Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Slightly out of order once again... a visit to Drottningholm Palace, Sweden, 2011...

Although we visited Drottningholm on our second full day in Stockholm, I wanted to coordinate these images with a post to my photography blog so I'm including them here. I'll pick up with images of our first day in Stockholm in a future post. So hang on to your hat... here's a nearly five hour visit trimmed to 7 collages containing 32 images to give you a taste of the official residence, since 1981, of the Swedish Royal family and the lovely grounds/park associated with the palace. The first palace on this site burned down to the ground in the 1600s. Construction on the present structure, designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Elder, was commissioned by the dowager Queen Hedvig Eleonora and began in 1662.

collage of four images described
Our day began with a boat ride, the common way for tourists to reach Drottningholm. The first image of the Swedish flag flying over the stern of our boat sets the tone for the day... a nice, sunny day with a stiff breeze most of the time! The statue of Apollo di Belvedere is in a courtyard surrounded by four buildings which today house the Theatre Shop and private residences, the gilded gate in the lower left is the entrance to the formal gardens behind the palace and in the lower right is a view of one end of the palace as we approached by boat.

collage of four images as described
Here you see a view of the front of the palace as we passed by before the boat docked, a close-up of the crest of the royal family as it adorns the gated entrance to the formal gardens, one of many statues gracing the gardens, and colorful flowers typical of many of the plantings seen throughout our day.

collage of four images as described
Continuing into the gardens and looking back, one sees the rear of the palace; facing forward down the grand promenade is a view of the length of the garden... the same view the royals have from inside the palace; a side lane lined with trees gives a view of a different part of the palace at the end and the cascade fountains serving as a backdrop for the Water Parterre in the formal gardens.

collage of images as described
Color overload! Images include the "Confidence" which was used as a private dining room for the royal family when they did not want staff to overhear their conversations (top right and top middle close-up of the tower); the Chinese Pavilion, one of the worlds best preserved rococo structures, was originally built as a prefab house and birthday gift for Queen Lovisa Ulrika from King Adolf Fredrik in 1753 and was rebuilt in the form seen here from 1763-1769 (bottom right, and the two lower images in the middle on both rows); information about the bottom left building is taken from the brochure on Drottningholm: The Guards' Tent was built in 1781 for the dragoons of Gustav III, C.F. Adelcrantz designed the building - built of timber, clad with iron sheeting and then painted to resemble a tent in a Turkish army camp. I'm not sure what the building in the upper left is but thought it was quite pretty and the reflections in the globe light are of the Chinese Pavilion and the Confidence.

collage of images as described
Before leaving the buildings to wander through the beautiful gardens, one last image of the Guards' Tent showing a bit of the detail... all wood! The other images show you what a beautiful park this is with statues, flowers, greenery and water features. Stockholm residents and tourists alike find it a lovely place for a picnic.

collage of bird images and a pond as described
A few more images showing the lovely gardens and some of the winged inhabitants including a Black-headed Gull (brown head during breeding season), Geese feeding on the lawn (not sure what kind of geese they are) and a Black-headed Gull and a Mallard female sharing a pond. The other image is just very peaceful... you aren't missing any birds here!

collage of images as described
As we were heading back toward the palace to visit the inside areas open to the public (no photographs allowed and I got busted trying to take one through the window looking out into the gardens), these old wooden posts lining one of the waterways caught my eye. Wandering past the Royal Stables which now houses the Royal Guard, I managed a photo of these lovely old cannons without any tourists in the way. The last two images close out our day... one of the many statues on the grounds of Drottningholm and a last view of the front of the palace as we pulled away.

Photographs were not allowed in the interior of one of the most interesting old buildings I've ever seen... the Royal Theatre. If you go to Drottningholm, don't miss the opportunity to see this building, completed in 1766 and still in service today, preserved in its entirety as it was then. The theater closed in 1792 with the death of Gustaf III and remained closed until it was rediscovered in the 1920s. From May to August every year, a festival of 18th century opera is presented here. In 1991, the Drottningholm Court Theatre was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage.

If you have the time to comment, please let me know what you think of the idea of combining this blog with my photography blog which has been suggested by one reader. It would save me cross-referencing and allow for bigger images since the format of my photography blog is different from this one and I haven't a clue how to adjust the code for this template to allow larger images.


Ginnie said...

I LOVE your collages, Victoria, and how you are able to combine them with a record of your trip(s). I´d hate for you to lose that record, knowing how important it is for me on my blog, for posterity.

I can give you help in how to make this template wider, allowing it to give you bigger images. I´m not a master at HMTL, but I had to figure it out at mine and know it can be done.

Vagabonde said...

Just discovered your blog via Ginnie’s In Soul. Your post is very interesting. I only went to Malmö when we were in Copenhagen and would have liked to ventured more into Sweden.
I wish your pictures could be enlarged, like mine. My daughter started my blog so I don’t know how she did it but if you click on my collages they enlarge. I looked at your photo blog – you have some stunning pictures there. Yes you could combine the two. My posts are long and I include many pictures – by the comments sometimes I can see that people look at the pictures but don’t read what I wrote because their questions are answered in my post. But that’s OK, if people are in a hurry they can look at the pictures and read only what is of interest to them. I’ll come back.