A Travellerspoint blog

Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden.

Wooden Buildings, Stockholm. - Stockholm

Wooden Buildings, Stockholm. - Stockholm

Stunning Stockholm.

Strangely enough I have been to Sweden four times, but have only ever visited Stockholm. If we return, we must try and venture to other parts of the country. Having said that though, Stockholm is very beautiful. It is a city of islands and water. My first visit to Stockholm was in November 1985. I was living and working in Helsinki and decided I would visit for the day. I kept delaying the trip as a Finnish friend kept saying she would come with me, but then could not make it. Eventually I gave up on her and went there alone. I took an overnight ferry from Helsinki to Stockholm; spent the day exploring the old town, I particularly remember the narrow old town lanes with tall buildings on each side, and took an overnight ferry back. I enjoyed the trip but felt there was more to see and that I would return and stay overnight.

On visit number two I did just that. It was February 1986. I sailed from Helsinki to Stockholm. The sea was frozen over and for the entire journey I could hear the ice breakers at the front of the ferry cutting their way through the ice. When I arrived I went in search of the Af Chapman Youth Hostel on a boat as someone had recommended that to me. The boat part was closed. I stayed in the building part of the youth hostel. The hostel is located on the Isle of Skeppsholmen. This time I visited the town hall, the old town and the museums island. On the museum island I wandered the skansen in the snow and had the place almost to myself. I also visited the extremely impressive Vasa Warship Museum. When I returned to Helsinki my employer was very upset and told me that Swedish Prime Minister, Olaf Palma, had just been assassinated. He died from a single gunshot as he walked home from the cinema with his wife around midnight on 28th February 1986. No-one has ever been charged with his murder.

Visit three was when my husband, then boyfriend, and I were leaving Finland by train. We returned to the UK via Stockholm, Elsinore, Copenhagen, Hamburg and Amsterdam. It was the first time I had been to Stockholm in the summer and the atmosphere was different with more people around and more outdoor activities going on.

Visit four was in 2009. We flew to Stockholm, spent a couple of nights. Then we flew to Vilnius, Lithuania, from where we took a bus to Riga, Latvia. From Riga we took a bus to Tallinn in Estonia. From Tallinn we took a ferry to Helsinki, Finland. In Stockholm we spent quite a lot of time at the city hall, then visited Riddarholmen, then Gamla Stan, Sodermalm, Djurgården museum island, and had a boat trip.

Stockholm is located in the south east of Sweden. It is the capital city of Sweden and Sweden's most populated city. The city is spread across fourteen islands and various peninsulas and is nicknamed the Venice of the North. Yes, yet another one. Sweden's parliament is located in Stockholm and Stockholm is also the home of the Swedish monarch. The oldest part of Stockholm is called Gamla Stan. This occupies an island where the Baltic Sea meets Lake Mälaren. This area was first occupied by the Vikings who lived here around 1000 AD.

Sculpture Stockholm - Stockholm

Sculpture Stockholm - Stockholm

Stockholm's City Hall.

This is an attractive place to visit. While the building itself is not stunning, it is set in a beautiful waterfront location and its grounds are filled with statues. Stockholm City Hall dates from 1923. If you go on a guided tour, it is possible to go up the City Hall's 106 Metre high tower for views. Stockholm City Hall is located on the island of Kungsholmen. Its grounds look out towards Riddarholmen and Södermalm. The views towards these places are lovely. Stockholm's City Hall is used as the venue of the Nobel Prize banquet. Address: Hantverkargatan .

Stockholm City Hall. - Stockholm

Stockholm City Hall. - Stockholm

Dance Statue in front of the City Hall. - Stockholm

Dance Statue in front of the City Hall. - Stockholm

Song Statue in front of the City Hall - Stockholm

Song Statue in front of the City Hall - Stockholm

View towards Riddarholmen and the City Hall. - Stockholm

View towards Riddarholmen and the City Hall. - Stockholm

Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson Column. - Stockholm

Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson Column. - Stockholm

Riddarholmen

Riddarholmen means the Knights' Islet. It is located in a part of Gamla Stan that faces towards the City Hall. There are several palaces here. It is also home to Riddarholmskyrkan, the church that has housed all the tombs of Sweden's monarchs since the sixteenth century. Here you can also find a statue of Birger Jarl, the founder of Stockholm, in a square that is named after him. There are good views towards Stockholm City Hall from Riddarholmen.

