JUL 20,2018 - JUL 20,2018 (1 DAYS)
Stockholm - Day 1 - Circular route from Drottninggatan ("Queen street") to Gamla Stan (Stockholm Old Town):
Part 1 Main Attractions: Hötorgshallen Food Market, Sergels torg, Park Kungsträdgården, Norrmalmstorg, Biblioteksgatan, Gustav Adolfs Torg, Jakobs Torg, Norrbro, Daily Parade of the Royal Guards.
Tip 2 Main Attractions - The Royal Palace interiors, Gamla Stan: Stockholm Cathedral (Storkyrkan), Nobel Museum, Stortorget, Köpmangatan, Österlånggatan, Järntorget, Mårten Trotzigs Gränd, Västerlånggatan.
Duration: 1 day. Distance: 10 km. Start: Olof Palmes gata x Vasagatan (Norra Bantorget Park). End: Gamla Stan and walk back to Norra Bantorget Park.
Our Hotel: we stayed 7 nights in Scandic Norra Bantorget Hotel, 15 Wallingatan, Stockholm. We were very satisfied except of the weather. Summer 2018 in Sweden was HORRIBLE. The temperatures rarely dropped under 32° from May-SEP. Even if there is an eternal breeze in Stockholm - the city suffered from unbearable wave of heat. The grass never seemed to be so yellow. Most of the hotels, restaurants, cafes, museums and public transportation are not equpped with AC. The only site which was really COOL was the Vasa Museum. BUT, the evenings and the nights were far cooler - and you could refuel your batteries for another day of long walk. The hotel is 1-minute walk from Drottninggatan - one of the main shopping streets of Stockholm. Most of it - pedestrian-only. Many eateries and elegant fashion and other high-class merchandise items. It is 12-minutes walk to the Railway Station. It is 25-minutes walk to Stockholm Town Hall. Don't bother - Stockholm is walkable. You can arrive on foot to almost every site on one of Stockholm islands. The Scandic Norra Bantorget is good. A quiet place. Almost in the centre of the city. Good breakfast (although it does not change during the week). Comfortable and modern rooms. The hotel consists of TWO BLOCKS. In case you are based in the back block - expect 3-5 minutes walking to arrive to the dining (breakfast) hall (using 1 or 2 elevators). The onsite restaurant is good but with very limited menu. Staff members are young and helpful. A price-worthy hotel considered exaggerated prices in Stockholm.
View from hotel room (5th floor):
From Norra Bantorget we turn RIGHT (north-east) (with our back to the hotel' entrance). We walk until the end of Wallingatan and and turn RIGHT (south) to Drottninggatan. After passing through Barnhusgatan, on our left, we see (along Drottninggatan) the The Central Badet (Great swimming and spa complex) on our left. Opposite this spa, on our right - note a nice courtyard with fountain:
We cross olof Palmes gata on our right and left and arrive to the intersection of Drottninggatan x Apelbergsgatan wit the three stoned lions sculptures:
The next intersection down (south-east) along Drottningggatan is with Kungsgatan:
On our left is Hötorget underground station (Hötorget T-bana) (beautiful station !!):
and Hötorgshallen Food Market. This market is located on the Hötorget Square. The square itself is filled with fruit and flower vendors - Mondays through Saturdays. The indoor market has quite a discrete entrance at the back (east side) of the square and it takes up two floors, the smaller ground floor and the larger basement level. This market is very popular with Stockholmers. Hötorgshallen (Haymarket) is only open during the daytime so no dinner options (the market is also closed on Sundays and bank holidays). You can find here fruits & vegetables, bread & pastries, delicacies, coffee, tea, sweets, meat, fish, cheese, sausages and much more. Only few of the vendors are Sweds. Most of them are North-Africans, Asian, Turkish, Italian and Eastern European shops.
The outdoor market - mostly, kinds of berries, flowers and mushrooms:
One of the most iconic buildings of Stockholm resides in Haymarket Square: the Concert Hall (Konserhuset). The Konserthuset is main place for Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. Each year on December 10, the Nobel Prizes ceremony is held in the main hall. Opening hours: MON-FRI: 11.00 - 18.00, SAT-SUN: closed. On Saturdays and Sunday - you might meet a flea market here. During summer months free concerts of students of the Academy of Music are held in the entrance. In front of Konserthuset standsd the Orpheus Fountain built by Carl Milles, a famous Swedish sculptor.
