A royal landscape
The Royal National City Park is a royal landscape with a unique blend of natural features and cultural landmarks for which we are largely indebted to Sweden’s monarchs. Their varying interests have given the area its singular diversity of natural features and cultural and recreational values. For example, Karl XI’s ardent interest in the chase resulted in his enclosure of southern and northern Djurgrden to form a large hunting park in the 1680s. In the 1780s Gustav III embellished the shores of Brunnsviken with English parkland, placing Haga palace at its centre.
The Royal National City Park also houses a large number of major sports facilities, among them the Stadium built for the 1912 Stockholm Olympics. The natural, cultural and recreational features of this historic royal landscape combine to form an irreplaceable whole.
The Royal National City Park provides an ecologically vital corridor for the propagation of a large number of plants and animals. About 3/4 of the fauna and flora of mid-central Sweden can be found in the Ecopark. Among mammals, there are foxes, badgers, pine martens, mink and roedeer. Over a hundred different species of bird nest in the area, along with eight of the eleven species of bat found in this region. It also provides a home for several species listed in Sweden as endangered, mainly a number of very rare insects. The largest stands of mature oaks in Northern Europe can also be found here. This is where many rare species have often been discovered.
The Royal National City Park has a wide and varied range of attractive dwellings and buildings. Many of them are of great architectural value and several hundred have been listed. There is a great deal of variation in the architecture represented. There are prehistoric remains from the Bronze and Iron Ages. The park also boasts Karl XI’s fishing lodge from the 1690s, residential areas in the functional style of the 1930s and modern residential architecture from the 1960s at Bergshamra. In addition, the Ecopark contains four of the ten royal palaces. The songs of Bellman, the paths on which Strindberg strolled, Boberg’s art-nouveau architecture, sculptures by Carl Milles, and figures from Ulf Lundell’s well-known novel “Jack” augment the park’s cultural resonances.
Because it is so close to the built-up areas of Stockholm and Solna, The Royal National City Park provides an important source of recreation and outdoor activities for city-dwellers. It is a verdant oasis and one of Sweden’s most visited green areas. Its life-enhancing foliage cleanses the air, muffles noise, helps to improve the climate of the city and also demonstrably adds to the health of its inhabitants by enabling them to relax. The Ecopark offers a wide range of activities, ranging from delightful picnic spots to jogging and skiing trails. The park also allows innumerable teaching opportunities for all levels of the educational system, from kindergarten to university.
A tourist attraction
The Royal National City Park is Sweden’s most popular green area and is also important for the tourist industry as it provides Stockholm with a unique tourist attraction. In offering a variety of things to see it makes an important contribution to Stockholm’s tourist revenues. The appeal of Stockholm’s attractions is enhanced by the greenery of their surroundings, as at Skansen, Waldemarsudde and the Vasa museum.