LA VALLÉE, Jean de
(b. 1620, Paris, d. 1696, Stockholm)

Exterior view

1641-74
Photo
Riddarhuset, Stockholm

When Simon de la Vallée (died 1642), and then his son Jean de la Vallée court architect in Stockholm, a clear move in favour of Baroque classicism had occurred in Swedish architecture. The manifesto for the new style was expressed in the Riddarhuset (House of Nobles), influenced by the Palais du Luxembourg.

Construction of this Baroque building named Riddarhuset began in 1641. It was the House of Nobility or the Knights' House until 1866 when noblemen lost their power to the country's new parliament. However, three classes of Swedish nobility still exist: lords, knights and esquires. These titles do not have special privileges but do carry some social status. The Riddarhuset institution maintains records of all past noble families.

The main façade of the building features a giant Corinthian order and the slightly projecting pavilion is emphasized by a flat pediment. The contrast between brick and light sandstone was used to good effect. One of the original features here is the two-tier roof with a curved profile to the lower section.