The Royal Armoury – Stockholm, Sweden - Atlas Obscura

Stockholm, Sweden

The Royal Armoury

A king's bloodstained shirt is among the gruesome collection of artifacts displayed below Stockholm's Royal Palace. 

Often overshadowed by the grander and more expensive Royal Palace Museum in Stockholm, the Royal Armoury is the perfect place to spend an afternoon learning about the gruesome deaths of Swedish Royalty. 

This basement-level collection spans from the 16th century up to the modern day. You can do more than just glance at the items on display. You can identify the smells of the battlefield—yes, they do have an interactive sniffing exhibit for smells such as corpse, mud, and blood—look into the eyes of a taxidermy warhorse killed in battle, and feel the weight of Swedish armor

The museum winds its way through Sweden’s history by focusing on the country’s monarchs, queens, and kings. One of the crown jewels of the museum concerns Queen Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg. After the tragic death of her husband, King Gustavus Adolphus, Maria wrapped his heart in a cloth and kept it in storage. It hung over her bed, safely enclosed within a golden coffin. Throughout the following years, as other monarchs battled her for the throne, Queen Maria would pull out the heart, explain her grief, and be granted a few more years without a king.  

The cloth that held King Gustavus Adolphus’ heart is displayed in the Armory, as are the clothes the king wore when he was slain in battle. The outlines of his organ still visible on the white cloth.

Know Before You Go

This museum is free to the public. 

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