It is easy to fall in love with Rosendal. Karl XIV Johan, the Crown Prince and first Bernadotte, had Rosendal Palace built between 1823 and 1827. The Palace Park was built afterwards. The King wanted to be able to open up the area for visitors. Since then it has been a special place in both the Bernadotte’s family history and Djurgården’s. His successors later added an orangery and carried out landscaping projects. Over time, the museum became an exhibit of the Karl Johan style, as it became known as. However, it was as though the park itself was hiding; the greenery was flourishing like never before, the walkways were fading away and lines of sight disappearing.
Thoughts eventually turned to a rebirth: Rosendal Redeviva. For the Bernadotte family’s jubilee in 2018, the Bernadotte walking trail from Djurgården Bridge opened. Additionally, the building project for a new bridge – the Folke Bernadotte Bridge – began. It opened the following year. The bridge is a new way of connecting northern and southern Djurgården, and it brings new visitors to Djurgården. Simultaneously, the Royal Djurgården Administration has been working on ‘the hunt for the lost Palace Park’. Thanks to some serious detective work carried out together with groups of antiquarians, archaeologists, landscape gardeners and others, they were able to put together an accurate picture of how the park used to look. They used a mixture of archival research, garden archaeology and modern technology such as ground radar and laser scanning.
The Palace Park is reborn
The restoration of Karl Johan’s park is now underway and the areas around the palace are gradually re-opening; forgotten walkways are reappearing and lost views are becoming visible again. A permanent sculpture park close by to the palace has replaced the popular sculpture exhibitions that graced the park during several successive summers. The sculpture park is part of the framework for the Princess Estelle Cultural Foundation. Hopefully, the park will be a place for palace concerts and other events in the future. They are also renovating at Rosendal’s Garden, so that it can better accommodate an already large number of guests. Rosendal will soon become an even more prominent part of Djurgården, just as Karl Johan would have wanted.
The rebirth of Rosedal’s Palace Park creates safe and inclusive green areas for all. Through in-depth research, important nature and cultural values will be protected (11.4,7)