- Van der Noot Palace was built in the 1670s
- It is named after its original owner Dutchman Thomas van der Noot
- The design of the palace is attributed to architect Jean de la Vallée
- Today, it is operated by the Stockholm County
The seventeenth century was the time of great prosperity for Sweden and its capital, Stockholm, in particular. Many of the most stunning palaces in the city come from this period and while most of them are located in the Old Town (Gamla stan), you might be surprised to find some beautiful historic sites in other parts of the city, too. In this post, we look at the Van der Noot Palace (van der Nootska palatset) on the island of Södermalm.
It is not hard to guess that the palace was not built for a Swede by its name. At the time, Stockholm attracted many individuals from the upper class from the continent and the Dutchman Thomas van der Noot was one of them. Van der Noot, born in Brabant in the southern Netherlands, was a successful military officer who entered Swedish services in 1650.
Much of van der Noot’s social status can be attributed to his mother’s second marriage rather than his own efforts. After his mother married the member of the Privy Council Knut Kurck in 1658, van der Noot enjoyed equal privileges as all other members’ children.
He himself married Maria Hägerstierna, daughter of Queen Christina’s court tailor and merchant Claude Roquette, ennobled Hägerstierna, who also received his noble status mostly thanks to his good relationships with the Queen.
In the late 1660s, van der Noot was introduced to the Swedish House of Nobility under the name von der Noth. It did not take long for him to start looking for a new residence worthy of his new position on the social rank. He acquired large properties on the Södermalm island in the neighbourhood surrounding Maria Church.
While we know with certainty that the construction of the palace itself began in 1672, it is not quite so clear who its author was. Initially, the building was attributed to architect Mathias Spihler as his name was found on a construction contract. However, the contract only stated the name of the person responsible for the sketches of the roof and not the entire palace.
Therefore, it has later been established that the architect behind the design of the actual palace was Jean de la Vallée known for works on such magnificent buildings as the House of Nobility or the Bonde Palace. It was, in fact, the style of the aforementioned palaces, as well as the Oxernstierna’s Palace, that made experts believe that de la Vallée was the true author of the Van der Noot Palace.
Van der Noot did not mind spending significant resources on his new residence which was built using the finest materials and furnished with the highest quality furniture money could buy. The house’s décor, some of which has been preserved to this day, also belongs to the finest artistic works of the time that can be found in Stockholm.
Things started going south for the Dutchman soon after his palace was built, though. In 1674, he was sent back to his homeland as a diplomat but the worst was yet to come. Only three years later, the now general major and Baron was caught in the siege of the city of Szczecin in Poland, during which he was killed.
His wife and children inherited the palace on Södermalm but decided not to reside there. They instead rented it out to another Dutch diplomat Christian Constantin Rumpf. Later his son, who moved there in the early 1700s, purchased the property and built a church in the eastern part of the estate for the Dutch Reformed Parish.
After another Dutch minister had been living in the palace for a number of years, the parish acquired the property and its surroundings in the mid-18th century. It was around this time that the long decay of this historic site began.
During the latter half of the 1700s, as well as throughout the following century, the Van der Noot Palace served a plenty of different purposes not nearly as noble as it was originally meant to. These ranged from a tobacco factory, to a printing house, to a school gymnasium that were all managed by different owners.
At the turn of the twentieth century, the demolition of the old palace was discussed. Fortunately, the building was saved by the court jeweller and businessman Jean Jahnsson who purchased it in 1903. Jahnsson then restored and extended the original palace. While, similar to its original owner, he furnished the palace in the first-class style, this also meant that some of the original heritage was lost during the reconstruction.
Only some forty years passed before demolition of the Van der Noot Palace was on the table once again. Just like before, it was saved by a private person. This time, it was financier Axel Wenner-Gren who acquired the property and donated it to the Swedish Women’s Voluntary Defence Service (Lottakåren).
The palace has changed owner again since and is not owned and operated by the Stockholm County which manages meeting and reception rooms at this historic site on Södermalm.
Now you got to know what can be considered the most beautiful palace of Stockholm’s Södermalm but do not forget that there are stories of a plenty of other palaces waiting for you to discover here at Trevl. We are also constantly working on bringing you more amazing stories so make sure to join our newsletter to never miss a new one.
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Claes Ellehag, 1998. Palatsen i Stockholm under stormaktstiden.
Selling, Gösta, 1944. Van der Nootska huset.