The real deal is the indoors food market. Downstairs, inside, you have everything from meat, cheese, fish, to tea, and dried goods. There also were ethnic food stalls from Mexican, through Asian to Mid-Eastern products like Falafel. This place is not so big to become overwhelming. All the stalls are neatly displayed. Since the prices are high - the real sport, here, is taking photos:
Old Movie Camera in the Basement level:
Instead of returning to Drottinggatan we continue south-east along Sergelgatan. Before we arrive to Segel Torg (Square) we see Sergelminnet sculpture by Göran Strååt along Sergelgatan street, 1990:
Sergelgatan stretches from Hötorget in the north to Sergels Torg in the south. The street is named after sculptor Johan Tobias Sergel (1740-1814), who had his studio at number 1. In his former form, Sergelgatan went south to Mäster Samuelsgatan , but passed over Sergel's old studio to Sergels Torg. The street level was then lowered by about four meters and Mäster Samuelsgatan was carried by a viaduct across the street. Sergelsgtan ends, in the south in Sergels torg. Sergels torg ("Sergel's Square") is the most central public square in Stockholm. It is the most popular space in Stockholm for meeting friends, for political demonstrations, for a wide range of events, and for drug-dealers. It is a bit similar to the public space in front of Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. The main attraction in thi square could be the fountain, in which people celebrate every major victory by a Swedish sports team. BUT, we found it totally dry. The square is partly overbuilt by a roundabout centered on 37.5-meter tall glass obelisk and by the concrete decks of three major streets. A contest for the central monument in 1962 was won by Edvin Öhrström, with the 37 metre tall glass obelisk which was named Kristall - vertikal accent i glas och stål ("Crystal - vertical accent in glass and steel"). The sculpture, finally completed in 1974 and since haunted by technical problems. Large areas of the place are closed for renovation (the whole square is plagued by significant noise) of the 50 years old concrete structures. There also preparation for the installation of tram tracks from Hamngatan to Klarabergsgatan. During the nights the square looks far better. The pole (Totem) in the middle is illuminated in beautiful blue light- amazing sight:
In the southern part of the square - you can find the Stockholm Tourist Office. With our feet at the southern part of Sergels Square and our face to the south - turn left and slope down to Hamngatan (Port Street).
Hamngatan - NK (Nordiska Kompaniet) Department Store building:
In the middle of Hamngatan, in its right (south) side - resides Park Kungsträdgården (Kings Park). What you can see from Hamngatan is ONLY the northern part of Kungsträdgården and it is far less impressive than its more southern parts. The northern part is, mostly, the "Fountain of Wolodarski". The park's central location makes it one of the most popular hangouts and meeting places in Stockholm. It also hosts open-air concerts and events in summer, while offering an ice rink during winters. In the summer it offers beautiful fountains, flourishing trees as well as a number of cafes, art galleries and restaurants. It also hosts open-air concerts and events. In the spring you can catch the Japanese Cherry (Sakura trees) blossoms in full bloom. A total number of 63 Sakura trees is an spring season experience of beauty and scent in the park. Additionally, city architect Alexander Wolodarski commissioned artist Sivert Lindblom to design the large bronze urns now lined up along the new rectangular fountain/pool:
Standing in Hamngatan and looking south to the Kungsträdgården Park - you see, on your left (east) the Palmeska huset by Helgo Zettervall, 1884–86, today the headquarters of Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB). Further south, on your left (east) is the Kungsträdgården Stockholm metro station (magnificent station !!!):
