Outer Courtyard of the Royal Palace, Stockholm
After walking along Slottsbaken Square to St. Nicholas church, turn the corner of the Royal Palace and find yourself in the so-called Yttre Borggården, sometimes called the Parade Square.
Here we will see two semicircular colonnades, which reminded me of the square in front of the royal Palace in Naples and St. Peter's Square in Rome. Indeed, the architect and chief builder of the palace, Nicodemus Tessinus, borrowed these forms after a visit to Rome. The northern wing was occupied by the palace chancellery, while the southern wing housed the commandant's office.
The square in front of the colonnades was originally intended for military exercises of the Royal Guard, as well as ceremonial receptions. There are four late-nineteenth-century artillery pieces in the square, and the traditional changing of the guard ceremony takes place in front of them.
In the central arch of the commandant's wing, a statue of Christina Gyllenstierna was erected in 1912. Lady Christina (1494-1559) was married to the Swedish regent Sten Sture the Younger and after his death led the Swedish resistance against Denmark.
In the center of the southern facade of the palace is a gate leading to the Inner Courtyard (Ynre Borggården). It was the main entrance to the palace. The inner courtyard has a length of 89 meters, and a width of 77, its area is about 7 thousand square meters, which is slightly less than half of the total area of the palace. According to the architect's plan, an equestrian statue of Charles XI was supposed to stand in the center of the courtyard, but the king did not approve of this idea. A bronze model of the statue is now kept in the Royal Chamber of Household Items.
The courtyard is inaccessible to tourists, but a guard of royal guards at its gates does not mind taking photos with them.