House of Sweden Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Hundreds of people danced, ate, played music, painted and stared in awe Saturday afternoon at the stunning views of the Potomac River, the Watergate, the Kennedy Center and the Georgetown bridges from the broad steps and inside the glass walls of the Swedish Embassy at the tenth anniversary of its opening.

Known as House of Sweden, the modernistic, open-design building has energized the once rather sleepy end of Georgetown’s historic district. The consulate and its cultural center have hosted frequent, highly public and multifaceted programs: seminars, workshops, art exhibitions, music and dance performances, and political and diplomatic events.

It’s called “public diplomacy” and all embassies do it. But Sweden, in a city of embassies from almost every country in the world, stands out. Most popular are its café and summer concerts and dances on its broad rooftop overlooking the river. A December highlight is the Santa Lucia Christmas festival of lights, with traditional Swedish food and crafts for sale as holiday gifts.

Ambassador Björn Lyrvall welcomed the anniversary guests from midway up the curving stairway between House of Sweden’s two great reception halls. “Relations between the United States and Scandinavia have never been better,” he said.


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