Architecture in Stockholm

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Architecture in Stockholm has a history that dates back to the 13th century, possibly even longer.[1] The buildings in Stockholm are characterized by its unique location between Lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea. The Hanseatic League during the great period of industrialization saw a strong desire to shape the city into a modern one.

Most major buildings in Stockholm are mainly designed by influences from abroad. During 1600 and 1700, foreign architects were recruited to build the city and in recent periods Swedish architects often drew on their inspiration from their study tours to Europe, in the 20th century, particularly in the USA.

Stockholm's historic buildings are largely conserved, possibly because the has city escaped destruction by war, suffered by so many other cities in Europe. The infrastructure of Stockholm is in many ways connected to the buildings themselves, as such, major infrastructural components will be discussed in this article to some extent.

The evolution of the city[edit]


The oldest part of Stockholm is Gamla Stan (The Old Town). Being the oldest part of the city, it contains some of the oldest buildings and some of the oldest remains of buildings. One example is the ruins of the Castle Of Three Crowns which was erected in the 13th century by the Swedish king Birger Jarl.

The buildings that survive from this period are mostly churches and buildings of the royal house, since these buildings were built from more durable materials than most other buildings from that time. Birger Jarls torn (The Tower Of Birger Jarl) used to be considered to be the oldest building in the entire city, however, it is now known to have been erected by Gustav Vasa in the 16th century. Today the Riddarholmen Church, which appeared in the late 13th century, is considered to be the oldest surviving building in Stockholm. While it came to serve as the church of choice for royal burials, another church, the Storkyrkan (Great Church) came to be used for coronations. Both of the churches have since their erection been redesigned several times.

In the 1430s Stockholm is first mentioned as the capital of Sweden, it had then been in existence for over 200 years and had become a typical Hansa port. During this period German craftsmen were often employed to construct buildings resulting in a wide use of German architecture. Among the buildings constructed in this period is the German Merchants Guild, which was later transformed into the German Church.

The areas to the south and to the north of The Old Town were called Malmarna. Between the 13th and 17th centuries these areas contained only very simple buildings.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hall, Thomas (1999). Huvudstad i omvandling. Stockholm: Sveriges Radios förlag. p. 17. ISBN 978-91-522-1810-5. 
  • This article was initially translated from the Swedish Wikipedia.