Riksdag – The Swedish Parliament

Touring the old and the new at the Parliament building in Stockholm

Swedish parliament

I’d really wanted to see the Danish Parliament in Copenhagen. Who wouldn’t after watching Borgen every Saturday night on TV? But when I got there ready for the once-weekly tour in English, the times had changed and I’d missed it by an hour.

So when I just happened to pass by the Swedish Parliament and they just happened to have an English language tour about to start and it just happened to be free, of course I had to tag along. I mean, you never know do you? They might decide to make a Swedish version of Borgen and then I’d be kicking myself for not taking an opportunity that had been chucked right in front of me.

Swedish parliament

There was airport style security to get through to enter the building and lockers which all  bags had to be put into. Cameras were fine to carry around though and photographs were allowed.

We piled into the lift and the guide led us to the new building which is literally on top of the old building.

Swedish parliament
The new glass building sitting atop the old building

There were great views from long curving glass wall.

Swedish parliamentView from Swedish parliament

The Prime Minister’s residence was pointed out. It sits across the water from the Parliament building on an ordinary street. Anyone can walk up to his front door. No fences, no barricades. The complete opposite to Downing Street.

Prime Minister's residence
The PM lives in the white house in the middle

We sat in the galleries overlooking the main area where the 349 MPs sit when Parliament is in session whilst the guide explained about the make-up of Parliament and how voting happens.

Swedish parliamentAt the time of the tour there were almost as many female as male MPs, though this has dropped somewhat since September’s general election.

The system of voting means there is always a coalition in government. Currently the PM is a Social Democrat and his party is in coalition with the Moderate Party and the Sweden Democrats.

There seem to be an awful of parties, but many of them didn’t get any seats. I love that there is a Pirate Party of Sweden even though they didn’t get any seats. I wondered if they imagined themselves as a modern day version of the Vikings, but it seems more that they are standing for increased privacy laws and changes in copyright legislation. Not things Vikings would’ve been too bothered about.

Swedish parliamentLeaving the modern building we headed downstairs to the older parts of the building. This was very different in style.

Swedish parliament Swedish parliament

We saw various meeting and committee rooms and were given a lot more information. The tour lasted about an hour an half and was well worth doing. Even if it wasn’t Borgen.

 

Author: Anne

Join me in my journey to live a life less boring, one challenge at a time. Author of the forthcoming book 'Walking the Kungsleden: One Woman's Solo Wander Through the Swedish Arctic'.

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