Östermalm’s district area, Stockholm, Sweden

Östermalm is a district area in Stockholm’s inner city with 70,779 inhabitants (2014). It includes the districts of Östermalm (except for a smaller part at Roslagstull), Hjorthagen, Gärdet, Djurgården and Norra Djurgården. Östermalm’s district area with associated district committee and district administration was established in connection with the district reform in 1997.

Stockholm’s inner city, is the central part of Stockholm municipality as opposed to the outer city, which consists of Västerort and Söderort. Within Stockholm’s inner city, and especially in Stockholm’s city on lower Norrmalm and in the Old Town, is home to most of Sweden’s parliamentary and political institutions, most of Stockholm’s historic buildings of dignity and a significant representation of the country’s financial and banking activities.

The spread of urban development within the city of Stockholm in 1913, where the area largely corresponds to the broader significance of the Inner City. The inner city, according to the city’s definition, is mostly bounded by water.

The meaning of the term inner or central city has changed with the city’s expansion over time. During the Middle Ages, it referred to the area inside the city walls on Stadsholmen. During the great power era, it referred to the Old Town (“The city between the bridges”) and the area around Klara Church and Jacob’s Church on today’s Norrmalm and the area around Mary Magdalene’s church on today’s Södermalm. The ore concept that was established then designated areas outside the city center and with rural buildings as ore farms.

During the latter part of the 19th century, the ores were built with multi-family houses in stone and this whole area was then considered part of the inner city, which view still partly survives. Finally, during the 20th century, the city’s expansion spread further – mainly in the south and west – where the demarcation to the inner city was then perceived to consist of the waters, Årstaviken and Tranebergssund, which formed a natural boundary between the older more central city and the newer suburbs.

There is also a narrower demarcation, which coincides with the older concept of the City within the customs and which includes the parts of the Inner City that are within Stockholm’s old city customs. City customs were decided in 1622 for Swedish cities. At that time, high fences with customs stations were built around many cities at the major entrances and exits. Regarding Stockholm, the customs fence was moved during its active time (1622-1810) gradually outwards in step with the city’s expansion. The term City within the customs then usually refers to the customs as they were at the end of this period.

The city within the customs consists of dense buildings and, with few exceptions, classic neighborhoods and straight streets. This area can sometimes also be called the stone city or the neighborhood city. In Hammarby lake town, it was the first time in a long time that the city made an active attempt to build the inner city outside the customs.

Districts in Östermalm’s district area:
The Östermalm’s district area consists of the districts Djurgården, Hjorthagen, Norra Djurgården and Östermalm.

Djurgården or Södra Djurgården is an island and a district in Stockholm, and is part of the Royal National City Park. Sometimes Södra Djurgården also includes the southern half of the park area Kungliga Djurgården, including the green areas on Gärdet and Fjäderholmarna.

Djurgården is known for its many sights and for its nature with many old oaks. Urban buildings are located in the southwestern part: Djurgårdsstaden and Beckholmen. In other respects, Djurgården consists of park areas with a number of museums, culturally and historically interesting villas, embassies and other institutions. Current and former residents include royalty, diplomats, city councilors, publishers and bank directors. A large part of the island of Djurgården is occupied by the open-air museum Skansen and the amusement park Gröna Lund. Södra Djurgården has been named a national interest in the care of the cultural environment.

The earliest traces of human activity on Djurgården date back to the Iron Age. A burial field, Walmundsön, consisting of eight visible burial mounds from the Late Iron Age (550–1100 AD) are the concrete signs that there was probably also a farm here. The background to the island’s current name is the zoo that Johan III established on the island’s northwestern cape in 1579. In this zoo there were reindeer, moose and deer. In Gustav III ‘s time, Djurgården was transformed more into a popular amusement park and some foreign diplomats were allowed to build exclusive villas on exclusive plots, such as Liston Hill and Lower Manila. In the 1820s, the island experienced a royal era, when Charles XIV Johan built the pleasure castle Rosendal.

