Monday, January 18, 2010

Ulriksdal Palace

Ulriksdal Palace, seen from the lake.

After a mild december it's now been incredibly cold for almost a full month and the snow, though it hasn't been that much of it, has actually stayed! It's heavenly!

I just meant to post a series of photos from my walk last saturday when i went out to the royal estate of Ulriksdal, expressly to capture the white, frosty gorgeousness. But can't leave out writing just a little about it's history.

Scroll down to see more pictures and to read about the theatre.

In the early 17th centry Ulriksdal belonged to Jacob de la Gardie, a nobleman of french bourgeois descent, it was then named Jacobsdahl. Jacob's son Magnus Gabriel was a favourite of Queen Christina (util he eventually fell from grace) as well as one of the walthiest and most powerful men in Sweden. He had his father's estate turned into a magnificent baroque compound with magnificent gardens, -if we're to believe, the often rather exaggerated, engravings of the time.

In the 1680s it was taken over by the crown and renamed Ulriksdal, after a prince who died in infancy.

The court theatre, called "the Confidence", was originally built in the 1670s as a stable, but in the 1750s it was turned into a theatre by Queen Louisa Ulrica, sister of Frederic the great of Prussia.

Sadly the theatre, -just like the one at Drottningholm, was abandoned at the death of her son, Gustav III in 1792, -and in the 1860s the building was brutally turned into a hideous neo-renaissance style hunting lodge, by king Carl XV.

It's name "the confidence" comes from the dining room, with it's "Table volante" -where the table could be lowered down to the cellar and there dressed and set, so that the Royal family could dine in private. -all of this and the original 18th century-fixtures were all covered or simply demolished in the 1860s.

Luckily the theatre was "rediscovered" in the 1970s by the opera singer Kjerstin Dellert, who happened to live nearby. The building was in a terrible state, and unlike Drottningholm, next to nothing remained. Dellert found sponsors and started a complete restoration of the theatre, had the salon and it's adjoining suite of elegant rooms all turned back to their former beauty.

View through one of the windows of the dining room.Adorable houses nearby


My Castle in Spain said...

Hi Tutta !
so nice to see you again and what a magical place to visit....
Sweden suddenly seems so exotic to me...and i love the concept of "table volante" !
All my best wishes for, peace and exquisite glamour...

Hetty Sorrel said...

This must have been the inspiration of M.R. James's ghost story, 'Count Magnus'. What beautiful pictures! No wonder he loved the place so much.

Lauren said...

It is beautiful, I should really like to go! I tend to like visiting places in the summer but winter snowfall really suits this one!