Stockholm

The city center includes 14 islands, connected by a total of 53 bridges. The heart of Stockholm practically floats on water. It is situated in Riddarfjarden Bay.

Stockholm functions as the political, cultural and economic centre of Sweden. It is the location of the Swedish parliament and the seat of Cabinet, and offers a variety of cultural and historical attractions.

The Kulturhuset in Stockholm dates back to 1974. It boasts a splendid architectural design, typical for the 1970s, a fine collection of modern art, music, fashion and dance exhibits, photography galleries and multimedia applications. It is considered a focal point of culture in the city. It also incorporates a library of comic books, a one-of-a-kind establishment in the country. Over 2500 books can be found here.

The Natural History Museum in Stockholm has an IMAX theatre, where you can watch films in gigantic Omnimax format. The screen's surface area is 760 square metres! The films portray a variety of settings, such as the Grand Canyon, the bottom of the ocean and space territory. All these can be seen in detail, creating the feeling that one is actually standing on the very site they are observing. The cinema brings locations that are millions of miles away right before one's eyes.

The Vasa Museum is an important point of interest. Vasa warship is on display here. This ship sank in the port of Stockholm in 1628. It was commissioned by Vasa ruler Adolphus, one of many successful kings of this dynasty.

Locals refer to Stockholm's city hall as the most beautiful building in all of Sweden. It features the Golden Hall with glass and gold decorations, the Blue Hall, where the Nobel Prize ceremony is held each year, and above all, the most beautiful view of the city.

The Royal Palace is located at the very centre of the city. It is home to Swedish nobility and the primary location of important political events.

The National Museum of Antiques relates Swedish history from the settlement of the area in ancient ages to modern times. Even the gold treasures accumulated by the Vikings are displayed here. There are also some fine galleries of wooden sculptures, dating back to the Middle Ages.

Stockholm has 12 excellent universities and colleges, with curriculums in the fields of fine art, music, economy, technology, media and design. Two of Stockholm's monuments are on UNESCO's World Heritage list - the Drottningholm Palace and the Skogskyrkogarden. The status of European City of Culture was conferred upon this city in 1998.

The city is not only a haven for tourists, but also a site boasting a rich history and cultural heritage. The earliest record we have of the city dates back to the middle of the 13th Century. It was a major trade center at the time, due to the iron ore mines in the vicinity. There is evidence that the first structure on this territory was erected as a defence with the intention to prevent the area from being overrun by invaders.

Stockholm had the highest population in the Swedish region in 1289. The city continued to expand in the centuries thereafter, reaching a peak under the Vasa dynasty in the 16th and 17th Centuries. It became a major power in Europe, annexing Kungsholmen island and a number of other territories at the end of the 17th century. It was made the capital of Sweden in 1634, which led to enhanced construction activity, and magnificent castles and palaces were erected on city grounds. The most important was the Royal Palace, completed in the 1700s.

The city suffered from the Plague as most cities in Europe did during that period of history. However, it quickly recovered, and remained a political and economic center.

Today Stockholm is a cosmopolitan city and one of the most prestigious capitals in Europe. It is technologically advanced and culturally diverse, and continues to grow.