In 1646, Queen Kristina took the initiative to set up a hospital and housing for sailors on the island’s southwestern cape. The first settlement consisted of fourteen small houses that served as infirmaries for boatmen. It was the beginning of its own small town on the island; Djurgårdsstaden. The district later functioned as housing for the workers at Djurgårdsvarvet. The shipyard began operations in 1735 and built ships until 1979. In connection with the General Art and Industry Exhibition in 1897, it was proposed that all the “insignificant wooden huts be demolished, of which only a few from Bellman’s days have any cultural-historical significance”.. The proposal was not realized better and today Djurgårdsstaden is perceived as an idyll that mainly consists of wooden houses from the 18th century.

On the northwestern part of the island in 1722, Kungl. May: a land area for the fleet, which was called Galärvarvet. Following the Venetian model, the archipelago fleet’s galleys were to be stored on land in special sheds. About thirty gallery sheds were built and in the 1870s the business was expanded with a large dry dock (which today contains the Vasa Museum). In 1945, Galärvarvet had 1,280 employees, in 1969 the business was moved to Muskö, the sheds were demolished and the area was turned into a park. Today, Galärvarvskyrkogården is reminiscent of the fleet’s previous activities.

Originally, Södra Djurgården was an island and there was already very early a natural fairway from Stockholm to the Baltic Sea, but in the middle of the 18th century Södra Djurgården ceased to be an island. Through land uplift and overgrowth, the fairway became a narrow, unusable gutter. The current Djurgårdsbrunn Canal was completed in 1834 and was created on the initiative of King Karl XIV Johan.

Djurgården is often associated with its rough oaks, originally intended for a shipbuilding bay for the Swedish Navy. One of these giants is Prince Eugene’s oak in the park north of Prince Eugene’s Waldemarsudde. It is considered to be the largest living oak on Djurgården. The oak was originally three-stemmed. Today (2006) Prince Eugene’s oak is 21 meters high. The trunk has a circumference of 920 centimeters and a volume of 45 cubic meters. The age is estimated at between 300 and 400 years.

Other well-known zoo squirrels include Kungseken at Manilla School and Bellmanseken outside Hasselbacken. During the latter, Carl Michael Bellman is said to have sat and written his Fredman’s epistle 25. Another interesting oak is next to Karl XI’s fisherman’s cottage on Norra Djurgården. It is called Fiskartorpseken or Karl XI’s oak and has partly grown into the cottage’s facade and eaves.

At Södra Djurgården, three large Stockholm exhibitions were held; The General Art and Industry Exhibition 1897, the Art Industry Exhibition 1909 and the Stockholm Exhibition 1930.

From the center of Stockholm, you reach the island of Djurgården via the Djurgårdsbron, which continues in Djurgårdsvägen. The area on the so-called Lejonslätten closest to Djurgårdsbron was in 1897 the site of the large General Art and Industry Exhibition with Ferdinand Boberg as exhibition architect. From that time, some buildings have been preserved, such as the Biological Museum, Villa Lusthusporten and the Scanian mine. Part of the Nordic Museum was also completed for this exhibition. At the same side of Djurgårdsvägen is Liljevalch’s art gallery from 1916.

The big tourist magnets on the island are Skansen and the Vasa Museum as well as the amusement park Gröna Lund. South of Gröna Lund spreads the old district Djurgårdsstaden and the island Beckholmen. If you follow Djurgårdsvägen from Djurgårdsstaden about a kilometer lower to the east, you come to the peninsula, Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde with art gallery and art exhibitions. Another about a kilometer to the east is Biskopsudden with a marina and restaurant. Here was the exhibition area for the Art Industry Exhibition 1909, also designed by Boberg, of which there are no buildings left. Along the shoreline to the east follow a number of villas, including Villa Ekarne, Nedre Manilla, Villa Mullberget and Täcka udden. Djurgårdsön ends in the east with Blockhusudden, on it is the art museum and art gallery Thielska Galleriet from 1905. Even further east is the archipelago Fjäderholmarna, they are also part of Ekoparken.

