2023 – A year of anniversaries
Publish date: 16 August 2023
Royal glamour and classic architecture. Several museums, attractions, and events celebrate anniversaries in 2023. This will of course be commemorated in several ways, both big and small. Here are some of the highlights!
Stockholm City Hall 100 years
In 1908 it was decided that Stockholm needed a proper City Hall, befitting of a capital. An empty lot on Kungsholmen was chosen as the location, and famed architect Ragnar Östberg was hired to lead the project. Östberg's most important points of reference were Doge's Palace and Saint Mark's Basilica, both in Venice. But he also drew inspiration from the Italian Renaissance, Islamic art, and Northern Gothic, whilst adding typical Swedish flourishes like the dark red bricks covering the exterior. The construction was finished in 1923 and the Stockholm City Hall has since then become one of the prime examples of Nordic Grace in architecture.
The City Hall's 100th anniversary will be celebrated in several ways. Both in the City Hall itself – with a full week's worth of events in June, as well as unique tours and exhibitions all year round. But also in other museums in Stockholm. In January, for example, the Stockholm City Museum opens its new temporary exhibition We Who Built the City Hall.
The Royal Opera 250 years
The majestic Royal Opera House by Gustav Adolf's Square was completed in 1898. The institution itself is much older than that though, founded in 1773 by H.M Gustav III. The opera's choir has been continuously active since then, making it one of the world's oldest professional choir ensembles. The anniversary kicks off in January with a Jubilee gala but celebrations continue throughout 2023 with unique stage productions, guided tours, exhibitions, and other events.
Stockholm Pride 25 years
Since its inauguration in 1998, Stockholm Pride has grown to become the Nordic region's largest Pride festival. Permanent fixtures are the festival's main hub Pride Park (located on Östermalms IP since 2013), Pride House which hosts seminars, workshops, and panel discussions, and the beloved Pride Parade closing out the week. But Stockholm Pride is spread all over town, with restaurants, clubs, museums, theaters, libraries, and shops joining in on the festival in their unique way. This year the festival turns 25, but exactly how that will be celebrated will be revealed in late spring/early summer when the program is released.
Royal anniversary x 2
2023 marks a double anniversary for the Swedish monarchy, which will be commemorated in several castles and palaces in the Stockholm region. Firstly it's the 500th anniversary of Gustav Vasa's election as king, which in many ways marked the birth of modern Swedish society. This will be highlighted in a new exhibition at Grispholm Palace, for example. Secondly, 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the current king's, Carl XVI Gustaf, time as head-of-state. His reign will come into focus, for example, in a photo exhibition at Slottsbacken in Gamla Stan. And in March a new exhibition, Vasa to Bernadotte – Culture in Service of the Realm 1523–1973–2023, opens up at the Royal Palace. The exhibition showcases unique objects and artifacts and focuses on how the monarchy has shaped – and been shaped by – Swedish society.
Dansmuseet 70 years
Dansmuseet (the Museum of Dance) celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2023. The museum was founded in 1953 by entrepreneur and art collector Rolf de Maré. de Maré was for a time head of the Swedish Balett in Paris and is considered one of the most important cultural workers of the 20th century. The museum will highlight its anniversary with a spring program full of additional guided tours, dance workshops, and performances. The birthday itself will be celebrated on June 3.
Stockholm Bike 10 years
The casual bike race Stockholm Bike celebrates its tenth birthday in September 2023. As in previous years the race offers a casual and friendly atmosphere in both natural and urban surroundings. To celebrate its anniversary though, around half of the 50 km track (roughly 31 miles) will be new this year.
Jubilees on Djurgården
Djurgården has probably the largest concentration of beloved attractions and museums in all of Stockholm. And several of them celebrate anniversaries in 2023. The oldest by far is the Nordiska Museet, which turns 150 years and will be highlighted in a new extensive exhibition about everyday life culture and everyday life through the ages. Sweden's oldest amusement park Gröna Lund turns 140, and it's been 10 years since ABBA the Museum welcomed its first visitors to a swinging exhibition about one of Sweden's most beloved bands.
Köpmannagatan 700 years
Probably the least known anniversary (but by far the oldest) is that of Köpmannagatan in Gamla Stan. Köpmannagatan (literally meaning "Merchant Street") turns 700 years in 2023, making it the oldest named street in Stockholm. Supposedly it got its name from the various merchant stalls located here during the Middle Ages, but those shacks and stalls are long since gone. The oldest buildings along the 328 feet long street are from the 17th century.