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The West Gate
The West Gate and the East Gate is probably the most important gates in the Royal Castle, not for the gates but for the Staircases that connect all floors from the basement to the attic. The West Gate is the main entrance for official guest and others visiting the Royal Castle.
The West Gate's north arcade
The West Gate's south arcade
The West Gate consists of main 3 arches with a height of approx. 8 meter. Facing the Inner Courtyard is the arcade that is 3 times as wide as the gate itself.
Berninis 3:e proposal for the design of the Louvre in Paris.
Tessin was inspired by Gian Lorenzo Bernini's 3:rd proposal for the design of the Louvre in Paris 1656 (the proposal was never accepted) when he designed the Gates, Staircases and arcades at the Royal Castle. The 3 arches are the same, the geometrical position of the gates are the same but the staircases have another solution at the Royal Castle.
The Ground floor of the Royal Castle. Yellow marking = Gate's and arcades, green markings = Staircases.
The Staircases at the Louvre are located at each corner of the Inner Courtyard not giving it a shape of a square, as Tessin wanted. To get the square Inner Courtyard he had to place the two main Staircases inside the Main building and they were located at the west and east side of the Main building, north of the Gate. The Staircases are together with the both west wings the only asymmetrical parts of the Royal Castle.
The Arcades at the gates where originally open towards the Inner Courtyard according to Italian design but it was changed already in 1750 by the architect Carl Hårleman due to the Swedish climate.
A Genie over the door at the north arcade.
A Genie holding the Swedish Coat of Arm over the door to the west Staircase.
The West Gate is ornate with genies and the Swedish Coat of Arm over the doors made by the artist Jacques-Philippe Bourchardon in 1730. The genies over the door at the north arcade and the door in the south to the Outer Courtyard are trumpet blowing angels, it's a symbol of proclaiming a message to the world. The genie over the door to the Museum Tre Kronor is an angel holding a laurel wreath. The genie over the door to the West Staircase is an angel and a lion that together holding the Swedish Coat of Arm and the genie over the statue of King Karl X is dragon winding around the Swedish Coat of Arm.
King Karl X to the left and King Karl XI to the right
King Karl XI to the left and King Karl XIII to the right
In the West Gate there are also some very large sculptures that together are called the Karls (the Charles). In the middle of the Gate is the statue of King Karl X and in the north arcade is the 3 statues of King Karl XI, King Karl XII and King Karl XIII. All the sculptures are made by the artist Niclas Byström in 1830. Note that it's only King Karl XII that has "common clothes", all the others are wear Roman togas.
In the south arcade are a number of statues that are most likely from the Gustav III's Museum of Antiquities with the artists unknown. The statue closest to the West Gate is picturing Dionysus (one of the Olympians).
The West Staircase
The West Staircase connects the basement to the Attic and is according to many people the foremost example of the great architecture achievements of Tessin. The Staircase is connecting the floor's vertical and horizontal which is very unusual.
The West Staircase at the Ground floor
The drawing above shows the ground floor of the West Staircase where the red line marks the vertical direction. The entrance to the Staircase is from the centre of the West Gate at north. The drawing shows the stairs in the middle and the hallway to the Museum Tre Kronor at the left. Note the small Staircase to the right in the hallway that connects the Ground floor with the basement. The empty space to the right is the north arcade of the West Gate.
The West Staircase at the 1:st floor
The drawing above shows the 1:st floor of the West Staircase where the red line marks the vertical direction and the blue line the horizontal direction. At the 1:st floor the West Staircase connects (horizontally) the Apartments of the Orders of Chivalry with the Bernadotte Apartments. The great ceiling painting in the west part of the Staircase is visible from the Ground floor.
The West Staircase at the 2:nd floor
The drawing above shows the 2:nd floor of the West Staircase where the red line marks the vertical direction and the blue line the horizontal direction. At the 2:nd floor the West Staircase connects (horizontal) the Guest Apartments with the State Apartments. There are two great ceiling paintings, one to the left visible from the 1:st floor and one to the right only visible at the 2:nd floor.
There are also perspective paintings at the north and south walls made by the artist Domenico Francia in 1740. The are also a number of sculptures and busts were maybe the most interesting's are the lamps made by the artist Jacques-Philippe Bourchardon in 1752-1762.