A birthday present from King Adolf Fredrik to Queen Lovisa, this rococo treasure exemplifies Europe’s 18th-century fascination for Chinese architecture.
Part of one of Sweden’s royal palaces and a UNESCO site, the Chinese Pavilion is an architectural treasure in western Stockholm. Its Disneyesque appearance has striking golden features and traditional Chinese elements that make it stand out against the Scandinavian designs of Stockholm. Marvel at the dragon busts and other exotic features adorning the bright pink and green façade of the palace.
Sit at a bench facing the palace and consider how its bright frontage serves as an exotic contrast to the rest of Stockholm.
Enter the building and check out the period furniture, which ranges from the majestic to the bizarre. Among the unusual highlights is the Gustavian toilet, whose gold frame and cushioned seat provided a comfortable and lavish bathroom experience for residents in historic times.
Make your way through elegant chambers such as the Red Room, the Embroidered Room and the Blue Salon to admire the bold colors of the décor. Lining the walls is a great selection of lavish porcelain and silk.
Visit the smaller structures in the complex and spot the two model parrots perched atop the Volière building. In the adjacent Confidencen dining hall, notice a table that was hoisted from the lower floor up into the dining room above it.
Note that the original structure was built in the mid 1700s, when it was gifted to the queen on her 34th birthday. It is thought that the 7-year-old prince emerged wearing a Chinese costume to greet his mother, with a set of golden keys on a red velvet cushion. The first incarnation of the building was replaced by today’s palace in 1763.
The site opens daily from late morning until late afternoon, from May to September. Purchase tickets and get an audio guide or go on a tour with a docent.
Find the Chinese Pavilion on the eastern side of Lovön Island. From the village of Drottningholm, walk south through Drottningholm Palace Park for about 15 minutes to reach the site. While you’re here, make sure to check out Drottningholms Slottsteater, the Guards Tent and the Kungl. Drottningholms Golfklubb.