Explore the glorious city of Stockholm
Stockholm is arguably Sweden's most beautiful city. Built on a cluster of fourteen islands, its character is strongly defined by waterways, bridges and canals. The original fortifications where built on the network of islands around 1255 and later these were expanded and developed into a city. Present day Stockholm has a wonderful aged feeling which seems quite strange when you consider that it is considered to be Sweden's most forward-looking city. Still, the wonderful monuments and old buildings give it an unusual beauty quite unique to Stockholm.
A visitor to Stockholm might start their tour at the Gamla Stan or Old Town. Built on three islands, this area is a cluster of 17th and 18th century renaissance buildings. In between the muddle of buildings you will find medieval alleys and slender old houses which were once the homes of profitable merchants. Many of the arms of these merchants can still be seen on the doorways. You will also find the Medeltidsmuseum in the Old Town which is rated as the best city-related historical collection in the city. A trip through this museum also includes a tour of medieval tunnels which were discovered when building the parliament building. Also worth seeing is the Kungliga Slottet or Royal Palace. Finished in 1760, it's an odd mixture of the Renaissance, Rococo and Baroque periods. It was built to replace the original castle of Stockholm and has become the most distinctive monument in the city.
Also of interest in the Old Town is the Treasury which houses, among other things, an impressive collection of jewel-studded crowns. The oldest in the collection was the once worn by Karl X in 1650. Livrustkammaren, the Royal Armory, makes for an interesting outing with armor, costumes and horse-drawn coaches as well as a figure of King Gustav II Adolf seated on the stuffed figure of his horse while riding into battle. The Storkyrkan was consecrated in 1306 and was the place of many royal marriages and crownings.
There is a lot more to see in both the Old Town and the newer parts of Stockholm which cannot be mentioned here due to the length of the list. But you can be sure that besides even more historical buildings and monuments, you will find theatres, restaurants, art galleries, museums, public squares and even an Opera House. The abundance of shops will keep any person entertained for hours and some of the islands can best be reached by an enjoyable ferry ride. Stockholm is a wonderful place to visit.