Gustav III's Museum of Antiquities

Gustav III's Museum of Antiquities, The Royal Palace. Photo: The Royal Court/Alexis Daflos.
Gustav III's sculptures are exhibited in the palace´s north-east wing and a tour takes approximately 45 minutes.
In 1783-84 Gustav III embarked on a long journey through Europe that took him to Italy. During his visit the King was inspired to create a forum for ancient sculptures in Sweden.

He purchased a number of sculptures and other objects during and after his journey that lay the foundation to fulfil his dream.

A stream of ancient objects was transported by ship from Italy to Sweden. An occasion that was so important it was portrayed by the artist Carl Larsson in the Nationa lMuseum´s grand entrance.

The King´s intention was to exhibit the newly purchased objects in Haga Park. His plans were to build a large palace in Haga - the actual Haga Palace. When the King was shot by Ankarström the project came to a halt.

Gustav III´s brother Duke Karl (XIII) decided a few months after his brother´s death that the sculptures were to be placed in a worthy place, if not in the new palace. It was decided that the collection should be placed in a newly established museum in the north-eastern corner of the Royal Palace of Stockholm.

Today, in the museum´s large gallery stands Apollo surrounded by nine muses, just as they stood in the 1700s. Tour guides provide information about ancient sculpture and also about how people in 18th century Sweden viewed the ancient world.

In the inner gallery of the museum smaller objects from the collection are on show. Amongst these are a number of busts of ancient emperors and empresses - excellent examples of the skill of Roman portrait artists.

The information above provides the general focus of guided tours at Gustav III´s Museum of Antiquities. The more detailed content of the tour depends on the focus of the tour guide on duty.