It’s anyone’s guess what the Swedish sculptor John Tobias Sergel (1740-1814) might have thought of the huge illuminated obelisk, fountain and square that bears his name, and of the modern city around it.
The heart of this business and commercial area is not large, but it sits somewhat uneasily with the rest. From Sergels Torg it is hard to miss the five towering office blocks on Sveavägen, which cast their shadow over the other buildings.
In the 1960s. Stockholm City Council, like so many others, succumbed to the temptation to knock things down and build concrete and glass high-rise buildings.
The destruction of many fine old buildings continued until it threatened the King’s Garden with the statue of the warrior king Karl XII on its southern side. At this point the Stockholmers had had enough. Normally placid and biddable, they mustered at the King’s Garden, climbed the threes that were in danger of the axe, and swore that if the trees went so did the people.
The City Fathers retreated, and Kungsträdgården survives to soften the edges of the new buildings and harmonize with the older buildings that are left. This the place to take a leisurely stroll or sit beside the fountains on a summer day and enjoy a coffee at its outdoor café.
Related: Stockholm Tourist Information
In summer it is the venue of many outdoor festivals and rock concerts. In winter, part og Kungsträsdgården is flooded with water and becomes a popular ice rink, and the restaurant moves indoors.
A short stroll east is the early 20th-century private palace housing one of Stockholm’s most unusual museums, the Hallwyl Collection. It’s the magpie collection of one person, Countess von Hallwyl, from her ornate piano to china, beautiful furniture and personal knick-knacks.
Just north of the museum on Östermalmtorg, stop to snack at Östermalmshallen, a classy deli-style market.
King’s Garden in Stockholm, written by Tor Kjolberg