The Riksdag (Swedish Parliament) building on the islet of Helgeandsholmen is the centre of Swedish democracy; this is where laws are determined.The building was opened in 1905 but the Helgeandsholmen became small and in 1983 it was joined together with the old Bank of Sweden building. Today the Riksdag asingle chamber with 349 democratically elected members. Sweden has a parliamentary system of government, the Riksdag is the Sweden´s principal decision-making bodyand the King is only representative. Every four years in September all citizens have the opportunity to vote in the democratic elections for political group thatthey want to represent them in the Riksdag.
The popular places of the Riksdag are:
* The Chamber. It’s the heart of the Riksdag. It’s here that therepresentatives debate and take decisions. The members don’t sit according to their party affiliation. The public gallery has seats for the visitors and press.
* TheGrand Gallery. In the past the members of the Reiksdag met here between debates and today it serves for official dinners and receptions. The glass skylight inthe middle in ringed by Sweden´s 24 provincial coats of arms.
* The Second Chamber. It has the original pictures from 1905. Today the largest parliamentarygroup meets here for discussions.
* The Grand Stairway. It’s the impressive entrance hall of the East Wing, near the Royal Palace. In the Grand Stairway there arecolumns, pictures and stairs of different kinds of marble and it’s used on various ceremonial occasions, for example when the King opens the Riksdag in September.