Army Museum and Riksdag

Why go to the army museum? Cause they had free admission in January, hehe.

Unfortunately most of the explanations were in Swedish, so I could only look at the nice displays.

Weapons on display

Weapons on display

It’s quite interesting how a weapon can be hidden in a violin case.

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I’m guessing this is some army camp or village scene from a time long ago.

Charge!!

Charge!!

The caption says it all.

Standard

Standard

The captured standard of a Russian unit. Standards were very intricate and precious things last time. It’s a great shame for a unit to lose it in battle, and therefore it’s a very valuable prize for the enemy.

Model Soldiers

Model Soldiers

Cute little toy soldiers with not so cute looking sharp pointy things.

Horse artillery

Horse artillery

These horses are drawing a piece of artillery. There’s an explanation (in Swedish naturally) on the information panel to the right.

I left the army museum after a short while to make it for the free guided tour of the Swedish Parliament building at 1.30 pm. There are much fewer tours in winter. Details of guided tours can be found here.

Google translate says Riksdag means parliamentary. I guess it also means parliament, parliament building etc etc. To enter the Riksdag, everyone has to go through a security check. This took a long time as they were very thorough. It’s just like an airport security check. The guard must have seen a suspicious looking metal cylindrical object in my bag. He asked if it’s a water bottle and then asked me to show him. He asked what liquid was inside, then proceeded to open it up and smell it. It was just water. Satisfied, I was through security.

Next, everyone has to deposit their bags and coats in the lockers provided. A 10 kr deposit is necessary. Only 10 kr coins are allowed, so remember to bring one. The money changing machine didn’t work when I was there.

The picture below shows the Riksdag chamber. The upper area where we are at is the public gallery.

Riksdag Chamber

Riksdag Chamber

The chamber is where the elected representatives debate and take decisions. The sit by constituency, regardless of party affiliation. The Speaker, Prime Minister and other big shots sit in front. Each seat has a little box with a few buttons for voting. Voting results are displayed on two illuminated boards at the front of the chamber.

There are 349 representatives. After they are elected, they choose a Speaker to represent them. The Speaker then chooses the Prime Minister. According to the tour guide, there is plenty of background work done before that so the actual process of choosing goes smoothly.

Here’s a picture of City Hall from the upper floors of the Riksdag. Clearly it’s not a clear and sunny day.

City Hall from the Riksdag

City Hall from the Riksdag

Assembly room

Assembly room

The above picture is the assembly room of the Finance Committee. It’s in the Riksdag’s heritage-listed reference library.

The legislative process is very complicated. First a proposal is submitted to the Chamber, where it goes to the relevant committee. The committees are made up of members of the different parties. They discuss it and prepare a proposal for a decision by the Riksdag. Then the individual members go back to their own parties and discuss the position they’re going to take in response to the proposal. There are other rooms for them to do this, pictues coming later.

Next the Riksdag debates and takes a decision on the new law or amendment. The Government is then informed of the decision and it is their job to enforce it.

All the information comes from a little info booklet which they gave out. More info is on their website.

Party discussion room

Party discussion room

The room shown in the picture above is where the political parties gather and decide on how to respond.

Skylight

Skylight

A nice looking skylight in the Second Chamber.

Frescoes in the Second Chamber

Frescoes in the Second Chamber

They sure have a nice environment for their discussions.

Grand Gallery Skylight

Grand Gallery Skylight

This skylight in the Grand Gallery is ringed by Sweden’s 24 provincial coats of arms.

Grand Gallery

Grand Gallery

If you’re the Prime Minister, or maybe it’s the Speaker, I can’t remember what the tour guide said already, you get a portrait.

Committee Assembly Room

Committee Assembly Room

Here’s another committee assembly room. Doesn’t look as pretty as the one that houses the Finance Committee.

Grand Stairway

Grand Stairway

The stairs and columns are made of different kinds of marble. It is now used for ceremonial occasions like when the King opens the Riksdag session each year in September.

Gamla Stan

Gamla Stan

A view of Gamla Stan from inside the Riksdag.

Bank Hall

Bank Hall

This building used to belong to the Bank of Sweden, but they moved out and the Riksdag needed the space. So they took over, built the chamber on top of the roof and joined the buildings with covered bridges.

Prime Minister's Residence

Prime Minister's Residence

The white building in the centre is the Prime Minister’s Official Residence. I have no idea if he actually lives there.

And now I know more about the Swedish Parliament than the Singapore one. I wonder if they give a free tour too.

On the way back, I saw a street busker about to start his performance outside the entrance of T Centralen.

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Those 2 ‘people’ he’s carrying on his back will form part of his performance.

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By pulling the whole thing over his head and wrapping the girl’s legs around, he is able to make it look like a couple is dancing. He does this to some fast music playing from his boom box.

Playing with fire

Playing with fire

For his last act, he lit these torches and juggled them around in varying patterns. He dropped them a few times but overall it was a very interesting performance.

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