North of Djurgårdsbrunnskanalen and Djurgårdsbrunnsviken, Gärdet spreads. There are, among other things, several museums such as the Technical Museum, the Ethnographic Museum and the Maritime History Museum. In the area west of the Chinese Embassy in Stockholm, there was another notable exhibition, the Stockholm Exhibition in 1930, where Gunnar Asplund was the main architect and introduced functionalism in Sweden. The landmark on Gärdet is the 155 meter high TV tower Kaknästornet which was taken into use in 1967. Follow Djurgårdsbrunnsvägento the west you pass the hotel and restaurant Villa Källhagen and then to Diplomatstaden and Nobelparken.

Hjorthagen is a district in the northeastern part of Stockholm’s inner city, by Ropsten and Lidingöbron. Originally a enclosure for the king’s population of deer, the area developed during the late 19th century into an industrial suburb with Värtagasverket and Värtaverket as leading landmarks. Since 1997, Hjorthagen has been a district within Östermalm’s district area.

Among the district’s buildings stands out the current school, built in 1925, which is built in a national romantic style according to drawings by the architect Georg A Nilsson. On Artemisgatan there is a small library, inaugurated in 1959. Hjorthagen’s church is an example of Art Nouveau. On Jägmästargatan is the tennis club Hjorthagens TK which was founded in 1956.

Dagens Hjorthagen was in the 12th century an island called Husarne (Husarna) with the villages Husarne and Söderhusarne. The island was rather mountainous and had a small arable area. Johan III planned a royal hunting ground, an animal farm, and in 1579 placed some deer and reindeer. King Charles XI had a twenty kilometer long and three meter high fence erected around northern and southern Djurgården. Fences also ran along the beaches to keep wolves out and the deer inside in the winter when the water froze. Hunter dwellings began to grow. Around 1800, the fence was dilapidated and the deer occupied, economically speaking, an unnecessarily large area. Around 1803, a new fence was built around today’s Hjorthagen and the 183 deer were enclosed there. Extra feeding was often required when the pasture was lean.

The district is known as the first industrial suburb within the city limits of Stockholm in 1903. In 1886, Värtahamnen was taken into use. In 1889, the city of Stockholm bought Hjorthagen from the state and the following year they began to build Värtagasverket. The deer were moved to a new enclosure, also called the deer paddock, outside Mariefred and thus a 200-year era for Hjorthagen as a zoo was over. The first residential development in Hjorthagen came in 1898, and in 1902 Hjorthagen’s school was built.

Värtagasverket and Värtaverket became key features. Värtagasverket was inaugurated on November 25, 1893 and in 1903 Värtaverket was inaugurated. When Hjorthagen grew at the beginning of the 20th century, several shops were started: a grocery store, a bakery, a shoemaker, a retail store, a cigar shop and a sewing shop. In Hjorthagen, there have also been paint shops, shaving houses, firewood shops, patisseries and mangelbod. The school is one of the few wooden buildings left today. There is now the Gerlesborg School for Art Education (a branch of the school in Gerlesborg, Bohuslän). In 1906, Anna Eklund opened a folk kindergarten in Hjorthagen.

In 1947–1963, modern residential buildings were built to replace the old buildings. The old villas in the area were also demolished during this period. The new houses were built by Stockholmshem. The newly built houses of the 1960s between Värtaverket and Skogsvaktargatan replaced the oldest houses in Hjorthagen and were designed by Backström & Reinius.

During the 1950s, the population level reached its highest numbers when 5,000 people lived in Hjorthagen. It was also then that Hjorthagen had its largest selection of stores. Here was, among other things, a convenience store in both Old Hjorthagen and Abyssinia. In addition to a large Konsum (1935–1980), Porjusvägen also had a press office, post office, tobacconist, fruit shop, fish shop and hairdresser. Since the 1960s, the shops have disappeared and Porjusvägen has ceased to be a shopping street. Artemisvägen is today the site of Hjorthagen’s only grocery store, formerly belonging to the Coop Nära chain and since September 2017 Tempo. The post office was closed in 2000. Previously, there was also a Vivo store (Frösslunds) opposite Konsum.

