Ekerö Municipality

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Ekerö Municipality (Ekerö kommun) is a municipality in Stockholm County in east central Sweden. The name comes from the island Ekerö, and literally means "Oak Island". Its seat is located in the town of Ekerö.

Ekerö is the only municipality in the Lake Mälaren region composed exclusively of islands. Land elevation has reduced the number of islands to 140, the largest of which, distinguished on the map below, are Adelsö, Munsö, Ekerö, Färingsö, and Lovö. 2000 years ago, during the Roman Iron Age, Färingsö was more of an archipelago of 20 islands.[3]

Originally, when the first local government acts were implemented in Sweden in 1863, eight rural municipalities were created, each corresponding to an old parish. The municipal reform of 1952 grouped them in two new larger entities. The next reform in 1971 merged them into the present municipality.

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Heritage

The municipality contains two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One is Birka, an old Viking Age village, and the other is Drottningholm Palace and its surroundings.

Drottningholm, located on the Lovön island, was originally a Renaissance palace built by King John III for Queen Catherine Jagellon. Starting in 1661, Queen Dowager Hedvig Eleonora had the old neglected palace rebuilt into a new French Baroque palace to the design of architect Nicodemus Tessin the Elder, a work later completed by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger, Carl Hårleman, and Jean Eric Rehn. Since 1984 it is the official residence of the Royal Family, but large parts of the park are accessible to the public. The palace features several uniquely preserved structures, including the Palace Theatre, inaugurated in 1766 and still delivering operas using the preserved original machinery; and the Chinese Pavilion, the Rococo design of Carl Fredrik Adelcrantz filled with Chinese luxury delivered by the Swedish East India Company.[3]

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