This is the sixth article in in the series, where TCG Nordica every week introduce a famous Scandinavian artist’s life and work. This week is a bit different though, as we don’t introduce an artist but a Swedish palace.
Drottningholm Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built in 17th century, which is not only the best-preserved royal palace in Sweden, but also one of the finest and best-preserved palaces in Northern Europe. The exotic Chinese Pavilion, the Palace Theatre and a beautiful royal garden, made the palace extraordinary.
Drottningholm Palace is the private residence of the Swedish Royal Family. It is on an island called Lovon, about an hour’s boat ride from downtown Stockholm. Drottningholm is Swedish for “Queen’s Island.” It’s a tribute to the vision and creativity of Queen Hedvig Eleonora and Princess Louisa Ulrika – both beautiful, strong-willed, intelligent women.
Drottningholm Palace was designed by Nicodemus Tessin (1615–81) and built in the years 1662–86. It shows French Baroque influences in its plan, gardens and interior, but it also has Italian Classical elements and is capped by a Nordic sateri roof. A theatre attached to it was built in the 1760s and is preserved with its original sets and stage machinery as a theatrical museum.
The first queen who lived in the palace was Hedvig Eleonora who ruled Sweden as regent after her husband the king died. One highlight of the palace is Hedvig Eleonora’s peacock-blue bedchamber. She used it for official purposes, to greet visitors. She no doubt succeeded in impressing many prominent guests here during her long reign!
After Eleonora’s passing, the palace remained the residence of the royal ladies. Then in 1744, it was given as a wedding present to Princess Louisa Ulrika of Prussia when she married the Swedish crown prince. A lover of the arts, Louisa thrust Drottningholm into its golden age, redecorating the interiors in the latest French Rococo style on display at the Palace of Versailles.
On her 33rd birthday, Louisa received a surprise gift from her husband – a “Chinese pleasure palace.” In a letter to her mother, she wrote of her delight:
“He led me to one side of the garden and suddenly to my surprise, I found myself gazing upon a real fairy-tale creation, for the King had built a Chinese palace, the loveliest imaginable.”
This pretty pink Chinese Pavilion (Kina slott in Swedish) displays the exquisite Chinese porcelain statues, lacquered panels, china and vases that so fascinated Louisa and her friends.
http://visit.sweden.cn/stockholm/attractions/ https://sandinmysuitcase.com/drottningholm- palace-stockholm/ https://www.britannica.com/topic/Drottningholm- Palace
Text and translation from chinese: Yimei 艺美