Stockholm A-Z: Queen of the Mälaren


Throughout the years, Stockholm has been given many nicknames: The Venice of the North, Beauty on Water, The Capital of Scandinavia, the Oak, Cissy swamp. Another old nickname for the city is the Queen of the Mälaren. Built on 14 islands between the Baltic Sea and the lake Mälaren, it’s not hard to see why Stockholm was given this majestic title.

Inspired by this nickname, a mural was created in the Gold Room of the City Hall. The mural depicts a giant woman, the Queen of the Mälaren, being honoured from the east and the west. Legend has it that this mural received heavy criticism at the City Hall’s opening in 1923 as people perceived her as ugly, unlike the beautiful Stockholm. The artist, who had modelled her on his wife, irritatedly responded ‘her eyes are big so she can watch over the world, her feet are big so she can sit firm and her golden hair symbolises the sun’.

Whatever your opinion the Queen of the Mälaren is an eye-catching dominating image in the City Hall and well worth the visit.

Stockholm’s City Hall sits proudly on the island of Kungsholmen opposite the abstract conference centre of Stockholm Warterfront. The location of the Nobel banquet, the City Hall offers beautiful interiors, halls and chambers. It’s highest point is the 106 meter high clock tower which can be reached by an elevator or 365 steps for the energetic. From the top, you have a magnificent view over the city and the Mälaren. And for a moment as you stand there, taking in the commanding panorama, you feel like the Queen of the Mälaren.