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Balcony life and royal maps at Solliden Palace

TEXT: MALIN NORMAN | PHOTOS © SOLLIDEN PALACE

Solliden Palace has been the Swedish royal family’s summer paradise for generations. The surrounding park is an oasis of lush greenery, winding pathways and stories from the past, and an exciting programme of events awaits visitors this season.

Solliden Palace was built on the island of Öland by Queen Victoria in 1906. Today, the stunning estate is owned by King Carl XVI Gustaf and is a favourite among members of the royal family, who regularly come to stay at the palace and its private guest houses. The surrounding park is open to the public and is a popular summer destination.

The annual exhibition Idea Gardens, now running for the fifth time in King Gustav V’s old croquet field, is one not to miss. The theme for this year’s show is Balcony Life, with eight exhibitors creating garden designs and competing for both the Solliden Award and the Visitors’ Award.

Another new seasonal exhibition offers old maps and posters from the royal archives. Colourful maps with ships and sea monsters from the 17th century are mixed with detailed maps of land and battle fields from the era of King Karl XIV Johan. Many of the maps have been used – some even made – by the royals, while others have been purchased as souvenirs on trips abroad.

This summer, the garden also hosts a series of sculptures by Swedish artists such as AsmundArle, Olle Baertling and Eva Lange, and there are plenty of other events throughout the season. The highlight is of course the celebration of Crown Princess Victoria’s birthday, which takes place on14 July.

For young adventurers, Solliden has a special children’s map for exploring hidden areas in the park, and for hungry visitors, the picturesque Coffee Cottage offers home-cooked food and delicacies from its own bakery and crepe shop.

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Queen Silvia and King Carl XVI Gustaf.

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