The park's most notable features reside in the southern parts: the two squares with statues of kings Charles XII and Charles XIII and the Molin's Fountain depicting motifs from Norse mythology- all these will be explored during our later blogs in Stockholm. We continue east on Hamngatan, passing Norrlandsgatan on our left (north). The next square on our left is Norrmalmstorg. Norrmalmstorg square is very famous for the Stockholm Syndrome case. The square connects the posh shopping streets of Hamngatan and Biblioteksgatan and is the starting point for legendary tram Djurgården (blue) line (route number 7N with 10 stations). It is an heritage tram line and operated on a non-profit basis by young members of the Swedish Tramway Society. The vintage of the tram cars varies from early 20th century to late 1950s. On weekends a modified trailer named "Rolling Café" is coupled to one of the motorcars on the line, where one can have a cup of coffee or tea along with some pastries whilst enjoying the scenery. We used this tram on our trip to Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde. Note the Norrmalmstorg Chicken sculpture near the Vaudville Restaurant. It’s a creation of Ebba Hedquist. The sculpture was installed there in 1971 (before the bank robbery!). The hen with flopping wings, running away from the traffic, it was an embodiment of pedestrians who felt increasingly unsafe in the 60s, as Stockholm was becoming busier. Matters got even worse when the authorities decided to implement a changeover to right-hand driving in 1967...:
Attention: We continue NORTHWARD from Norrmalmstorg through Biblioteksgatan - BUT we shall RETURN soon SOUTHWARD back to Hamngatan. From the Norrmalmstorg square we continue walking along Biblioteksgatan until it ends (in the north) in Stureplan / Birger Jarlsgatan. Biblioteksgatan ("Library Street") is a well-known shopping street with many luxurious brand stores (international luxury brands like: Prada, Gucci and Marc Jacobs alongside Swedish fashion labels like: Acne, Hope and Whyred) and some of the highest rent levels for retail in Stockholm. It starts out as a pedestrian street at Norrmalmstorg until it passes Stureplan, where after it continues towards Humlegården and the Royal Library:
Biblioteksgatan x Stureplan:
Cloe from Barcelona, Bronze, 2017 of Jaume Plensa, Stureplan:
Sorry for the U-turn. We shall walk 1 km. back to the south, to a couple of famous Stockholm squares. We thought that the short detour of Biblioteksgatan was worthwhile just for the experience of window shopping. From Stureplan we head southeast along Biblioteksgatan, 250 m. Turn right onto Norrmalmstorg/Smålandsgatan, 35 m. Turn left onto Norrmalmstorg, 75 m. Turn BACK right onto Hamngatan, 35 m. Slight left to stay on Hamngatan, 140 m. Turn left onto Västra Trädgårdsgatan, 240 m. Continue onto Jakobs torg, 50 m. We shall start with the Gustav Adolfs torg, Gustav Adolf Square. Turn right onto Gustav Adolfs torg, 75 m. A square named after King Gustav II Adolf. In the middle of the square there is a statue of Gustav II Adolf, which was erected in 1796 by the French sculptor Pierre l'Archevêque. South to this square, beyond the water (via Norrbro bridge) are the Riksplan (Parliament) and the Medieval Museum (Stockholms Medeltidsmuseum). The Royal Palace is a bit further south in Gamla Stan. The square is home to the Royal Opera, Arvfurstens palats (housing the Ministry for Foreign Affairs) and the Ministry of Defence:
The Royal Swedish Opera (Kungliga Operan) is in the eastern part of Gustav Adolfs torg. The opera company was founded by King Gustav III and its first performance, Thetis and Phelée was given on January 18, 1773:
Walk 75 m. north-east to continue to the adjacent Jakobs torg. Jakobs Torg is a triangular square framed by the Royal Opera , St. Jacob's Church and Denmark's house . The west west side extends to Västra Trädgårdsgatan and in the east the square borders Kungsträdgården. In the square outside the church and facing the Opera, a bronze bust of Jussi Björling , sculpted by the Dutchman Pieter de Monchy in 1961, was set in the square first 1994.
St. Jacobs Kyrka:
We return to Gustav Adolf Torg and head SOUTH (south-east) to the Royal Palace through Norrbro ("North Bridge"). This bridge which starts, in the north, is an arch bridge over Norrström in Gustav Adolfs torg , passes over Helgeandsholmen in front of the Riksdag building and ends opposite the northern front of the Royal Palace. Norrbro was designed by the city architect Erik Palmstedt (1741–1803). Norrbro was one of the first bridges of Stockholm to be built in stone. It was completed in 1797 (the northern part) and 1806 (the southern part). Norrbro replaced two old wooden bridges, Slaktarehusbron and Vedgårdsbron, both demolished on its completion. it is surprising that in the latter half of the 18th century still only 2 out of 17 bridges connecting the city were made, at least partially, of stone. Wooden bridges, that were in majority in Stockholm, were vulnerable to natural forces and fire. Consequently, they were often damaged and the maintenance costs were too high.