Wrangel Palace, Riddarholmen. - Stockholm

Wrangel Palace, Riddarholmen. - Stockholm

Riddarholmskyrkan. - Stockholm

Riddarholmskyrkan. - Stockholm

Stenbock Palace, Riddarholmen. - Stockholm

Stenbock Palace, Riddarholmen. - Stockholm

Birger Jarls Torg, Riddarholmen. - Stockholm

Birger Jarls Torg, Riddarholmen. - Stockholm

Riddarhuset - the Knights' House. - Stockholm

Riddarhuset - the Knights' House. - Stockholm

Looking towards Riddarholmen. - Stockholm

Looking towards Riddarholmen. - Stockholm

View towards Riddarholmen and the City Hall. - Stockholm

View towards Riddarholmen and the City Hall. - Stockholm

Gamla Stan Stockholm's Old Town.

Gamla Stan is Stockholm's old town. It is located on an island. It used to be known as the town between the bridges. Gamla Stan dates back to the 13th century. Here you can find Stockholm's impressive baroque royal palace, where we watched the changing of the guard. Stockholm's Royal Palace was built in the 18th century to replace the previous palace Tre Kronor which had burned down. Nearby you can also find Stockholm Cathedral which has a statue of St George and the dragon. I think of Gamla Stan as lots of narrow lanes with towering houses on each side, plus sudden wide open squares with sculptures and fountains and colourful buildings. Gamla Stan's largest and prettiest square is called Stortorget . It is located in the centre of Gamla Stan. Colourful old merchants' houses surround the square. On our visit street musicians were playing here and some people were dancing. This square has not always been peaceful though. In 1520 it was the site of the Stockholm Bloodbath. This refers to the massacre of Swedish noblemen by the Danish King Christian II. Gamla Stan has lots of narrow streets. Its narrowest alley is Mårten Trotzigs gränd. This alley leads from Västerlånggatan and Järntorget up to Prästgatan and Tyska Stallplan. At its narrowest part it is just 90cm wide. In summer Gamla Stan has a lively atmosphere with tourists, locals, buskers and street entertainers. It also has lots of places to eat and drink.

Royal Palace, Stockholm. - Stockholm

Royal Palace, Stockholm. - Stockholm

The Royal Palace - Stockholm

The Royal Palace - Stockholm

Views over Gamla Stan - Stockholm

Views over Gamla Stan - Stockholm

Views over Gamla Stan - Stockholm

Views over Gamla Stan - Stockholm

Stockholm Cathedral - Stockholm

Stockholm Cathedral - Stockholm

The Main Square - Stockholm

The Main Square - Stockholm

Street Musicians - Stockholm

Street Musicians - Stockholm

The Narrowest Alley - Stockholm

The Narrowest Alley - Stockholm

Changing the Guard.

When you visit the royal palace, try to time it to see a changing of the Royal Guard ceremony. The Royal Guard are part of the Swedish Armed Forces. The ceremony is quite colourful and interesting and lasts about 40 minutes. From May to August the changing of the guard can be seen daily at 12:15. However, on Sundays and public holidays it is at 13:15. In April, September and October the changing of the guards can be seen on Wednesdays & Saturdays at 12:15 and Sundays at 13:15. April 30th is the King's birthday if you visit then, you may see horse displays as well. From November to March the Royal Guard changes on Wednesdays & Saturdays at 12:00. On Sundays at 13:00.

Changing the Guard. - Stockholm

Changing the Guard. - Stockholm

Changing the Guard. - Stockholm

Changing the Guard. - Stockholm

Djurgården Museum Island

Maybe it is a Scandanavian thing. In Oslo many of the city's museums are grouped together in one place and in Stockholm many of them are grouped together in one place. In Stockholm most museums are in Djurgården the museum island. On Djurgården you can find the Vasa Warship Museum, Junibacken, the Nordic Museum, two aquariums and a Skansen housing buildings from all over Sweden.

The Vasa Museum: I visited the Vasa Warship in 1986, but I actually still remember a lot about it, because I was impressed by what I saw there. The ship itself is magnificent and the museum houses objects which teach us about life on board a ship. At the time of my visit the current Vasa Warship Museum had not been built and the ship was housed in the Wasa Shipyard. Here is the story of the Vasa.

