Riddarholm: Burial Place of the Swedish Kings

Continuing on my personal fascination with medieval European monarchs (their stories, homes, and final resting places) I had the pleasure to spend some time at the burial church of the Kings and Queens of Sweden, Riddarholm Church.

* And what a fantastic-looking church it is! Located on the island of Riddarholmen, one of Stockholm's fourteen islands, the structure is a nice walk from the Royal Palace and the old medieval area of Stockholm, Gamla Stan.

* Got to love the Swedes! Even their city maps are artsy.

* Built in the 13th Century, the Church has served as the final resting place of Swedish monarchs since the time of King Magnus III, who died back in 1290 AD.

* King and Queen side-by-side.

* Both on earth, and in heaven.

* Another monarch who is entombed here is King Gustav II Adolph, King of Sweden from 1611 to 1632; known as the country's greatest ruler.

* It was during his reign that Sweden became a great power, having achieved major military victories during the devastating Thirty Year's War, thus earning him the most epic of nicknames, "the Lion in the North".

* Coat of arms of noble families and Knights of the Royal Order of the Seraphim, the foremost order of chivalry in Sweden, adorn the walls of the church.

* Group burials are more fun?

* Another famous Swedish monarch entombed here is King Gustaf V, who reigned over the country through both World Wars.

* And he was also a professional tennis player; representing his country in international sporting events!

* This unnamed royal; resting in peace, since 1651!

* Coat-of-arms design has always fascinated me!

* Of the Swedish monarchs, only one is noticeably absent here: Queen Christina who reigned from 1632 to 1654.

* Renowned for being one of the most learned women in the 17th Century (at a time when gender equality was not really a thing), Queen Christina had a reputation for intelligence and brilliance. 

* This fame helped attract scientists from all over Europe to settle in Stockholm, with the goal of making the city the "Athens of the North". With everything the Swedes have invented throughout the centuries, I think they did a damn fine job!

* Due to her conversion from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism (which was a scandal in a Protestant country like Sweden), Queen Christina was venerated as a symbol of the Counter Reformation. 

* And given the honor of being one of the only few women to be allowed to be buried in the Vatican Grotto in St. Peter's Basilica. A pioneer of feminism if there ever was one!


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