The street names in the district have been created based on hunting or have to do with electricity production based on Värtaverket. Hunting became a theme when Hjorthagen received official street names in 1920. Hunting as a theme has given street and place names such as Dianavägen after the goddess of hunting Diana in Roman mythology, Hubertsplan after Sankt Hubertus and Artemisgatan after the Greek goddess Artemis. The neighborhood also has hunting-related names, e.g. The double rifle.

When a new functional area, Abyssinia, was built in the 1930s, the streets and neighborhoods got names connected to electricity: Untravägen, Trollhättevägen, Krångedevägen and Porjusvägen. Untragatan has its after Untra power plant in Uppland with the Untra – Värtan power line. People connected to electricity and gas production have given names to Wenströmvägen (Jonas Wenström) and Ahlsellvägen (Adolf Ahlsell).

Gärdet, officially Ladugårdsgärdet, is a district in northeast Stockholm’s inner city. It consists partly of a densely populated area, and partly of a large mainly grassy area with elements of forest that is part of the National City Park. The district was formed in 1926 through a division of the district Östermalm. Nedre Gärdet is located between Valhallavägen and Brantingsgatan, next door to Övre Östermalm. Central to this part of the district is Erik Dahlbergsgatan, an avenue with linden trees and paved with paving stones.

This large open areas served as a military training field from 1672 (Charles XI). During the time of Charles XIV Johan, a larger part of Gärdet was cleared and planned so that cavalry and artillery could also deploy here. The king held mustering and exercises during the summer when he stayed at Rosendal Castle. Most often, however, he watched from a distance up on the Castle. To get to Gärdet, he rode on a specially built bridge over the Djurgårdsbrunn canal.

In 1919, the only landing of a zeppelin liner (LZ 120 Bodensee) in Sweden was made at Gärdet. Between 1919 and 1936, Lindarängen’s airport was located at Lindarängsvägen 36. On 16 September 1936, Bromma Airport was inaugurated and land-based air traffic came to replace the sea-based one.

During the 1990s, the district was expanded in a northwesterly direction when old military training fields were replaced with the residential area Starrbäcksängen. The last stage of the expansion at the corner of Valhallavägen and Lidingövägen was completed in 2007 with the Svea tower. In connection with the new construction for the Royal Academy of Music in the 2010s, the residential area Svea Fanfar was built on the adjacent land.

The city plan competition for the new area was won in 1929 by the architect Arvid Stille, whose proposal was reworked into a completed city plan in 1931. Gärdet was built for the most part during the same period, the 1930s and onwards, and is therefore architecturally uniform. The dominant building style is early functionalism. The area was used as a model for residential areas throughout the world. The innovative thing about the district’s planning was above all that the neighborhoods are not closed but the houses are independent of each other. There are also many green areas between the houses.

Within the district are several public buildings and institutions, including Kaknästornet, Royal Academy of Music, the National Maritime Museum, Technical Museum, Ethnographic Museum, the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration, the Swedish Film Institute, Headquarters, Military Archives, The Life Guards (former Life Guard Dragoons) and the National Defense College, Freeport, Värtahamnen, the Administrative Court in Stockholm and more.

Gärdet is also the scene for the big “dragon festivals” which in the 1960s and 1970s were arranged by the Art College’s student union and for Gärdetfestivalerna which took place on a number of occasions in the 1970s and which sometimes is seen as one of the unifying starting points for the progressive music movement in Sweden. The field under the name Gärdet’s sports field is a popular place for various sports with a beach volleyball court, grass football field, American football goals and long-distance skiing in the winter. On the day of Christ’s ascensionis the Dragon Festival at Gärdet and then people gather to fly paper dragons.

Gärdet means the large open area with grass, here you will find, among other things, beavers, rabbits and deer. Attempts to limit the number of rabbits have been unsuccessful. Gärdet also grazed the sheep herd of the city of Stockholm from the 1940s to 1991 (they were popularly called “Kungens får”).

Norra Djurgården
Norra Djurgården is a district within the district area Östermalm in Stockholm municipality. Norra Djurgården’s park area covers a larger area than the district, and is part of the Royal Djurgården. The entire district, with the exception of Campus Valhallavägen (Royal Institute of Technology) and Ruddammen, is part of the Royal National City Park, the world’s first and Sweden’s only national city park.

