At the end of the 19th century, Stockholm was expanding rapidly an it soon became apparent that the city needed more room and larger venues for its many institutions.

In those days, the City Council had to move between different buildings to hold their meetings and the courtrooms were crowded. Plans to build a new Courthouse in Stockholm began to develop.

The location

As the city kept growing, the people in charge realised they would have to consider other sites for the new building, rather than just placing in it in the centrally located Old Town. It was necessary to develop other areas since Stockholm was well on its way to becoming a major city. It was eventually decided that the best place for the new Courthouse was the southeast tip of Kungsholmen.

On the 27th of October 1902, a completion was held where architects were invited to submit their ideas of what the new Courthouse should look like. Architect Ragnar Östberg won the competition, with his proposal for a grand building that would house more than just the courts.

From courthouse to City Hall 

In 1907, when the construction was about to begin, the plans for the new courthouse suddenly changed. Several members of the City Council, inspired by the grand designs Östberg had proposed, suggested that it might be better if the two functions of the building were divided into two separate buildings. As a result, they decided to build the City Hall on the site of the old Eldkvarn mill, while the courts and judicial chambers would be located in the Courthouse, further up on the island of Kungsholmen, next to the police station. Carl Westman, the architect that came in second in the competition 1902, became the architecht behind the Courthouse; while Ragnar Östberg stayed on to design the City Hall – with some changes to his original blueprints to allow for the new purpose of the building.


The construction of the City Hall began in 1911 and the opening was held 12 years later, on Midsummer Eve 1923. The Courthouse was built around the same time but was finished earlier, in 1915. 

Picture from the opening of the City Hall on the 23 th of June 1923, exactly 400 years since King Gustav Vasa had arrived in Stockholm to assume the throne. Verner von Heidenstam and Hjalmar Branting spoke at the opening. Photographer: Oscar Ellqvist.

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