Sweden’s House of Nobility, Stockholm

Riddarhuset (the House of Nobility in English) in Stockholm, Sweden is one of those rare destinations in a big European city – off the beaten path while still being located in the center of town.

There’s a reason that Riddarhuset in Stockholm is very seldom listed as one of the best places to visit in Europe.  Not because it isn’t worth seeing (it is), but a practical reason.  The place is only open from 11:30-12:30, Monday through Friday, so it can be hard to fit into your Stockholm sightseeing itinerary.  If you’re looking to do some genealogical research in the library you have access from 9:00-12:30.

That shouldn’t stop you from considering a visit to this Stockholm attraction when doing your Europe travel planning.  The building itself was constructed between 1641 and 1672 and served as a meeting point for the Swedish nobility.  For hundreds of years, Riddarhuset played host to the elite of Sweden.

Today, Riddarhuset plays host to the family crests of those families.  The crests line the walls of the great hall, having been sorted into class (counts, barons, and the untitled nobility) and finally by year of introduction.  Along with the genealogical history hanging on the walls are several impressive works of art, including the painting spanning the ceiling of the great hall.

In a country that prides itself on democracy, the House of Nobility can seem a bit old fashioned. Especially, considering there are only 698 noble families alive in Sweden today.  However, it is a piece of living history that continues to fascinate and well worth a visit.

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About Marcus Cederstrom

I was born in Sweden and moved to the US just before my 6th birthday. I grew up in the United States eventually graduating from the University of Oregon. After graduation and about 17 years in the US I made the decision to move back to Sweden. I have been living in Stockholm since the summer of 2007. Since graduation I have traveled throughout eastern Australia as well as in Sweden and Europe.