A large part of the district is forested, including Lill-Jansskogen. Norra Djurgården has a long shoreline towards Brunnsviken (3,500 meters), towards Lilla Värtan (3,800 meters), Ålkistan (180 meters) and Husarviken (800 meters). Within the district there are five smaller lakes, two of which are overgrown:

The district was incorporated with Stockholm on January 1, 1868. Previously, it was under royal administration. However, the buildings have always been very limited and were regulated by the Royal Djurgården Administration. The first residential area, Ekhagen, was built in 1935. Later, Ruddammen was added and in the 1960s, student housing was built on Lappkärrsberget.

At Roslagsvägen was a now demolished small industrial area, Albano. The industrial area Fisksjöäng, “Stockholm’s last shanty town “, has been closed down and the area is being restored to its original condition. The Roslagsbanan departs from Stockholm’s eastern station and stops within the district at the University stop. Two stations in the Metro are located within the district: the University of Technology and the University.

The Royal Institute of Technology and Stockholm University dominate among the public buildings. The district has several sports facilities, including Stockholm Stadium, Östermalm’s IP, the Royal Tennis Hall and the Tennis Stadium. On Norra Djurgården, on both sides of Björnnäsvägen, is Koloniföreningen Söderbrunn. It is Stockholm’s oldest colony area that is still in use and was established in 1905.

Östermalm is a district in Stockholm’s inner city. Östermalm is associated with exclusive residential areas such as Strandvägen, Karlaplan, Villastaden, Lärkstaden and Diplomatstaden. Most of Östermalm is part of Östermalm’s district area, while a smaller part (at Roslagstull) belongs to Norrmalm’s district area.

Östermalm was formerly called Ladugårdslandet, which indicates that there were four royal barns: Medelby, Kaknäs, Unnanrör and Vädla. Of them, only the name Kaknäs survives. The first city plan for Östermalm, made in 1640, mainly included the streets around Östermalmstorg. At that time, Östermalm was a popular excursion destination and the farms were mostly used as summer places.

Over time, an increasing proportion of the area’s population became military. Ladugårdsgärdet became known as a poor and dirty district. In the middle of the 19th century, the district was extensively rebuilt, after which the number of wealthy people increased. The old name was thus considered inappropriate and in 1885 the new name Östermalm was adopted.

Östermalm east of Sturegatan is built according to a strict grid plan where wider east-west streets cross narrower streets going from south to north. In order for the plan to be followed, Tyskbagarbergen north of Karlavägen was blown away at the end of the 19th century. The grid is only interrupted by the esplanade Narvavägen and the circular Karlaplan.

Most of the buildings date from the period 1880-1930, but both older and newer buildings are interspersed among the turn-of-the-century houses. The houses are usually five storeys high and made with elegant facades in stone, plaster or brick. The most magnificent houses are found along Strandvägen, Narvavägen, Valhallavägen andKarlavägen. Behind the facades are usually relatively large apartments, often made with rich carpentry, furniture and stucco. The district was only moderately affected by the 1960s urban redevelopment.

Northeast of Karlaplan, the buildings are more modern and mainly function-inspired. Between Sturegatan and Engelbrektsgatan, Villastaden spreads out, where most of the houses are drawn from the street with courtyards, a remnant from the time during the 19th century when there were mainly villas in the area. West of Engelbrektsgatan, the terrain is more hilly, which has resulted in Lärkstaden’s irregular street network lined with national romantic residential buildings.

On southern Östermalm, also called Nedre Östermalm as it is closer to the water, are Hovstallet, Army Museum, Historical Museum, Dramaten, Performing Arts Museum and Diplomatstaden. Other important buildings in the city’s television and radio buildings, office complex Garrison, shopping center Fältöversten, Östermalms market hall, Sturegallerian, Fredrikshovsgatan Castles and Engelbrektskyrkan, Hedvig Eleonora Church, Oscarskyrkan and Gustaf Adolf Church.

During the 20th century, Östermalm has developed into an area that is often considered to have a high social status and which regularly has Sweden’s highest apartment prices. Many leading figures in business, administration and the entertainment industry live here.