In the previous story, I presented you the most interesting ‘school palaces’ in Stockholm. These are monumental school buildings constructed in the late 19th and early 20th century spread across the districts of Södermalm and Norrmalm. Also, they are some of my favourite, and likely most underrated, attractions to see in Stockholm. In this week’s issue of Places of Interest, I, therefore, show you where you can find these beautiful constructions and I hope that you will like them at least as much as I do.
Norrmalm and Vasastaden
We begin our tour in the Norrmalm district. Even though today it forms the modern centre of the Swedish capital, that has not always been the case. The area was not densely populated until the second half of the 19th century during which the city was expanding rapidly. That logically increased the requirements on educational institutions which have been compulsory to attend for all children at school-age since 1842.
1. Norra Latin
Norra Latin is a former school with a central location between Drottninggatan and Vasagatan. The part visible from the big public square at Vasagatan is actually the back side of the building and the main entrance is oriented toward the passage to Drottniggatan accompanied by a small park. This building has not been used as a school since 1982, though.
2. Norra Real
Norra Real is located near the northern end of Birger Jarlsgatan. Interestingly, it is one of the two almost identical school buildings in the city. The other stands on Södermalm and you will find it later in the post. The educational institution that resides in this building dates all the way back to the 14th century which makes it the oldest upper-secondary school in Stockholm.
3. Vasa Real
Vasa Real is one of the more modern school buildings on my list. It was inaugurated as late as in 1926 which is why you will notice that its exterior is far less decorated than those of the buildings completed in the late 19th century. Once you are there, keep in mind that there are many interesting places to see in this part of the city, especially if you fancy cosy, colourful architecture.
4. Södra Latin
Södra Latin is the twin of Norra Real that I mentioned earlier in the post. The stunning building featuring a traditional red-brick façade which, in my opinion, suits it very well was inaugurated in 1891. One of the characteristic aspects of the school is the semi-circular assembly hall. Moreover, its design is not only eye-pleasing but also practical as it lets daylight into all classrooms and corridors.
Mariaskolan is perhaps the most monumental school of them all. It was opened in 1893 and already then it had such modern facilities as a swimming pool. At the time of the completion, it was so remarkable that even King Oscar II came to visit the school and greet its staff and pupils. Something you should also know is that the eastern part of the building was built a little later, in 1911, to accommodate the increasing number of pupils.
Katarina Södra is the oldest school in eastern Södermalm which used to be a poor area. Despite that, the building is monumental and catches your attention with its bright-yellow exterior that is visible even from the popular Nytorget where you can always find something nice to eat or drink. The school facilities were reconstructed in 2005 and hence, are in near-perfect condition.
7. Sofia Skola
Sofia skola, which was inaugurated in 1910 is, at least by some, considered to be the last true “school palace” in Stockholm. The building is clearly in contrast with the surrounding streets which were born as parts of the city’s poorest area known as the White Mountains. Especially if you go south or south-east from the school you will only see wooden historical houses that form the cultural reservation established in 1956.
Katarina Norra skola is located right next to Katarina Church and its cemetery. Even though a cemetery might not be the most pleasant place to pass on your commute to school, the area is charming and the red brick façade of the school building creates a beautiful contrast with the church in the background. Although this structure is slightly smaller than others on my list, it is certainly not less attractive.
It is true that the places included in this post are spread out across the city but I really do hope you will find a way to discover them all. These school buildings are not only impressive by themselves, the purpose for which they were built makes them even more appealing. Just imagine studying at a place like that!
As always, do not forget that there are plenty of other interesting places to discover near the ones I included in my list. Therefore, I encourage you to keep exploring the nearby streets by yourself and if you find a place you like enough to share it with fellow enthusiastic travellers, feel free to do just that using our app, Trevl.
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