- The first notable buildings at Stureplan were built in the 1880s
- Bång Palace built in 1883 was one of the most modern houses in Stockholm at the time
- Today, Stureplan is a popular place for shopping, stylish bars, restaurants, and nightlife
It may be hard to tell where the true centre of Stockholm is. Is it the medieval Old Town (Gamla stan)? Or is it Nybroplan where the famous Strandvägen begins? Perhaps it is Sergels torg with the huge House of Culture and a plenty of boutiques. Some would argue it is Stureplan where three major, prominent streets meet. Well, it seems that everyone can choose their own place in this unique city and consider it its centre. Stureplan, though, was and still is an important meeting point for many Stockholmers and it is time for us to look at why it is so.
The story of Stureplan as we know it today begins in the 1880s. The entire Östermalm district, and this area in particular, were growing rapidly, which helped turn this place where Birger Jarlsgatan meets Kungsgatan and Sturegatan into an important hub.
This change was caused by a few important factors. First of all, it was the various impressive buildings that grew at Stureplan. Therefore, we look at a few of the most interesting ones in the following paragraphs.
Bång Palace (Bångska palatset) was the first notable building built in the location. This apartment building with premises for boutiques on the bottom floor was built in 1883 for squire Johan August Bång. At the time, it was considered one of Stockholm’s most modern buildings thanks to, among other things, having an elevator. Among the most interesting things about the building is the fact that it stands on a corner with an unusual angle, which means that the façade and floorplan of the apartment house had to be cleverly designed to overcome this challenge.
Unfortunately, the façade of Bång Palace has been altered significantly and lost most of its decorative elements during the 20th century. Originally, the roof and the front side of the building were decorated with several sculptures and the bottom floor had a much stronger character. Thanks to its ideal location, the palace became the Sweden’s most valuable advertising space and its façade was literally covered in advertisements in the 1950s. Later, all of them were taken down and today, the building is a part of a popular shopping mall.
Another important building appeared at Stureplan shortly after, in 1885. It was Hotell Anglais designed by the renowned architect Helgo Zetterwall. Similar to Bång Palace, the hotel’s façade was later simplified and all sculptures were removed. Regrettably, both for the hotel and for us, this exclusive institution opened around the same time as the Grand Hôtel on Blasieholmen and there proved not to be enough space in the city for two such luxurious hotels at the time. The building was eventually demolished in 1955 and replaced by an office edifice which, frankly, does not fit into the place at all.
Perhaps the most prominent building visible from Stureplan today is the Danelius House (Daneliuska huset) named after wholesaler Bror August Danelius. The house stands on a unique, narrow triangular land which heavily influenced its design. It is best known for the richly decorated façade and most importantly, the tower facing Stureplan. Interestingly, Danelius House, too, was about to be demolished only a few years after the demolition of Hotell Anglais. The Swedish capital’s residents, including some prominent figures, however, protested against this decision and eventually, managed to save the beautiful building for the coming generations.
Stureplan received its current name in 1932. However, this was only a cosmetic change as the place was known as ‘Stureplanen’ from 1885. Name ‘Sture,’ used by several unrelated families, comes from a historical noble dynasty. Among the most notable members are Sten Sture the Older, Regent of Sweden from 1470 to 1497 and from 1501 to 1503, and Sten Sture the Younger, Regent of Sweden from 1512 until his death in 1520, who also played a significant role in the events preceding the Stockholm Bloodbath.
One of the main reasons why Stureplan became a meeting point for many locals in the early 1900s was the fact that several tram lines used to meet there. The proximity of a large selection of fashionable boutiques, popular restaurants and other hot spots also helped increase the popularity of Stureplan.
In 1937, the most unusual attraction in the location was completed. The so-called ‘Svampen’ (“The Mushroom”), which was essentially a rain shelter, gained unexpected popularity among the citizens. Even though the original Svampen was demolished in 1988, a new one was built a few metres from the original place the following year.
As trams in Stockholm were replaced by the subway in the 1960s, one of the most important reasons for the popularity of the location disappeared. Hence, the meeting point naturally moved to Sergels torg and it took roughly twenty years to attract Stockholmers to Stureplan again. Among other appealing things, Sturegallerian was opened in 1989 together with many stylish boutiques, restaurants and nightlife hotspots. These remain to be the most popular magnets attracting people to this place until the present day.
I hope you found this post interesting and learned something new about Stureplan whether you pass by every day or you only plan to visit it in the future. We have a lot of similar stories coming for you soon, so do come back to Trevl for more. We can also keep you updated on the latest additions to our site if you give us a thumb up on Facebook or join our newsletter.
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Norbelie, Harald, 2008. Östermalm en fin historia.