Gustav Adolf Torg from Norrbro bridge:
The "Solsångaren" (Sunsinger) sculpture of Carl Milles (east to the Norrbro bridge, on the green,small island under the bridge) - view from
Norrbro (northern bridge):
We hurried up to climb the stairs leading to the Royal Palace (Kunliga Slottet) terrace to watch the daily parade of the Royal Guards. The Royal Guards ceremony at the Royal Palace of Stockholm lasts about 40 minutes and includes a marching band. It starts at 12.15in the palace outer courtyard on weekdays, and at 13.15 on Sundays. It happens EVERYDAY from April 23 to August 31. From September 1, the parade is generally held on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, departing from the Army Museum at 11.45 (WED,SAT), and at 12.:45 on Sundays and public holidays. From November 1, the parade is generally held on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, departing from Mynttorget at 12.10 (on Sundays and public holidays: 13.10) . If there is no musical accompaniment, the Royal Guards march from the Obelisk at 12.15 (WED,SAT) or 13.15 (SUN). The whole ceremony is no more than splendid. You won't be blown away - but, it is a nice way to spend an hour:
This is the south-east entrance to the Royal Palace after the march of the Royal Guards:
But, it is not the last word of the parade. Hurry up to the south-west front of the palace,the outer courtyard, where the Change of Royal Palace Guards takes place. Get there early as it gets VERY BUSY ! The royal guard has been stationed at the royal palace in Stockholm since 1523. About 30,000 guards from the Swedish Armed Forces take their turns standing watch. The guards are responsible for safeguarding the royal palace and are also part of the defense of Stockholm. They are an important part of the security force for the capital's citizens. The royal guard takes part in royal ceremonial occasions, official state visits, the official opening of the Swedish Parliament, and other national events. When the trumpets start sounding you see rows of blue-uniformed guards coming in with the marching band. The procession is announced in Swedish before being announced in English.
Here you can see how the Royal Palace outer courtyard is looking AFTER the Royal Guards Change:
We skip to Tip 2 - where we start our visit inside the Royal Palace.
Tip 2 Main Attractions - The Royal Palace interiors, Gamla Stan: Stockholm Cathedral (Storkyrkan), Nobel Museum, Stortorget, Köpmangatan, Österlånggatan, Järntorget, Mårten Trotzigs Gränd, Västerlånggatan.
The Royal Palace, also known as Stockholm Palace, is the official residence and major royal palace of the Swedish monarch. It is located in Stadsholmen in Gamla stan in the capital city of Stockholm. The offices of the king and other members of the Swedish royal family, as well as the offices of the royal court of Sweden, are located there. The palace is used by the king as he performs his duties as head of state. The palace exteriors are nothing special. The interiors are far better - where the artwork on the ceilings is what sets it apart and gives the visitor a majestic feel. Keep in mind another fact: during the summer it might be very hot inside. There is NO AC, just occasional ventilators which do help much. Be ready to sweat if visiting behind 11.00 during an hot day. With your ticket you can visit 5 parts of the palace: the Royal Apartments, the Treasury with the regalia (crown jewels), the Tre Kronor Museum that portrays the palaces medieval history, Gustav III's Museum of Antiquities (many Roman sculptures) and the royal Armoury (royal costumes and armor, as well as coronation carriages and magnificent coaches from the Royal Stable). During the summer months the 6th part, the Royal Chapel, is also open. Opening hours: everyday. MAY-SEP: 10.00-17.00, OCT-APR: 10.00 - 16.00. Prices: 160 SEK, FREE for Stockholm Pass holders. Admission for students and children aged 7–17 is half price (children under 7 go free). Public transport: Bus: 2, 43, 55, 76, Hop On-Hop Off. Subway: Gamla Stan. Boat: Hop On-Hop Off. Allow 2-3 hours. Surprisingly there are no security checks and you are free to enter with carrying bags. Final note: the Royal Family stays in the Drottningholm Palace on Lake Malaren.
There is a very nice kiosk serving pastry and coffee in the INNER courtyard:
The first part of the Royal Palace tour are the Royal Apartments. The Royal Apartments are the group of rooms collectively used for hosting royal events and receptions. They include the State Apartments, the Bernadotte Apartments and the Guest Apartment, the Hall of State and the rooms of the Royal Orders. Fascinating (not stunning) décor and interiors offer great insight into the tastes of the 18th century and over the centuries, including Gustav III’s bedroom, Oskar II’s writing room and King Carl Gustaf’s Jubilee Room. As well as the banquet hall for galas and the Guest Apartment which host the visiting dignitary during state visits. Most of the rooms are quite dimly lit and the curtains are closed to help preserve the colour of the walls and old chairs. It means you don't really get to see the rooms in all their marvel. Some of the chandeliers are incredibly beautiful even if gloomily lit. But, you can get a FREE audio guide as you walk around the rooms.
