Sunday, June 08, 2008

Secret Rooms - The Tessin Palace Garden


The second (third if you're being particular) of the Secret Rooms we visited that Saturday some weeks ago was actually a garden, the inner courtyard of the Tessin Palace (Tessinska palatset), situated just opposite of the Royal Palace. The Tessin Palace itself is home to the County Governor (landshövding) of Stockholm, so alas there was no peeking inside. But the garden itself was really lovely - though very crowded of course.

This beautiful garden is actually the motif of the first prize painting - which has obviously not dried yet - so with a talented painter it has every chance to look amazing.


The man behind the palace and it's garden is the once upon a time court architect Nicodemus Tessin the Younger, in the late 17th century he built a palace that would reflect his and his wife's social position. It's a delightful baroque garden where French garden art meets Italian architecture. On a very limited area Tessin created a magical illusion of depth and and perspective.


Initially the garden consisted not only of the embroidered parterre with box hedges, a small fountain and clipped trees but also of marble sculptures. Most of them have gone missing over the years - something I'm rather grateful for... Through the centuries the palace and it's garden has been renovated and rebuilt in accordance with fashion of the times. In the late 19th century the garden was altered and new plants were enrooted.


I have a sneaky suspicion though, that the worst kind of rebuilding/modernizing indoors was made in 1968 when the State took over the property for use as residence for the County Governor. Although it was also during the 6oies that the garden once again was rebuilt in accordance with Tessin's plan, at least as much as possible without the missing sculptures.


The palace itself has apparently since been carefully renovated back into it's former glory, but as mentioned above alas not opened to the public - if you don't hobnob with the County Governor of course. But this rare opportunity to peek into a wonderful, unsual and very secret little garden in the middle of city, a stone's throw from the *real* palace was quite a treat too.


The third/fourth/last Secret "Room" we visited that day was not a palace, but most impressive, beautiful, important and interesting building in it's very own way. More of that later.


John said...

I seriously MUST visit lovely Pialand someday. : )

Pia K said...


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