Dry dock at Beckholmen. Photo: Lars Nyberg.
Coasts and islands
The Royal National City Park has a long and varied shoreline. Some stretches are urbanized and are fronted by stone-lined quays, for example, around Skeppsholmen, Kastellholmen and the western part of Södra Djurgården. Other stretches meet the waters of Saltsjön in steeply sloping rocky countryside such as Stora Lappkärrsberget and around Tivoli in north Brunnsviken. Low-lying areas with shallow stony beaches are common, often rich in reeds. To the north, at Sörentorp, there is a stretch of unbroken beech forests. The shoreline shares the flora and fauna of the inner archipelago which further contributes to the Royal National City Park’s wealth of species.
There are less than a dozen islands within the park. From south to north these are: Skeppsholmen, Kastellholmen, Beckholmen, Södra Djurgården, the Fjäderholm islands (with Stora Fjäderholmen, Libertas and Rövarns holme), Bockholmen below Stocksundstorp in Bergshamra, and Kaninholmen below Ulriksdal Palace.
All the islands are quite different from one another. Skeppsholmen, Kastellholmen, Beckholmen and the western part of Södra Djurgården are known as ‘Sjögården’ (the sea garden) and are characterised by a maritime tradition which includes the Vasa Museum and shipyard activities on Beckholmen.
The Fjäderholm islands are possibly the only place with any strong archipelago atmosphere and they also have a completely different history than the rest of the Royal National City Park, having always been more a part of the archipelago. The bird life on the Fjäderholm islands is very interesting. The number of species is unexpectedly high. For example, over 100 pairs of the sharply declining lesser black-headed gull are to be found here. Bockholmen and Kaninholmen are rather anonymous islands even though there is a popular sea restaurant on the former. Kaninholmen was much better known in the mid-19th century when Karl XV celebrated his midsummers there.