Although curiously neglected by cultural travellers from abroad, Sweden is rich in outstanding architectural delights as we discover on this architectural tour of the country:
• Explore the rich collection of historic houses and palaces found in Sweden’s capital city and its hinterland.
• Wander the streets of Stockholm’s picturesque Old Town – the island nucleus of Gamla Stan.
• Survey sumptuous interiors in grand country estates including the moated Gripsholm Castle and the Baroque palace of Drottningholm.
Depart Heathrow 1125 on British Airways, arriving Stockholm Arlanda 1455. Transfer to the Victory Hotel in Stockholm Old Town for six nights. Tour of Gamla Stan.
Morning: important buildings in Gamla Stan and excursion to Svindersvik, a summer retreat of the 1740s, for private tour. Afternoon: Rosendal Palace, with quintessential Empire interiors, and the astonishingly well-preserved Vasa, a magnificent warship that sank on its maiden voyage in 1628. Free evening.
Excursion to the massive lakeside castle Gripsholm, with interiors of both the 16th and late 18th centuries, including a remarkable neoclassical theatre created within one of the circular towers; lunch at Sweden’s oldest inn followed by a private visit to the Duke of Otranto’s supremely elegant mansion of Elghammar. Free evening.
Morning at Sturehov, a house of the 1780s with delectable painted interiors and a collection of superb faience stoves. Continue to Tullgarn, the summer palace of the royal family (sequence of interiors in the exquisite Gustavian style). Afternoon: return to Stockholm via Thureholm, on the shores of the Baltic Sea (painted wall decorations encompassing Baroque, Rococo and Chinoiserie).
Excursion to Uppsala for the great medieval cathedral (containing the fine Renaissance tomb of Gustav Vasa), the adjoining Gustavianum (housing not only the spectacular ‘Kunstkabinett’ of Gustavus Adolphus but also a domed anatomical theatre of 1663) and the city-centre garden laid out by Carl Linnaeus in 1745. Continue to Skokloster, a great quadrangular mansion with some of the best-preserved late 17th century interiors in Europe. Free evening.
Excursion to Drottningholm Palace, home of Sweden’s royal family; tour of the Baroque palace, Chinese Palace and celebrated court theatre, designed in 1764 and perfectly preserved. Some free time in Stockholm, followed by a dinner cruise around the archipelago.
Excursion to Gustav III’s exquisite neoclassical pavilion at Haga. Depart Stockholm Arlanda 1805, arriving Heathrow 1950.