Entrance to the Royal Apartments and Royal Chapel:
Set directly across from the entrance is the Rikssalen - or State Hall - which features the silver throne of Queen Christina:
The Hall of The Order of the Sword was originally presented for bravery in the field and at sea, and later also as a reward for long and distinguished service in the armed forces:
The Hall of Order of the Polar Star - The Order of the Polar Star was earlier intended as a reward for Swedish and foreign civic merits, for devotion to duty, for science, literary, learned and useful works and for new and beneficial institutions. Since 1975, the Order of the Polar Star is only presented to foreign nationals or stateless persons for services to Sweden or Swedish interests:
Resting on the landing between the Bernadotte Apartments and the Apartment of the Orders of Chivalry, is Theodor Lundberg’s marble sculpture, The Wave and the Beach ("Vågen och stranden"), created in 1898.":
Johan Niclas Byström, Juno with Hercules child - near the entrance to the palace:
Porcelain Figures - German Meissen Factory:
Council chamber of King Oscar II, Royal Palace, Stockholm, Sweden. Oscar II was King of Sweden from 1872 until his death in 1907:
The Princess Sibylla's Inner Drawing room, formerly known as Crown Prince Gustaf's audience chamber, still have some interior designed by Carl Hårleman, such as pilasters and ornamentations over the lintels of the doors:
Gustav III Bed Chambre:
Karl Xi Gallery - King Karl XI's Gallery is the grandest room in the palace and of the entire Swedish late Baroque period. King Karl XI's Gallery serves as a passage between King Gustav III's State Bedchamber and Sofia Magdalena’s State Bedchamber. Much of the room's décor depicts aspects from Sweden's period as a great power. The Hall of Mirrors at Versailles was the model for the room's décor. Here, an impressive ceiling painting depicts King Karl XI's Scanian War of the 1670s. The painted and sculpted details of the ceiling were created by Jacques Foucquet and René Chauveau. This work is a tribute to King Karl XI and his consort Queen Ulrika Eleonora:
The Don Quixote Salon.The name for the room comes from the tapestries on the walls, woven in the 1770s:
The White Sea Hall - In the northeast corner of the State Apartments is the ball room the Vita Havet (the White Sea) which used to be two rooms: the queen's dining hall and the hall for the trabants. The dining hall was called the White Sea, a name that was inherited for the resulting hall after the wall had been removed. In connection to dinners in the Charles XI's Gallery, the White Sea is furnished as a salon with sofas, chairs and coffee tables. On those occasions, the room is used as a drawing rooms after the dinners:
Goblins from Delft 1600s:
The Bernadotte Apartments are on the first floor of the northern row and are named after Sweden's current royal house, Bernadotte. The name of the suite is derived from a collection of portraits in the Bernadotte Gallery, the largest room in the apartments, depicting members of the Bernadotte House. Most of the rooms are in the northern row and are used for audiences, awarding medals and for meetings with the Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs. The rooms are also open to the public. The apartment was originally decorated in the 1730s and 1740s by Carl Hårleman. When King Adolf Frederick and Queen Lovisa Ulrica moved in there in 1754, the rooms were furnished with pieces of furniture made by the best craftsmen in Stockholm at that time. The last Royal Couple to use the apartment as living quarters were King Oscar II and Queen Sophia. Since then, some rooms have been restored to their original 18th century appearance, while others are maintained as they were at the time of King Oscar II, such as his writing room:
Queen Lovisa Ulrika Dining Room. King Adolf Frederick and Queen Lovisa Ulrika moved into the palace in 1754, they chose to stay in the part now known as the Bernadotte Apartments.
Queen Lovisa Ulrika Audience Chamber/ throne room. The throne room interior is a creation of Swedish architect Jean-Erid Rehn who also made the drawings for the throne. The tapestries, with the tale of Cupid & Psyche, were woven according to designs by Boucher at Beauvais:
Continuing through the apartments, which are decorated with dazzling Corinthian columns and gilded cornices, you’ll come to the Victoria Drawing Room – probably the plushest room on this floor. Pendulous crystal chandeliers made in Vienna dangle over velvety red chairs and oval-shaped tables topped with marble stucco. The same room also houses busts of today’s king and queen, who still have their offices at Kungliga Slottet:
Sophia of Nassau becomes a Queen. Sophia of Nassau (Sophia Wilhelmine Marianne Henriette, 9 July 1836 – 30 December 1913) was Queen consort of Sweden and Norway. Sophia was Queen of Sweden for 35 years, longer than anyone before her. She was the longest-serving queen until 2011, when she was surpassed by Queen Silvia:
The Tre Kronor Museum tries to represent the past glamour of the Tre Kronor Palace in Stockholm, destroyed by a fire in 1697. The museum tells the story of the destroyed palace from its origins as a fort, through to an opulent Renaissance palace. A visit to the museum will also take you through a surviving defence wall dating back to the 1200s.
