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Past Meets Progressive in Stockholm, Sweden
by Roy Witman © 2008

A delightful merging of past and progressive, Stockholm, Sweden, brings together centuries-old culture and architecture with those of the modern day. This eclectic city is surrounded by water and built atop 14 islands - not surprising given Sweden's staunch stand on neutrality in world politics. Stockholm has been untouched by war since 1520, meaning her buildings from ages past are largely preserved. This gives Stockholm the unique ability to combine genuine ancient architecture with present-day structures.

When walking the streets of this capital city, it is like time standing still. Vikings and pirates, kings and queens, and medieval residents strolled along the very pathways you'll follow during your visit.

Must-See Sites

Her position on the water makes Stockholm a perfect port of call for cruise ships. Cunard, owners of the famed Queen Elizabeth 2, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, makes regular voyages to Stockholm and other Baltic regions. Their website makes note of several must-see sites.

Old Town is only 500 meters in diameter but is the heart of the city. With a distinct 17th century look and feel, Old Town opens the doors to the Royal Palace, the Crown Jewel Exhibition and more. Small sidewalk cafes and antique shops abound, and because there has been no war in over 480 years, antique lovers can find some fabulous and rare finds!

Taking 57 years to build, the Royal Palace is truly an architectural wonder. Encompassing 608 rooms, the palace houses the Royal Apartments, the Treasury and other government entities. The changing of the guards can be viewed Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays and always offers an intriguing look into royal life. Stockholm boasts the largest royal palace in the world.

In the depths of the Royal Palace and under heavy guard are the Crown Jewels. Still used for royal ceremonies, the crown, orb, scepter and key date back to the days of Gustav Vasa and are literally priceless.

The Biggest Yachts in the World

Among its other claims to fame, Stockholm also boasts being homeport to some of the biggest yachts in the world. With the number of mega-yacht visits more than doubling over the last three to five years, Stockholm has even built a new yacht marina capable of servicing vessels of over 130 feet in length. The marina is a wonderful site to see, and the adjacent restaurant serves local delicacies.

With a prime position - halfway between Copenhagen, Denmark and St. Petersburg, Russia - Stockholm calls to yachtsmen who also plan to venture to Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway, Poland and Russia.

With grace, beauty and a delightful history, Stockholm offers plenty for seagoers and landlubbers to see and do. The entire family will enjoy this original destination that grows in popularity year after year.

Read more about the Cunard Cruise Lines.
Read more about European Cruises.