This majestic palace is the private residence of the Swedish monarchy. The name of the palace, being ‘Drottningholm’ is translated as meaning Queens islet.
The palace is situated on Lovön Island, outside the city of Stockholm and within Stockholm County. Since 1981, the current monarchy has mainly resided in this palace and it has since been guarded by the Swedish military.
Building of Drottningholm Palace began in the late 16th century. Before 1580 there was a royal mansion at this site, called Torvesund. Then John III of Sweden initiated the building of a stone palace for, Catherine Jagellon, his queen.
A year after being Queen of Sweden, Hedwig Eleonora, bought this castle in 1661. In that same year a fire destroyed the castle. A year later the former Queen and owner of the ruined castle employed an architect to rebuild the castle.
From 1720 to 1792, this palace was often the residence of the royal court. From about 1715 to 1744, Queen Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden and King Frederick I had residence in the palace. Then in 1744, the palace was given to Crown Princess Louisa Ulrika of Prussia, who would later become a queen as she married Adolf Frederick of Sweden (who became king of Sweden in 1751).
In 1746 the Palace Church was completed. This church still hosts religious services and on the last Sunday of every month, a local parish worships in it. A 1730 Canham organ is still used in this church. In 1762 a fire destroyed some of the building – the theatre, and Lousia had the Drottningholm Palace Theatre rebuilt in an impressive style. To this day the theatre is still used as an opera house. Lousia and her husband remained as residents for 6 years after his their reign as king and queen of Sweden. In 1771, Louisa sold the palace to the Swedish state.
In subsequent years it still was used as a residence for the Swedish royalty. However later in the 19th century, was a time when the palace was generally neglected. After four years of restoration to its original state from 1907, the palace was once again used regularly.
From 1977 to 1997 rebuilding was done, yet this palace has experienced various renovations for about the last 400 years. Fire protection has been installed as well as cleaning up of the outside palace walls. The palace consists of about 220 rooms, of which about 20 are used for private use by the king and queen.
The palace is such a great example of 18th century northern European royal living that since 1991, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Parts of the palace are open to the public. The palace has become a well-known tourist attraction. On the grounds of Drottningholm Palace Park there is the famous Chinese Pavilion (also classified as an UNESCO World Heritage Site). This pavilion was built in 1753 and is considered a Swedish Royal Palace. It originally was built of wood, as a gift from King Adolf Frederick to his Queen Louisa. Construction for the present building was started in 1763 and by 1769 it was finished. There are well maintained gardens on the palace grounds.
One section is known sometimes as the English garden. It features two ponds with canals, bridges, trees growing in avenues and walkways laid out among large clear sections of grass