Entrance to Tre Kronor Museum - wooden carvings from 1697:
Picture of Gustav Adolf II from 1632:
Tre Kronor Palace in the 16th century:
Lion Mask from 1630:
Goblin of the Tre Kronor Museum cellar:
The Swedish royal family’s crown jewels and regalia are displayed in the palace’s Royal Treasury (Skattkammaren). Housed in the dark halls, actually in a cellar, these priceless regalia are under lock and key. The main attractions are: Gustav Vasa sword of state, Erik XIV´s crown, Lovisa Ulrika crown – among other crowns and the silver baptismal font from 1696 which is still being used by the Royal family. NO PHOTOS ARE ALLOWED IN THE TREASURY ! You can see (but not photograph) exquisite jewelry, robes of state and crowns, scepters, orbs, of the Swedish King/Queen.
Maria Eleonora's crown. Maria Eleonora's crown was used as the royal crown from 1751 until 1818 when Karl XIV Johan decided to reuse the crown of Erik XIV. Queen Mary Eleonora performed a lot for the beautiful arts. In the theater area, she was one of the most versatile of our twentieth-century queens. Together with the French dance champion Antoine de Beaulieu, she introduced the court ball to Stockholm:
The Crown of Eric XIV, made in Stockholm in 1561 by Flemish goldsmith Cornelius ver Welden:
King Gustav III Museum of Antiquities is one of the oldest museum’s in Europe, opening first in 1794. His personal collection includes, mainly, approx. 200 sculptures which he procured from Italy and around Europe.
Palace Gardens from Gustav III Museum of Antiquities:
The Slottskakan or Royal Chapel is enchanting. A superb Baroque chapel - 2 1/2 stories high, with awe inspiring altar. The Slottskakan is a working parish church and is still used ceremonially by the Royal Family.
Entrance to the Royal Chapel:
From the Royal Palace we head to Gamla Stan. We shall explore the main attraction of Gamla Stan in this itinerary - but, we shall repeat and visit parts of Gamla Stan during the following days/itineraries, in various times of the day as well. Our next destination is the Storget - the main square of Stockholm Gamla Stan. Today, we'll have the opportunity to sample this attractive (and busy) square during the evening/late afternoon hours. From the Royal Palace (the outer court) we head south on Högvaktsterrassen toward Storkyrkobrinken, 40 m. Turn right onto Storkyrkobrinken, 15 m. Turn left onto Trångsund 16 m. further, take the stairs and you arrived to the Storkyrkan, Trångsund 1. Stockholm Cathedral (Storkyrkan) was built in 1279. officially it is named Sankt Nikolai kyrka (Church of St. Nicholas) and is the oldest church in Gamla Stan.
Its main features are: the brass doors,
the St. George and the Dragon sculpture (1489),
the legendary Vädersoltavlan ("The Sun Dog Painting") (1535). The Vädersoltavlan is an oil-on-panel painting depicting an atmospheric optical phenomenon, observed over Stockholm on 20 April 1535. It is named after the sun dogs (Vädersol, "Weather sun") appearing on the upper right part of the painting. It is noted for being the oldest depiction of Stockholm in colour,and also the oldest Swedish landscape painting:
The wedding of Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel took place on Saturday, June 19, 2010, in Stockholm Cathedral. South of the church is the Stockholm Stock Exchange Building facing Stortorget and containing the Swedish Academy, Nobel Library, and Nobel Museum. It is our next destination. With your back to Stockholm Cathedral turn left onto Trångsund, 80 m. Turn left onto Stortorget, 30 m and you face the Noble Museum, Stortorget 2. The small Nobel Museum showcases information about the Nobel Prize and Nobel prizewinners, as well as information about the founder of the prize, Alfred Nobel (1833–1896). The museum's permanent display includes many artifacts donated by Nobel Laureates, presented together with personal life stories.Opening hours: JUN-AUG: Daily 09.00 – 20.00 (22 June - closed). SEP-MAY: TUE–THU: 11.00 – 17.00, FRI: 11.00 – 20.00, SAT-SUN: 10.00 – 18.00. 17 and 24 November 10.00–17.00, 6 December 14.00–17.00, 10 December 11.00–18.00. Closed: 24–25 December, 31 December, 1 January. Prices: Adults 120 SEK, Children (up to 18 yrs) FREE, Students and Senior citizens (+65 yrs) 80 SEK. wedish inventor and industrialist Alfred Nobel (1833-1896) had a clear vision about the prize he created. In his will, he wrote that he wanted to reward those who had “conferred the greatest benefit to mankind”. The Nobel Museum contains all essential information about the most prestigious prize in the world, Alfred Nobel, and the Nobel Laureates. The most moving part are the short movies on Nobel Prize winners. The museum is inspiring and eye opening. Well worth a visit only when less busy. For the more dedicated - you can spend hours here and NOT get bored:
