Ulriksdal in Solna was built in about 1640 for one of the most powerful men in the country, the Constable of the Realm Jacob De la Gardie, and it was originally called Jacobsdal, "Jacob's Dale", after him.
Originally the building was in the Renaissance style, but its exterior has been transformed several times, and the present appearance of the building dates from the first half of the 18th century.
Starting point for a magnificent coronation
De la Gardie's Jacobsdal was the starting point for Queen Christina's magnificent coronation procession in 1650. The coronation coach used by her on that occasion is now on display at Ulriksdal.
In 1669 the Queen Dowager Hedvig Eleonora purchased the Palace. She made a present of it in 1684 to her newborn grandson, Prince Ulrik, and the Palace was then renamed Ulriksdal.
The little prince died only a year later. His grandmother resumed the Palace, but it kept its new name.
In the mid-18th century, when King Adolf Fredrik and Queen Lovisa Ulrika used the Palace, a court theatre was fitted out in the old riding school.
Today the Confidence, as it came to be called, is a popular theatre during the summer season.
In 1821 the old Palace building was turned into an invalid hospital. Twenty-five years later, Ulriksdal became a royal residence again, when Crown Prince Karl (XV) and Crown Princess Lovisa repaired it and had many of the interiors redecorated.
They were keen collectors of furniture and decorative arts from the Renaissance, among other periods, and Ulriksdal eventually became a museum home.
Some of the museum furnishings are still to be seen in the Palace today. In 1864-65 Karl and Lovisa also had a chapel built, to designs by the architect F. W. Scholander.
The living room
Ulriksdal is closely associated with King Gustaf VI Adolf and Queen Louise. The famous 1923 living room dates from their time.
The furnishings were a wedding present from the people of Stockholm, and Carl Malmsten designed the furniture. This living room is one of the finest 20th century interiors in Sweden.
The south wing of the Palace houses the offices of the World Wide Fund for Nature, WWF.
For some years now, the Orangery, a late 17th century building, has been a museum of Swedish sculpture.
Copperplate engraving of Ulriksdal Palace by the draftsman Erik Dahlbergh, from the folio Suecia antiqua et hodierna. Photo: The Royal Library