After breakfast, we arrived at Drottningholm Palace. Constructed in the 17th Century, it is Sweden’s best-preserved royal palace. It has been the permanent residence of the royal family since 1981. It was also the first Swedish attraction to appear on the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. The style and architecture of the palace was inspired by French architecture such as the Chateau de Versailles, and was built by architect Nicodemus Tessin.
The rooms in the southern wing of the palace are reserved for the royal family but the rest of the palace and grounds are open to the publich all year round. The Palace Gardens are stunningly beautiful and very peaceful. There is an English-style park, a Chinese Pavilion and a Baroque Garden.
We were thankful for the cool breeze and sunshine and got to capture some beautiful shots. Once again, we had very limited time to explore and mostly just wandered around outside and didn’t get a chance to tour inside the palace. I saw some of the guards make their rounds around the palace. I was surprised by how quiet it was and enjoyed the beautiful sights all around the palace gardens. It really did remind me of Versailles but it is much more peaceful.
We went back to Gamla Stan and the Old Town square to the Nobel Prize Museum. Our group booked a private tour at the museum. They usually close on Mondays but they opened to receive our group. We felt so special!
We were led into a small theatre and listened to a presentation about the history of the Nobel Prize, Alfred Nobel’s life and legacy, and the various Nobel Laureates and special events held. Lunch was served at the Bistro where we enjoyed delicious grilled salmon and potatos, followed by a smooth, refreshing and delicious Nobel ice cream. A chocolate Nobel Prize was served along with the dessert, which I didn’t eat and tucked it away into my bag instead. After our coffees, we were given a guided tour around the museum. It is quite a small museum but it is still worth a visit. A lot of information is given about how the Nobel Prize first started, the selection process of the Laureates and background information about the winners. The Laureates are also invited to donate an item that is significant or special to them and the items are displayed along with their introductions in glass cabinets. Our guide also told us an interesting fact about the Bistro chairs. Laureates who have visited the museum have been invited to sign the bottom of the chairs! Flip a chair over and you’ll find different signatures of Nobel Prize winners. On the ceiling of the museum is a rail-like contraption where the profiles of 900+ laureates pass along for your quick perusal. At the time of our visit, there was a special exhibition on Martin Luther King Jr.
Some facts about Alfred Nobel and the Nobel Prizes
Alfred Nobel was an engineer and inventor, most known for his invention and development of dynamite. He and his father experimented with explosives, especially nitroglycerine. The experiments caused numerous accidents, one of which killed several people, including Alfred’s younger brother. He eventually developed ‘dynamite’ and got it patented in 1867. He became one of Europe’s richest people and had 355 patents at the time of his death in 1896.
The Nobel Prize was established after the death of Alfred Nobel. In his last will and testament, signed on 27 November 1895, he stated that he would give a large share of his fortune to a series of prizes to those who have done their best for humanity in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Peace. The will was opposed by his relatives and questioned by authorities that it took four years for the executors of his will to convince everyone to follow Alfred’s wishes. The first Nobel Prizes were awarded in 1901.
The Prize in Economic Sciences was established in 1968 by Sweden’s central bank, Sveriges Riksbank, in Memory of Alfred Nobel, but the prize money is provided by the bank.
We ended our sightseeing activities and started our visits to educational agencies and schools. (See next post… Coming soon)
End of Part 4
Back to Sweden (Part 3)
Continue to Sweden (Part 5)