The Stock Exchange building in Storgatan 2 (still in Storget Square) has been used by the Swedish Academy while choosing the winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature, since its inception in 1901. The building, now known as the Stockholm Stock Exchange Building, was built for the bourgeoisie. The bottom floor once was used as the trading floor and the upper floor was a large-scale ballroom. The Academy chose the ballroom for it’s use purely because of its size. The building is home to the Nobel Museum and the Nobel Library. As the home of the Stockholm Stock Exchange, which was the main financial securities trading agency, it has been an active part of the Swedish business community over the years. However, recently the stock exchange merged with the Helsinki Stock Exchange and now operates from other office space. The stock exchange was founded in 1863.
Stortorget is the most famous spot in Gamla Stan. Stortorget has many corners and architectural structures to explore. There is something to see on every side of the town square. The original city was enclosed on all four sides by tall walls. Architecture in the area tends to mirror the classic architecture commonly found during medieval times. Stortorget had a violent history, as it once was the location of the Stockholm bloodbath, which took place in 1520 and resulted in the beheadings of over 80 noblemen. This tragic part of Swedish history took place when a change in royalty happened and the Danish King Christian II ordered the slaughter of over 80 noblemen. It is said that the men were beheaded and their heads were thrown into a high pyramid in the center of the square while the bodies were left to fill the streets of the square with rivers of blood. Stortorget is an artistic and shopping hub filled with incredible performances, unique handicrafts and sumptuous culinary offerings. On the west side of the square are the buildings known only by their addresses. The buildings are residences of private individuals. These historic buildings date back to the 18th century and have been occupied by several famous residents including Councilor Johan Berndes, a Swedish copper mogul. In 1998, an archeological excavation revealed primitive attempts at plumbing from medieval Sweden, which was unexpected based on historical records.
The buildings 18 – 20 were merged into one resident’s in the 17th century and named for Johan Eberhard Schantz. It is rumoured that the 82 white stones on building 20 represent the decapitated heads of those victims of the Danish king in the 16th century. However, recent evidence shows that the stones were put in prior to this event.
Stortorget Number 22 is easily identified by its color. The green building, which is located on the left side of the square, was built in 1758. It was once occupied by the Saxon Polycarpus Crumbügel, who was one of the closest friends of King Charles XI. Built on medieval walls, the building also housed one of Sweden’s most wealth men, Councilor Johan Berndes, who was attributed with the development of Swedish copper production. While being explored by archeologists in 1998, a vaulted chamber was discovered which connected to the kitchens, which proved that a crude plumbing system existed during the 1700s.
This area of Stortorget is one of the oldest sections of the city. The area is extremely picturesque and filled with many shops and cafes for guests to enjoy while people-watching on the town’s square. Stortorget sits at the highest point in the city of Stockholm and it presents a carefully restored rendition of the historical buildings of the 18th century. The exquisite antique cobble-stone streets around look like they have been transported back into an ancient time in historic Old Sweden, while the pastel buildings mimic the colours common to this area of Northern Europe:
The well in the centre of Storget square:
Head east from Stortorget toward Källargränd, 30 m. Turn right to stay on Stortorget, 10 m. Turn left onto Köpmangatan, 50 m. Walking along the street, visitors will find some of the most famous icons like the replicated statue of Saint George and the Dragon at the Cathedral Storkyrkan. The bronze replica was cast in 1912 by Otto Meyer. Saint George is depicted as a young man in his battle armour with his lance impaling the dragon. Though it is a similar copy of the original in Storkyrkan, several parts of the statue have been altered like the knight wears a helmet and the dragon is positioned differently. He sits atop a life-sized horse with the dragon’s legs pushing in the horse’s stomach. The street is lined by historic buildings and the cobble-stone streets add to the historic appeal:
Head east on Köpmangatan toward Skeppar Olofs gränd, 85 m. On our left is Lila Hoparegrand:
Turn right onto Köpmanbrinken, 40 m. Continue onto Österlånggatan, 35 m. Österlånggatan is a charming road in Gamla Stan full with restaurants and bars. Major sights include the statue of Saint George and the Dragon on Köpmanbrinken and the restaurant Den Gyldene Freden on number 51, established in 1722 and mentioned in Guinness Book of Records as one of the oldest with an unaltered interior.
