The House of Nobility
The House of Nobility was erected during the period 1641-1672. The two wings were built in 1870.
Architects: Simon de la Vallée (1641-1642), Heinrich Wilhelm (1645-1652), Joost Vingboons (1653-1656) and Jean de la Vallée (1656-1672). The two last mentioned can be said to have given the palace its final shape. The construction of the roof, the portals and the staircase are entirely the work of Jean de la Vallée.
The great hall of the House of Nobility was used by the aristocracy for meetings of Parliament during the Diet of the Four Estates (1668-1865). Today the Nobility gathers here for the Assembly of Nobles (every third year). At the Assembly each family that is introduced in the House of Nobility can be represented by one delegate.
Also, among others, the Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Literature celebrate their anniversaries here.
The great hall is also used as a meeting place for the Swedish noble families as well as for chamber concerts.
On the walls of the hall are hanging the coat of arms, painted on copper plates, of noble families who have been introduced at the House of Nobility. Altogether 2.330 families are thus represented. Of these, about 700 are still alive in Sweden and abroad. The coat of arms of the Counts can be found on the west wall on either side of the bust of King Gustavus II Adolphus, those of the Barons on the sides of the same wall and those of the Gentry on the remaining three walls. The coat of arms are arranged in numerical order according to the year of introduction. The coat of arms of the oldest families are placed on the south wall, sector X. The last person to be ennobled in Sweden was the explorer Sven Hedin in 1902 (sector XXXC).
On the ceiling is the allegorical painting by David Klöcker Ehrenstrahl (painted during the years 1670-1675). Mother Svea, who symbolizes Sweden, is seen in the middle, seated on a golden throne. Above her the three graces are hovering holding the Swedish coat of arms, the Three Crowns. Fama, with her trumpet, proclaims the glory of Sweden and Eterna brings eternal life to the country.
Placed at the west side of the hall is a bust of King Gustavus II Adolphus (1594-1632). There is also the remarkable chair of the land marshals (1625), carved in ivory and ebony, depicting hunting scenes and scenes from the Holy Bible.
The ante-room downstairs to the left has four portraits of prominent Swedish statesmen and warriors from the seventeenth century. There is also a cabinet with china adorned with coat of arms belonging to Swedish noble families.
The land-marshals' room was the meeting place for the so called Secret Committee of the Swedish Riksdag (Diet) during the eighteenth century. The walls are embellished with the portraits of the land-marshals from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The land-marshal was the chairman of the House of Nobility during the Diet of the four Estates, appointed by the King or elected by the Noble estate. Among the most promintent of the land-marshals may be mentioned the counts Per Brahe, Johan Gyllenstierna, Arvid Horn, Karl Gustaf Tessin and Axel von Fersen.
In the reception-room the portraits represent the land-marshals from the nineteenth century. The last land-marshal was count Gustaf Lagerbjelke (1865).
The staircase-hall was designed by Jean de la Vallée and completed in 1668. On the eastern wall there is a painting by baron Gustaf Cederström (1912) depicting King Carolus X Gustavus crossing the Great Belt over the ice to Zealand (Denmark) in 1658.
The chancellery on the upper floor includes the Blue Room with a unique collection of some 300 pieces of china adorned with coat of arms belonging to Swedish noble families.
Sveriges Ridderskap och Adels kalender (The Swedish Peerage Book) was first published in 1854. As is traditional, the next edition, which will be the 106th, lists the members of the Swedish nobility and will be issued in Dec 2012.
Entrance fee: 50SEK (retired, students 25SEK)
Monday - Friday 11.30-12.30
The great hall
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The chancellery - the Blue Room