The Royal Stables Open today 11.30-16.30

History

The history of the Royal Stables dates back many hundreds of years, to 1535 when King Gustav Vasa had stables built for the royal horses. Just as in the case now, the main duty was to meet the king's needs for both everyday and ceremonial transportation.

Noble horses and magnificently equipped carriages have always lent a sense of grandeur to the monarch and royal power.

The first royal stables were built on the island of Helgeandsholmen, next to the Royal Palace, on the site of the current Parliament building. The location soon proved to be too small, and new stables were built towards the end of the 16th century next to St Jakob's church, where the Royal Swedish Opera now stands.

The devastating fire of 1696

Although detailed plans were drawn up for the relocation and expansion of the Royal Stables by both King Gustav II Adolf and Queen Kristina, the stables remained in the same location until King Karl XI commissioned Nicodemus Tessin the Elder to build magnificent new stables back on Helgeandsholmen. These stables had room for 60 horses, and also included a riding hall, coach house and armoury. Unfortunately, these stables burnt down 1696, the year before the dramatic fire that destroyed the Tre Kronor palace.

Tessin the Younger takes over

Nicodemus Tessin the Younger was now commissioned with building the new stables on the same site. The stables were modernised and made more partial this time, with room for 150 horses. A pumping system enabled water from Strömmen to be brought straight to each stall. Two wings were also built as a riding hall and a coach house. This served as the Royal Stables for almost two hundred years.

The Royal Stables move from Helgeandsholmen

In the 1870s, it was proposed that two state buildings – the Riksdag building and the central bank – should be built on Helgeandsholmen. King Oscar II offered to relinquish Helgeandsholmen free of charge if another suitable location could be provided for the Royal Stables. In 1888, the Riksdag granted just over one million kronor for the construction of the new Royal Stables at their current location on Artilleriplan at the beginning of Strandvägen, now known as Väpnargatan 1.

An unpopular building

The architect was the palace official Ernst Jacobsson. He was assisted by Fritz Eckert, and they gave the Royal Stables the appearance of a mediaeval castle, a palatial creation complete with towers and walls surrounding a grand stable yard. The new Royal Stables were completed in 1894. The building was heavily criticized, and was one of the least popular buildings of its time.

Today, this is an irreplaceable historical building where duties such as organizing royal transportation are still carried out. There are significantly fewer horses now compared with the 1890s, since the majority of transportation takes place by car, but the role of preserving the elegant art of riding and equipage remains.

Top image: 1881 painting by Georg Arsenius.

Visit us

Guided tours Open today 11.30-16.30

Take a tour through the Royal Stables, with its harness room, cars and carriage houses. During the summer season, the inner courtyard, it...

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Group Visits Open today 11.30-16.30

We recommend that large groups pre-book a guided tour. For groups of at least 20 people, you can order coffee, sandwiches and/or pastries.

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The Royal Stables are located at Väpnargatan 1 in central Stockholm.

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Events

Welcome to Royal Stables Day. There will be exhibitions, historic cars, horses, carriage parades and refreshments. Take the opportunity t...

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A Christmas market is traditionally held at the Royal Stables on the first weekend in Advent. For four days, exhibitors from across Swede...

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Discover more at The Royal Stables

Horses Open today 11.30-16.30

The Royal Stables have around twenty horses. The horses are trained to lead cortèges and carriages on occasions such as state visits and ...

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Cars Open today 11.30-16.30

Among the oldest cars in the Royal Stables is a Daimler DE27: Limousine from 1950. It can seat up to eight people and is still in use . ...

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Buildings Open today 11.30-16.30

The current Royal Stables buildings were completed in 1894. The architect was the palace official Ernst Jacobsson, assisted by Fritz Ecke...

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Carriages Open today 11.30-16.30

See the Royal Stables coach sheds, which are home to around forty carriages and sleighs for various occasions. Most of them date back to ...

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Summer café Open today 11.30-16.30

Discover the Royal Stables' summer café, serving home-baked treats in a unique setting in the heart of Stockholm.

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History Open today 11.30-16.30

The history of the Royal Stables dates back many hundreds of years, to 1535 when King Gustav Vasa had stables built for the royal horses....

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Articles and movies

Discover an oasis in the heart of the city and visit the Royal Stables' inner courtyard with its café, shop and a couple of horses. The p...

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During the summer, all ten royal palaces and their museums, parks, chapels, shops and cafés will be open.

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What was life like at the Royal Stables during the times of King Karl XIV Johan and King Oskar I? An exhibition in the coach shed describ...

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Customer service

Opening hours: Open today 11.30-16.30

FAQ

  • Can I pre-book a ticket for the general palace tours?

    Tickets can be purchased on the same day at any of our ticket offices; no advance purchase available.

  • Are there any storage lockers at the royal palaces?

    The Royal Palace of Stockholm: There are a few storage lockers available at Tickets & Information and in the Tre Kronor Museum. However, we would recommend not bringing any large bags with you. The other royal palaces and visitor attractions: No storage lockers available.

  • Can I take my bag into the royal palaces?

    Small bags are permitted at our visitor attractions. Rucksacks should be carried in your hand or on your front. Do not leave any bags unattended. Bags and cases with wheels are not permitted.

  • Can I take a pushchair into the royal palaces?

    Pushchairs are not permitted indoors.

  • Are there any pushchair parkings at the royal palaces?

    The Royal Palace of Stockholm: At the entrance to the Reception Rooms, in the Outer Courtyard there is a limited amount of space for pushchairs. Under cover, but unmonitored and no locking facility.

    Riddarholm Church: At the entrance to Riddarholm Church. Under cover, but unmonitored and no locking facility.

    Drottningholm Palace: Outside the entrance. Under cover, but unmonitored and no locking facility.

    Other visitor attractions: No pushchair parking.

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