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The second-oldest church in Stockholm is located on the tiny island of Riddarholmen, next to Gamla Stan. It was founded in the 13th century as a Franciscan monastery, but today is a virtual pantheon of Swedish kings. The last king buried here was Gustav V in 1950. Before that, some of the greatest monarchs in Swedish history were interred inside, including Gustav III and Gustav II Adolf -- but excluding Queen Christina. During one of our visits, two American ladies from Kentucky were demanding to know where Queen Christina was buried. We informed them they'd have to go to Rome to see her tomb.

As you walk across the ancient floor, you'll in essence be walking on the tombstones of royalty and nobility. Although the church is relatively devoid of art, it does contain a trio of royal chapels. On one occasion, we saw the King and his Queen arriving to worship in the Bernadotte Wing. Karl XIV Johan, the first king of the present Bernadotte ruling dynasty, is buried in a large marble sarcophagus here. We always make some little discovery every time we visit. On our last trip, we learned that many Swedish soldiers from the Thirty Years' War were also buried here.