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Architecture at the Old Town of Stockholm

In the Old Town you will find the majority of very old buildings in Stockholm and also the oldest architectural styles. But has a building from the 14:th century a architectural style? No, in Stockholm we count the arrival of the architect Simon de la Vallée in 1637 as the birth of the architect profession and architectural styles.

Bild på en arkitekturstil
The Parliament was designed by the young architect Aron Johansson in neoclassic style during the period 1891-1893. Photo by the Editorial Staff.

Information about architecture styles at the Old Town of Stockholm

Simon de la Vallée counts as the first professional architect in Sweden and he arrived from France in 1637. This was the period when Sweden was establishing itself as a great power in Europe and the demand for high class buildings for the nobility was very high.

Buildings in the Old Town designed by Simon de la Vallée are the House of Nobility and the Ryning Palace. Both are designed in the Mannerism architectural style which was popular 1530-1600. Mannerism uses forms to emphasize solid and spatial relationship, like the square, triangle and circle, to achieve harmony. Other buildings in the Old Town designed in mannerism are the Axel Oxenstierna Palace, the Hessenstein Palace, the Stenbock Palace and the Petersen House.

The Mannerism was replaced by the Baroque in the early 1600. This new architectural style used large gestures, magnificent ornaments and large contrasts. The leading architects representing this style was Nicodemus Tessin senior and Nicodemus Tessin junior. The most famous building in this architectural design is the Royal Castle, other buildings are the Tessin Palace, the Sparre Palace and the National Bank Building.

Quite often the Baroque is confused with the Classicism architectural style, despite being each others opposites. The Classicism style was popular parallel with the Baroque during the 17:th century and represent a clear, clean design with harmony as a main feature. The geometry is in focus. In the Old Town the Bonde Palace and the Schering Rosenhane Palace are designed in Classicism style.

Rococo make the grand entrance in the beginning of the 18:th century and the Stock Exchange Building at the Main square is a good example but don't forget the Royal Castle Church which is designed in Rococo despite the Royal Castle itself is mainly in Baroque.

In the mid 18:th century the Neoclassicism becomes popular, as a reaction to the Rococo. The Neoclassicism uses pilasters, columns, friezes and ornaments more than any other style. The best examples of this architectural design in the Old Town are the Parliament and the Post Museum Building.

In the 19:th century there is a trend to reinvent previous architectural styles and the Renaissance Revival style is used when building Tullhuset (The Customs House) and the Old National Archive. The last more influent architectural style for a building in the Old Town is the building at Stora Nygatan 10-12 that is designed in Art Nouveau.

After Art Nouveau came Art Deco and then Modernism but no buildings in the Old Town has been designed in these styles.