We walk along Österlånggatan from north to south toward Ferkens gränd
until we arrive Järntorget. Järntorget (Iron Square) is a small public square located in the southernmost corner of Gamla Stan. The square connects the roads Västerlånggatan and Österlånggatan, while the two alleys, Södra Bankogränd and Norra Bankogränd, stretches east to connect the square to Skeppsbron, and two other alleys, Järntorgsgatan and Triewaldsgränd, leads south to Slussplan and Kornhamnstorg respectively. This is the second oldest square in Stockholm, slightly younger than Stortorget. Järntorget dates back to around 1300 and remained the city's most important trade centre for centuries — constantly busy and crowded, scents and noise intermixing while goods were transported from shore to shore across the square and up and down the attics of the surrounding buildings. Note the Statue of Evert Taube in front of the old bank building in Järntorget:
Find the intersection of Österlånggatan with Västerlånggatan (2 roads before its most southern end). Turn right onto Västerlånggatan, 40 m. Turn right onto Mårten Trotzigs gränd, Take the stairs, 10 m. Mårten Trotzigs Gränd. The narrow alley of Mårten Trotzigs Gränd is worth a quick look, its narrowest point is only 90 centimetres wide, (lots of people here taking photos).
We turn right (west) to Västerlånggatan. Västerlånggatan (The Western Long Street) is a street stretching between the squares Järntorget (south) and Mynttorget (north). It follows the course of the city's now demolished 13th-century defensive wall. There are numerous intersting houses along this street. From South to North: 79, 78, 76, 74, 72, 70. Number 68, the so-called von der Linde House was built by Erik Larsson in 1633. He had made a fortune exporting Swedish iron and importing wine and, serving as an economical advisor to King Gustavus II Adolphus, was eventually raised to peerage under the name von der Linde. The bared brick wall of the Dutch Renaissance façade is richly decorated with sandstone ornaments cut by Aris Claesz from Haarlem, including the sumptuous portal. The two heads in the portico symbolizes Mercury and Neptune and in the arms of Erik Larsson are two linden which he planted on his homestead at Lovön. Flanking the portal are two cartouches displaying inscriptions in German:
AVF• / GOTT•AL / LEIN• / SETZ•DIE / HOFNVNG / DEIN
To god alone put the hope of yours.
AN / GOTTES / SEGEN / IST• / ALLES / GELEGEN
On God's blessing is all depending. The property was later bought by Queen Christina to her half-brother, Gustav, Count of Vasaborg, the illegitimate child of Gustavus Adolphus, who had a wing added facing the square on opposite side of block. The names of all proprietors, historical and present, are engraved on a slate behind the front door, a list ending with the Masonry Master's Guild (Murmestare Embetet i Stockholm), founded in the old town in 1487, and today using the building for their extensive archive. One of the inhabitants was Pierre Chanut and his guest Rene Descartes:
Other interesting houses: 63, 54, 52, 49, 45, 44, 37. During a restoration in 1946, a medieval bricked wall was discovered on Number 29, today exposed over the shop windows. The eleven pointed arches and the bricked herringbone pattern, dates back to the 14th century, while the glazed window are later additions — the first glazier in Stockholm is mentioned in 1421 and glass was still luxury at the time, so these windows were shut using wooden shutters, some rays of light possibly passing in through scraped leather or panes of bones. The cast iron columns on street-level are from the 19th century:
Other interesting houses: 27, 24, 22, 19, 18, 16, 8-14, 7-17, 6, 1-5. We end our walk along Västerlånggatan in the north end, in Västerlånggatan. Here, we continue along Riksgatan, a road (and bridge - Stallbron) leading to the Parliament. Here, we leave the Gamla Stan and return to Norrmalm district:
We continue northward, back to our hotel, along Drottninggatan.
The Parliament (Riksplan) from Drottninggatan: