The Rosenbad building

City block - building - name - history - style - architects.

From rose bath(s) to Bonde family mansion

Relief on the façade of Rosenbad A picture of the Bonde family mansion may still be seen in a relief on the façade of Rosenbad.

The name Rosenbad, meaning 'Rose Bath(s)', comes from the public bath house built by Christopher Thiel, the proprietor, in the early 1680s. It stood in Drottninggatan, close to the waterfront ('Strömmen', 'the Stream') in central Stockholm. 'Drottninggatan', meaning 'Queen Street', was named in 1639, probably in honour of Queen Christina.

Beside ordinary baths, the bath house offered bathing in roses, camomile leaves and lilies, which were thought to be good for the health. Soon the city's most popular public bathing establishment, Rosenbad, was run by the Thiel family until 1761.

The building was then purchased by the Bonde family. Subsequently, they had it demolished to build their family mansion in the 1780s. The mansion dominated the Strömmen waterfront area until about 1900, when it was demolished to make room for the present buildings in the Rosenbad city block. However, a picture of the mansion may still be seen in a relief on the façade of Rosenbad, on the corner of Drottninggatan and Strömgatan.

The part of the mansion facing Drottninggatan was rented in the 1830s and for some years after that by a Swiss who used it as the city's first hotel - 'Garni Hotel - Rooms for Travellers'. In the cellar, the controversial Rosenbad tavern was opened.

Today, what reminds us of how the name originated is, above all, the many roses - on the façade around the doors and windows, and inside on the ceiling and around the pillars and entrances.

Present-day Rosenbad and its architect

Roses on the façade of Rosenbad There are many roses on the façade around doors and windows.

The present-day Rosenbad building was designed by Ferdinand Boberg (1860-1946) for AB Rosenbad and Nordiska Kreditbanken. Completed in 1902, it was a symbol of Nordic modernity, both architecturally and in terms of business activity. It housed a bank, offices, first-class apartments, a café, bars and a restaurant, in original and sumptuous premises.

Some critics held the opinion that, in terms of style, Rosenbad did not fit in with Stockholm's overall image. Boberg himself was content to have created an artistic effect and imparted a light, cheerful tone to one of the city's most beautiful esplanades, along the Strömmen waterfront. Many people agreed with him. The original latticework on the towers and the open loggias had a mass appeal.

Ferdinand Boberg, who was called 'the modern virtuoso' by the architect who later designed the Stockholm Stadium, emerged as a pioneer of the Art Nouveau style in Sweden. During his life, Boberg created many well-known buildings, especially in Stockholm. From his début, the new fire station in Gävle in 1890, he continued in the Swedish capital with Rosenbad; Prins Eugen's Waldemarsudde and the Thielska Gallery on the island of Djurgården; the Central Post Office in Vasagatan; the Swedish Trade Union Confederation headquarters at Norra Bantorget; the NK department store in Hamngatan; the gasometers in Hjorthagen; and the electricity works (now a mosque) in Södermalm.

Rosenbad and the other buildings housing the Government Offices are managed by the Swedish National Property Board.

You can read more about Rosenbad - the building and the city block, its architecture and its history up to the present day - under the headings top left: Style and details and Rosenbad today.