Stallmästaregården – Then & Now

1638: Not all children born out of wedlock during the 17th century could enjoy a bright and safe future – unless the child’s father happened to be the King. One such child who did well was the illegitimate son of King Karl IX, the Admiral Karl Karlsson Gyllenhielm. During the 1620’s the admiral had through a number of purchases, swaps and received lands managed to become the owner of three villages within the parish of Solna. He then built as his own home Karlberg Castle by the channel of Karlberg and for his closest man he made a lifetime donation of land and a one-storey building in Ösby by the bay of Brunnsviken. This house lay on the site of the present Queen Kristina’s Pavilion.

1645: Queen Kristina often rode and hunted in the area of Brunnsviken bay and when she passed Stallmästaregården in the year of 1645 she was so taken by the beauty of the house and its surroundings that she decided to celebrate Midsummer there. The rumour of the Queen’s delight with Stallmästaregården quickly spread throughout the city, and Ebbe Håkansson (apparently a clever man) decided to open an inn.

1652: Ebbe Håkansson was able to enjoy his inn for fourteen years. After his death the inn was transformed to a more traditional pub, serving beers and snaps. In 1672 the north entry to the city was moved in to the crossing between the road to Uppsala and the heavily trafficked winter road via the bay of Brunnsviken, improving the business of the inn.

1700 (approx): The inn closed temporarily due to the bad condition of the old building and a new one was erected as a wing to the left of the old building. This newer part today constitutes the main building of the inn. Queen Kristina’s ballroom was turned into a snaps-making factory.

1726: This year the Royal Paint Master Christian Sewerin took over the management of the inn and his first initiative was to build a smaller pub house right by the entry to the city (the current toll houses were built in 1733), the so called “Little Stallis”. This pub was the size of a small kiosk and primarily served beer and snaps to farmers and others who waited to pass the toll with their goods before entering the city.

1735: It is thanks to Lucas Boogers, member of Fredrik I:s royal estate that Stallmästaregården looks the way it does today. Thus, although the Royal Construction Master Petter Gerdes was the formal manager, it was Boogers who ran the business. Boogers built the eastern part of the building (now called the Court House) as his living quarters, elevated the old inn by one floor and established the parterre between the houses. He also bought and had moved from the city to the site a pavilion from the 17th century as well as planted four linden trees in front of it, of which two remain. Queen Kristina’s only relation to the pavilion is that it was named after her, given that it was placed on the site where she had celebrated midsummer. In 1754, Boogers placed the first add about the inn in a Stockholm journal.

1840: In this year the business was taken over by Pierre Bichard, once the chef of king Karl XIV Johan and the owner of the Hasselbacken restaurant. Bichard was known for his grilled beefsteak. A piece of good meat was prepared with butter, red onion, pepper and salt and flanked by two pieces of less good meat. The meat was grilled until the two outer parts were burnt and the middle part perfect. The cost was 1 riksdaler. The enormously popular winter horse races on the ice of the bay of Brunnsviken commenced during this period – often followed by drinking parties at the inn.

1884: The southern district court occupied a former ballroom built in 1815 from this year and until 1906, when a separate house was built by the park of Haga. Ever since, the house is called the Court House. Today the building is used for parties and conferences.

1886: The production and sale of different types of snaps has always been an important part of the business, and in the year 1886 the inn served 2000 pitchers (approx 5000 litres) of snaps and in 1902, 3000 pitchers (approx 8000 litres).

1919: During the management of Martin Persson many changes were made. Apart from redecorating the smaller rooms on the second floor of the inn from 1860, he was responsible for the building of the large dining room in 1924.

1950: When Tore Wretman took over Stallmästaregården in 1950 the inn assumed more or less the style it has maintained up until today. The classic 18th century atmosphere is matched with the cooking of traditional Swedish food, often with a modern touch.

1988: Alessandro Catenacci (also the owner of inter alia Operakällaren) became the new owner of Stallmästaregården in 1988. During his leadership the most extensive reconstruction and additions have taken place since the 1740’s. Behind the Court House from the 18th century are hidden ventilation equipment from the 21st century, new kitchen and service rooms and a new terrace with a bar facing the bay of Brunnsviken – all intended to be able to offer the best possible service to conferences and party arrangements.

2000: The greatest event this year was the inauguration of the new hotel building. In terms of its exterior the new building matches the style of the inn; the interior contains 49 modern and personally decorated rooms and suites.

2003: In order to better demonstrate “then and now” at Stallmästaregården, the dining room has been given a new look both in terms of colour and furniture which relates well to the new hotel building. What has not changed is the tradition of offering the very best from the wine cellar and kitchen based on traditional Swedish and Scandinavian fresh products – all under the watchful eye of the Royal Chef Werner Vögeli.

2012: Stallmästaregården, receive the honour of becoming a member of the prestigious "Design Hotels". The restaurant was designed in early 2012 with a modern décor in warm copper tones. The heart is the centrally allocated bar which invites to long evenings in the lounge. The food served is a modern Swedish cuisine that has influences from both Tore Wretmans traditional kitchen and new Swedish flavors with an emphasis on organic and local food. Tingshuset with its beautiful rooms was also renovated during 2012.

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