My words, thoughts and photos from a Swedish perspective

I’m fed up with snow already. Let’s take a summer trip to Haga instead!

The initiative to the Haga park just outside Stockholm city limits came from King Gustav III who had bought land there for which he had great plans. What was fields, woods and marsh should be transformed to an English park, which was the highest fashion at the time, and the King wanted to build pavillions and a palace there too. The works on the park began in 1780 and were completed in 1797. The architects behind the huge project were Fredrik Magnus Piper, Louis Jean Desprez, Olof Tempelman and Carl Christoffer Gjörwell. Piper was in charge of the works and reported to the King. He was succeeded in 1785 by Johan Christian Ackermann.

The park got two nurseries from which they could get the saplings and plants needed. 26,000 trees where planted between 1780 and 1800. Works on canals and islets in the park were also carried out, but when Brunnsviken’s water level was regulated and sank by 1.25 metres in 1863, the already shallow canals dried out completely, however, traces of them can still be seen in the landscape.

The King was assassined in 1792 and all the great plans and intentions for Haga were buried with him. The park we all can enjoy today is also a mark, telling how far the works had got at that time. After that, the only works carried out were the completion of the present park. For many of the various artists associated with Haga came bad times with few assignments and financial problems. The King’s death was the same as desaster for Carl Michael Bellman (poet) and Louis Jean Desprez (architect) who both lived the rest of their lives in misery.

Today, the park is so well kept that Garden Society in England regards it as the best example of an English park in the world.

Gustav III’s pavillion. The construction works commenced in 1787 Architect was Olof Tempelman and the interior was designed by Louis Masreliez, but the King himself was very much involved in the project, made own sketches and drawings and followed both the project and its progress closely.

What we nowdays talk about as “The cave” was intended as a water supply for a stable that once was on top of the hill. When the water level sank in 1863 it lost its connection with the lake and is now filled with rainwater and litter. I can assure you that it didn’t smell nice.

Strange root formations beside the cave.

The big pelouse (French for “lawn”) and the copper tents. A popular place for picknicks and other outdoor activites during the summer. The tents have Turkish (oriental) influences which also was à la mode at the time. They were once used by the King’s guards.

Enjoying the shade of an old oak tree.

Now, when we finally got round the bend it is time to take a closer look at Gustav III’s pavillion from the outside.

Many unusual and interesting details.

An almost full front view of the pavillion; it is regarded as too small to be a palace.

The Echo Temple. The King loved to dine outdoors if the weather permitted so this was built and used as an open air dining room, but there is definitely an echo inside it so I wonder what the conversations were like in there.

Parts of the Echo Temple. It is made of wood and I feel great respect for the carpenters who built it.

And this is where we leave Haga for today. Thanks for keeping me company on the walk.


6 responses

  1. Thanks for reminding us of the Summer, with a wonderful series of images.

    At this time of the year I start counting how many months to Spring.

    19/12/2009 at 11:08

  2. Staffan H

    YesButs: Thanks to you too. I also count how many months to spring; it is my favourite season.

    19/12/2009 at 12:52

  3. All seasons provide great camera shots, but I must thank you for the reminder of Summer, it was a real treat to see Summer in mid Winter.
    Great shots and enjoyed the walk.

    19/12/2009 at 21:18

  4. Staffan H

    imac: I felt we all needed a reminder of Summer. Thanks for the comment and for joining me on the walk.

    20/12/2009 at 00:32

  5. We are expecting 12 inches of snow, with high winds and blizzard like conditions tonight and it’s very cold, so Thank You Staffan for making me smile at all of the green lushness. I will try to remember this as I shovel all day long tomorrow.

    20/12/2009 at 01:29

  6. Staffan H

    Lynn: It has snowed daily for about five days here so I felt it was about time we got something more pleasant to think of – and something to look forward to as well. 😉

    20/12/2009 at 08:12

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