a must see if you are able to come here! Also this church is old, dating back to the 13th century!
Joy Buettner (3 years ago)
The architecture of this old church is spectacular and a must to see is the old pipe organ. More spectacular is hearing it being played. Breathtaking
Svenja O (3 years ago)
A very beautiful church with many helpful explanations. Also available are texts in various different languages explaining the church. All the coats of arms are displayed very beautifully. You can really feel the historic vibes around here.
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