Highlight: Lovisa Ulrika’s Library

Two queens have left their mark on Drottningholm Palace. One of them, Queen Hedvig Eleonora, had the palace built. The other, Queen Lovisa Ulrika, brought the palace into the modern age.

In August 1744, Princess Lovisa Ulrika came to Sweden to marry Prince Adolf Fredrik. A few days later, she received Drottningholm Palace as a wedding present. Lovisa Ulrika was pleased, but was hardly overwhelmed. After all, she was a member of the high-status Prussian royal family, and her brother was King Frederick the Great.

Sweden’s earliest Classicist interiors

She immediately undertook the task of modernising the palace’s dark, heavy Baroque interiors. Above all, she wanted a proper library. The magnificent library was created by Jean Eric Rehn. It retains some Rococo elements, but the room also has a distinctly austere character. This might be one of Sweden’s earliest Classicist interiors. The room is decorated entirely in white and gold, with rich carved wood ornamentation. The book shelves are made from cedarwood to keep vermin away from the expensive books, and in the centre there stands a long marble-topped library table, at which a reader can either stand or sit.

she had “more knowledge of, and insight into, the sciences than a lady needs”

Lovisa Ulrika – an educated queen

Many libraries have been created in stately settings, sometimes mainly for show. However, there is no doubt that Lovisa Ulrika was a keen reader. She knew German, French, Latin, Italian and English, and she also learnt Swedish. Her interests included architecture, history, art, drama, geography, mathematics, philosophy and biology. In 1772, Marshal of the Court Hans Gustaf von Rålamb wrote that she had “more knowledge of, and insight into, the sciences than a lady needs”. However, her ambitions extended far beyond simply being a lady. She wanted to be as educated a ruler as her widely admired brother.

Meeting place for intellectuals

Her library includes plays, maps, travel journals and books about mathematics, history, science and architecture. Here, The Iliad sits alongside Flora Danica and Rousseau’s Émile. There are also many works by Voltaire, with whom Lovisa Ulrika corresponded. The spectacular library became a meeting place for contemporary intellectuals, but Queen Lovisa Ulrika was particularly drawn to the naturalist Carl Linnaeus. He awakened her interest in the natural sciences and helped her to catalogue her extensive collection of butterflies, plants, shells and books.

Photo: Alexis Daflos/The Royal Court

She had “more knowledge of, and insight into, the sciences than a lady needs”. However, Queen Lovisa Ulrika's (1720-1782) ambitions extended far beyond simply being a lady. She wanted to be as educated a ruler. Oilpainting by Lorens Pasch the younger. 1768.

Visit us

You can explore Drottningholm Palace by yourself, but a guided tour will ensure that your visit is particularly memorable.

Read more

Take your children and grandchildren on a trip to Drottningholm. Here, you can go on a lion safari, hunt for gold and discover plants.

Read more

Events

Calling out for young hunters 12 Jan – 28 Apr

Hunt for lions, find flowers and discover the Palace's gold. Challenging image hunts in the rooms of Drottningholm Palace is hosted for c...

Buy ticket
RococoGo! 12 Jan – 28 Apr

Discover the Rococo style at Drottningholm Palace, with a fun and educational image hunt for adults. Rococo was a playful, graceful style...

Buy ticket
Drottningholm Palace tour 12 Jan – 28 Apr

You can explore Drottningholm Palace by yourself, but a guided tour will ensure that your visit is particularly memorable.

Buy ticket

Discover more at Drottningholm Palace

Throughout the years Drottningholm Palace has changed and the royal personages who lived here have left their mark on the Palace's interi...

Read more

Drottningholm Palace Park is open all year round. Here, you can wander through historic stylistic ideals from the 17th century Baroque to...

Read more

“He took me to the side of the pleasure gardens, and I was surprised to find myself suddenly standing in front of a real fairy tale palac...

Read more

Drottningholm Palace Chapel was opened in 1730, and has been in continuous use ever since. The architect was Tessin, and the interior was...

Read more

The artist Evert Lundquist had his studio in the old machine house at the Chinese Pavilion. The studio is now a highly atmospheric museum...

Read more

Welcome to a boutique that is something out of the ordinary. The Royal Gift Shop is a unique present and souvenir shop offering products ...

Read more

Articles and movies

The World Heritage Site of Drottningholm is open all year round. During the winter months, the palace is open on Saturdays and Sundays fo...

Buy ticket

A Royal family keeping up with the time. '200 years of Swedish History with the Bernadotte Dynasty' is a story told by Dick Harrison, Pro...

Read more

Two queens have left their mark on Drottningholm Palace. One of them, Queen Hedvig Eleonora, had the palace built. The other, Queen Lovis...

Read more

Customer service

Opening hours: Closed

FAQ

  • Can I get around by wheelchair/walking frame at the royal palaces?

    Circumstances differ at the various venues. Please look for more information under the heading "Visit us" for the venue you wish to visit or contact our reservations department on +46 (0)8-402 61 00.

  • When is the Drottningholm garden open?

    The garden is open around the clock. There is no entrance fee.

  • What currency can I pay with?

    It is possible to pay with Swedish kronor (SEK), Euro and Dollar. For Euro and Dollar only bills are accepted and change is given in Swedish kronor. It is also possible to pay by credit card.

    At the Royal Stables you can pay with Swedish kronor and by debit card, but not with Euro and Dollar.

     

  • Is it possible to take wedding photos inside the royal palaces?

    Wedding photography is not permitted in the rooms of the royal palaces.

    In the case of wedding ceremonies in Drottningholm Royal Chapel, Rosersberg Palace Chapel, Strömsholm Palace Chapel and Ulriksdal Palace Chapel, it is fine to take photographs in the chapel, but not in the rooms of the palaces.

  • Is it possible to take wedding photos in the palace parks?

    It is permitted to take wedding photos for private use in our palace parks. Please respect the following: it is not permitted to set up bulky photography equipment and/or props, to cordon off or drive vehicles onto our park areas or in any other way disturb other park visitors.
    Please note the special stipulations for photography in our Image and Media Gallery.

More FAQ