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The history of Norra Bantorget

From a meadow on the outskirts of the city to one of Stockholm’s most central places – the history of Norra Bantorget is synonymous with the history of Sweden’s capital itself. Here you can read about our neighborhood.

Norra Bantorget is a historic site in Stockholm that saw use as early as the Middle Ages. Då en ängsmark i stadens utkanter, idag en av Stockholms mest centrala platser.

1638 the first stone house was built at Norra Bantorget, when a children’s and disciplinary house was constructed at what is now Barnhusgatan.

1667 a new city prison was built on the same site.

1836 the Swedish Gardening Association built a garden facility based on the English model of the time, on the site where Norra Latin stands today.

1857 Hotel Phoenix opened on Drottninggatan and soon became the hotspot of the time in Stockholm.

1860 the army marksmen began conducting shooting drills on the square. At that time, the square was also used for circus performances.

1867 the northern main line was completed and its station building was placed at the square, which then took the name “Norra Bantorget”, the northern trainyard.

1880 the Norra Latin secondary school opened, designed by Helgo Zettervall and inaugurated by King Oscar II. It was the first large educational institution of its kind and a model for future educational institutions in the country.

1901 the Carlberg house was completed, later known as LO-borgen, the “LO fortress”. The house was designed by Sweden’s most famous architect at the time, Ferdinand Boberg.

1913 the Auditorium opened, later renamed Vinterpalatset, the Winter Palace. Theater, concerts, revues and operettas were shown here. Vinterpalatset was demolished in 1978 to make way for a modern office building.

In the 1930s, Norra Bantorget became a bus square, and a bus terminal, the Rotunda, was built, which also included a petrol station and a restaurant. The legendary Rotunda was designed by the head municipal gardener Blom. In 2008, Norra Bantorget got its current design when Stockholm’s largest hotel, Clarion Sign, was completed, along with a new park.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the labor movement centred its activities around the square, and this is still what many most associate Norra Bantorget with. In 1901, the first Folkets Hus – the community house – opened on Barnhusgatan.

On May 1, 1902, the first manifestation of its kind was held on Norra Bantorget, a surviving annual tradition.

1926 LO bought the Carlberg house and made it their head office, LO-borgen, “the LO fortress”.

1960 the new Folkets Hus was completed. The city architect Sven Markelius’ functional style masterpiece was at the time northern Europe’s foremost congress facility. Stockholm City Theater was also involved from the start.

1991 the City of Stockholm sold the Norra Latin school house to LO, and it became part of Folkets Hus’ conference facility. In 1990, Dansens Hus moved into the City Theatre’s vacated premises.

2009 Folkets Hus sold the operating business to Stureplansgruppen, who since then have conducted congress and conference operations under the name Stockholm City Conference Center.