In this episode of Places of interest, I show you some of the most interesting places to see in Stockholm’s Vasastaden district. These places surrounding the iconic library building from the 1920s include popular locations such as Vasaparken and are connected by some of the most well-known boulevards in the Swedish capital, for example, Odengatan and Sankt Eriksgatan.

1. Vanadislunden

View from Vanadislunden in Stockholm

View of Central Stockholm from Vanadislunden.

We begin our tour in the north-eastern part of the district in a park called Vanadislunden named after the Norse Goddess Vanadis – the goddess of fertility. The park has stood in its place since the turn of the twentieth century after roughly 2,000 trees and shrubs were planted there. Thanks to the hilly character of Vanadisluden, you can get some nice views of the city from the top of the park where you will also find a castle-like water reservoir built between 1913 – 1918.
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2. St. Stephen’s Church

St. Stephen's Church in Vanadislunden, Stockholm

Also in Vanadislunden, there stands the St. Stephen’s Church (Stefanskyrkan) completed in 1904. Its author is Carl Möller who also designed the St. John’s Church (Sankt Johannes kyrka) in Norrmalm. The exterior of the church is pretty unusual for Stockholm as it was built in English Victorian style. Its façade is made of sandstone from Södertälje, south of Stockholm, which originally used to be significantly lighter than it is today.

3. Norra Real

Norra Real School Palace in Stockholm

Norra Real is one of the ‘school palaces’ in Stockholm built in the late 19th century. The history of the institution that still resides there today dates all the way back to the 1300s, though, which makes it the oldest upper-secondary school in the Swedish capital. This monumental building is likely to make you wish that your high school looked the same.
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4. Observatorielunden

Old Observatory in Stockholm

Next on my list is Observatorielunden. As the name suggests, it is the home of the Old Stockholm Observatory which houses a meteorological station that has measured the outside temperature every day since 1756. This makes it the place with oldest continuous temperature records in the world. You will also find a cosy café in the park that gives you the impression that you are far away from the city even though you are still at its very heart.
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5. Stockholm Public Library

Stockholm Public Library

At the northern edge of Observatorielunden, you will find Stockholm Public Library (Stockholms stadsbibliotek). The library was built in two stages in the late 1920s and early 1930s as the first open public library in Sweden following the example of overseas libraries which were first to implement this new concept. Its functionalist design makes it one of the most notable constructions in the Vasastaden district.
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6. Gustaf Vasa Church

Gustaf Vasa Church in Stockholm

Photo: Sokrates Petalidis [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Following the long and wide street called Odengatan, Gustaf Vasa Church will soon grab your attention. The church was completed in 1906, though its altarpiece is from the 1730s. As you might have guessed, it is named after the popular King Gustav Vasa who liberated Stockholm from Danish occupation in the 16th century. With 1,200 seats, it is the largest church in the city measured by capacity.
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7. Vasa Real

Vasa Real in Stockholm

Vasa Real is one of the youngest ‘school palaces’ in Stockholm. It was completed in 1926 which explains why its façade is so much simpler compared to other schools such as the Norra Real mentioned earlier in the post. It is, nevertheless, a nice structure to see that fits well into the more modern part of the district.
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8. Vasaparken

Odengatan seen from Vasaparken

If you fancy places named after the so-called ‘founder of modern Sweden,’ Vasaparken is another large park in the area. Vasaparken was created at the turn of the 20th century and during the Olympic Games of 1912, it was used as a practice area. However, during World War I, it was used to grow potatoes. A part of the park is also named after the author Astrid Lindgren who lived nearby and mentioned the place in many of her popular books.
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9. Röda Bergen

Colourful houses on Falugatan, Stockholm

Houses on Falugatan at Röda Bergen, Stockholm.

Röda Bergen (“Red Mountains”) is a residential area north of Vasaparken. This area was designed and built as an ideal urban quarter in the 1920s. It combines residential buildings with greenery to create the most pleasant urban environment possible. Its cultural and historical importance is recognised to this day which is why the entire location is protected as an area of national interest.
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10. Karlberg Palace

Karlberg Palace in Stockholm

The last location on my list this week is Karlberg Palace (Karlbergs slott). The palace was built mostly during the 17th century for one of the most influential statesmen of the time Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie. Today, the palace is a military institution housing the Royal War Academy (Kungliga Krigacademien) since the late 1700s.
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These are my favourite places in Stockholm’s Vasastaden district. I also recommend you keep your eyes wide open while walking from one place to another as the entire district with its colourful, diverse buildings and a plenty of parks and greenery is very pretty.

Now that you have finished reading the post, it is time for you to test your knowledge of Stockholm. and see how much you know about the beautiful Swedish capital.

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