Helgeandsholmen, the small island located in the heart of Stockholm just across the bridge from the monumental Royal Palace, is dominated by the building complex of the Swedish Parliament House. However, the early-20th-century Parliament House is not all there is to find on the Helgeandsholmen island and although it might be hard to believe it at first, it is not large enough to house all of the operations of the Riksdag.

In this post, I show you a few other places of interest on the island that are easy as well as some of the other buildings in Stockholm’s Old Town (Gamla Stan) occupied by the Swedish Parliament. So, if stunning buildings and history are something you are into, keep reading.

1. The Parliament House (Riksdagshuset)

Parliament House in Stockholm

The Parliament House (Riksdagshuset) in Stockholm is the official seat of the Swedish Parliament. The building was completed in 1906 as a part of a major construction project which involved a reconstruction of the entire island. Originally, only the eastern part of the complex was built for the Parliament. It took over the western part, which formerly housed the Swedish National Bank, after the Parliament became unicameral later during the century.

Rosenbad from Tegelbacken in Stockholm

The distinct Assembly Hall on top of the western house was built during the reconstruction which took place between 1975 and 1983. This new hall was required to accommodate all of the members of the newly created single chamber and is the place where all the important action happens. From the architectural perspective, it is interesting to observe the contrast between the styles of this modern addition and the original parts of the building built out of granite and sandstone.
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2. Strömparterren

Norrbro bridge, Stockholm

Norrbro bridge from Strömparterren, Stockholm.

On the eastern end of the island, you will find Strömparterren, a small park or headland, if you like. Strömparterren is easy to miss, especially since it is located on a lower level than the rest of the island. Though that is also what makes this place so enjoyable as it allows you to see the city centre from a different perspective.

Interestingly, there was meant to be a parking garage for the Parliament in this location. However, as you can see in a dedicated part of the exhibition in the Museum of Medieval Stockholm (Stockholms Medeltidsmuseum), there was essentially an entire medieval city hiding below the surface of Helgeandsholmen. This discovery is what caused the change of plans and instead of parking, you can now visit the aforementioned museum with the main entrance right under the North Bridge. Keep in mind that a visit to the museum is free of charge and totally worth your time.
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3. The North Bridge (Norrbro)

Norrbro Bridge and Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm

Another important attraction at Helgeandsholmen is the bridge that connects Norrmalm with the Old Town and crosses Helgeandsholmen on the way. The “North Bridge” (Norrbro) is the oldest stone bridge in Stockholm. Its longer, northern part, connecting Norrmalm and Helgeandsholmen, was completed in 1797 and the southern part, which leads to the Royal Palace, was ready in 1806.

We are now leaving the island which homes the seat of the Parliament to discover other nearby buildings which serve this organisation as well.
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4. Kanslihuset (Former Royal Mint)

Kanslihuset in Stockholm

Our first stop is the location of the former Royal Mint at “Coin Square” (Mynttorget), just across the bridge from Riksgatan which passes directly between the eastern and western Parliament Houses. The mint was completed in 1696 and coins were being stamped there until 1850. The contemporary house was constructed between 1922 and 1936, thought the front façade with the tall columns has been preserved from the former building.
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5. Square of Branting (Brantingtorget)

Statue called Morning in Stockholm

The ‘Morning’ statue in the middle of Brantingtorget.

Several administrative parliament buildings surround the Square of Branting (Brantingtorget), a round square hidden behind the main building of the complex facing the Ridarhustorget square. The building is easy to recognise since it literally says “Riksdagens hus” (Parliament House) above the entrance. There are also two interesting sculptures to observe, one in front of the mentioned building at Ridarhustorget and the other right in the middle of Brantingtorget. You will find your way to the hidden square from Myntgatan or VĂ€sterlĂ„nggatan street.
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6. Old Parliament House

Old Parliament House in Stockholm

Old Parliament House on Riddarholmen.

The last location on my list this week is located on Riddarholmen which I have covered earlier in the series. It is the Old Parliament House (Gamla Riksdagshuset) on the south of the island. This building was used by the former Riksdag of the Estates from 1833 until it was abolished and later by the Swedish Parliament until it moved to its new facilities on Helgeandsholmen in 1906. You can read more about the history of the Swedish Parliament in my earlier post.
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These are the most interesting places related to the Swedish Parliament and the island it currently resides on. If you would like to read more about the history and functioning of the Riksdag, you can do so here. I have also written one covering the story of the Parliament House itself.

Helgeansholmen might be a small island but keep in mind that nothing in central Stockholm is far from there. I encourage you to continue exploring the streets and islands in the neighbourhood after finishing this little tour. If you are looking for specific places to visit and their stories, you can always rely on Trevl.

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