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Swedish House of Lords

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Swedish House of Lords


The House of Nobility (Swedish: Riddarhuset) in Stockholm, Sweden, maintains records and acts as an interest group on behalf of the Swedish nobility.

Name

The name is literally translated as House of Knights, as the knights (Swedish: riddare) belong to the higher ranks of the Swedish nobility, sometimes also together with titles as count (Swedish: Greve) and baron (Swedish: friherre). All esquires are also represented in the corporation (most of the families, so called untitled nobility, Swedish: obetitlad adel). This is a tradition from the medieval times when Sweden during the Kalmar union only had one knight: Sten Sture.

History

Between the 17th and the 19th century the House of Nobility was a chamber in the Estates of the Realm, and as such, a Swedish equivalent to the British House of Lords.

In the 18th century, the building was often used for public concerts. From 1731, public concerts were performed here by Kungliga Hovkapellet. Elisabeth Olin is believed to have debuted here in the 1750s, and foreign artists performed such as Elisabetta Almerighi, Giovanni Ansani (1772) and Rosa Scarlatti.

After 1866, when the Riksdag of the Estates was replaced by the new Riksdag, the Swedish House of Nobility served as a quasi-official representation of the Swedish nobility, regulated by the Swedish government. Since 2003, it has been a private institution, which maintains records and acts as an interest group on behalf of the Swedish nobility, with the main purpose to maintain old traditions and culture.

Building

The Riddarhuset is also the name of the building maintained by the corporation in Stockholm old town. The French-born architect Simon De la Vallée started the planning of the building, but was killed by a Swedish nobleman in 1642. The plans were eventually finished by his son, Jean De la Vallée, in 1660.

The south end of the building carries the Latin inscription CLARIS MAIORUM EXEMPLIS, after the clear example of the forefathers, and holds a statue of Gustav II Adolph. North of the building is a park in which is a statue of Axel Oxenstierna.

The architecture of the old main library in Turku, Finland was influenced by the Swedish House of Nobility.

Gallery

See also

External links

  • - Official site
  • www.riddarhuset.se

Coordinates: 59°19′33″N 18°03′55″E / 59.32583°N 18.06528°E / 59.32583; 18.06528

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