History, The Cinese Pavilion

Interior, The Chinese Pavilion. Photo: The Royal Court/Alexis Daflos.
The Chinese Pavilion is a small pleasure palace in the grounds of Drottningholm.

The first pavilion, a prefabricated building, was erected here in 1753 as a birthday present to Queen Lovisa Ulrika.

It was built in a Chinese-inspired style which at that time was the height of fashion in Europe.

Exotic allusions

The present building replaced it ten years later. The Chinese Pavilion combines the European Rococo with exotic allusions to China.

The lacquer-red wall and sculptural decorations of the façades testify to a close knowledge of Chinese architecture, but the main structure of the building is emphatically European.

Unique collections of Chinese and Japanese decorative arts, mainly from the 18th century, were assembled in  this pavilion.

An inventory of the collections was compiled in 1777, when Drottningholm passed into the hands of the State.

European chinoiserie

Most of the items described in the inventory still occupy their original places, making  the  Chinese  Pavilion  one  of the most authentic instances of 18th century European chinoiserie.

A number of other pavilions, also in the Chinese style, adjoin the main building.

One of them, the Confidence, is a dining room in which both the table and dumb-waiters were laid one floor below and then, on a signal being given from the dining room, hoisted up into position, enabling the royals to dine "en confidence" - without servants present.