In 1625 King Gustav II Adolf asked master shipwright Henrik Hybertsson to construct four new war ships. One of these was the Vasa. Construction of the Vasa began the following year. On the 10th of August 1628, the completed Vasa set out on her maiden voyage, but she toppled over and sank in the middle of Stockholm Harbour after sailing just 1300 metres. Early attempts were made to raise the ship, but these failed. However, some of the ships canons were recovered. More than three hundred years later in 1959 after much preliminary work by diving teams, heavy cables were finally placed under the Vasa and she was hauled into shallower water. On 24th April 1961 the final lift took place and the Vasa finally resurfaced after 333 years at the bottom of the sea. The Vasa was moved into a temporary museum, the Wasa Shipyard, which is where I visited it. Between 1963 and 1967 a team of divers excavated the harbour bottom where the Vasa had lain and managed to recover hundreds of sculptures and thousands of other objects from the ship which provide us with lots of information about life on board a ship in the past. In 1988 the Vasa was moved from the Wasa Shipyard into the new museum.

Peter on Djurgården - Stockholm

Peter on Djurgården - Stockholm

Djurgården - Stockholm

Djurgården - Stockholm

The Vasa Museum - Stockholm

The Vasa Museum - Stockholm

The Skansen.

I also visited this in 1986 in the depth of winter in the snow. Most of it was closed and I was freezing. The Skansen is the first open air museum and zoo in Sweden. It was founded in 1891 by Artur Hazelius. Buildings from all over Sweden are arranged here to form a town showing what life was like in Sweden in the preindustrial era.

Junibacken.

I have never visit this museum. It is a children's museum based on the stories of Astrid Lindgren.

The Nordic Museum.

I have never visited this either. The Nordic Museum is dedicated to the cultural history of Sweden from the Early Modern Age around 1520 until the present day. The museum was founded in the late 19th century by Artur Hazelius. Djurgården is also very pretty and green and is good for walking or picknicking.

The Nordic Museum - Stockholm

The Nordic Museum - Stockholm

The Nordic Museum - Stockholm

The Nordic Museum - Stockholm

Fjällgatan.

Fjällgatan is a street in the Sondermalm area. It is situated on the edge of a cliff and has wonderful views over the city and the harbour. Fjällgatan is lined with colourful wooden houses dating from the 18th century.

Fjällgatan. - Stockholm

Fjällgatan. - Stockholm

My husband in  Fjällgatan. - Stockholm

My husband in Fjällgatan. - Stockholm

View from  Fjällgatan. - Stockholm

View from Fjällgatan. - Stockholm

Fjällgatan. - Stockholm

Fjällgatan. - Stockholm

View from  Fjällgatan. - Stockholm

View from Fjällgatan. - Stockholm

Gröna Lund.

Tivoli Gröna Lund is an amusement park on Djurgården Island. It covers 15 acres and has over 30 attractions. It was founded in 1883 by James Schultheiss.

Gröna Lund - Stockholm

Gröna Lund - Stockholm

Jumbo Hostel.

When we were leaving Arlanda Airport heading into Stockholm, we passed a decomissioned jumbo jet which has been converted into a hostel and cafe. The Jumbo Hostel, as it is called, has twenty-seven rooms and a cockpit suite. All rooms have flat screen televisions so that guests can follow the departure times for all flights. The cafe is open to guests and non-guests. Jumbo hostel dates from 2008. We did not go get the chance to go inside, but it looks like quite an interesting and unusual place to stay.

Jumbo Hostel

Jumbo Hostel

Views over Gamla Stan and the harbour

There were some lovely views over Gamla Stan and the harbour from the Sodermalm area. These pictures were taken from the Katarina hissen elevator. You pay to go up the elevator and can take views from the viewing platform at the top.

View over the Harbour. - Stockholm

View over the Harbour. - Stockholm

View over Sondermalm's Main Square - Stockholm

View over Sondermalm's Main Square - Stockholm

Stockholm Tidningen’s Clock.

We noticed this very unusual clock as we were wandering around near Sergel's Torg. It is known as the Tidningen clock and can be found on the corner of Vattugatan and Klara Södra Kyrkogata. The rather heavy looking clock is being carried on the stooped back of a man. The bronze sculpture of the man was designed by Gottfrid Larsson in 1903. The clock and sculpture used to be on the old Stockholm Tidningens building. This building was demolished at the end of the 1980s but the clock and sculpture were kept.

Stockholm Tidningen’s Clock

Stockholm Tidningen’s Clock

Katarina kyrka.

Favorite thing: Katarina kyrka is located in Sodermalm. It was originally built at the end of the 17th century, by French architect Jean de la Vallée. However, the Katarina Kyrka has been burnt down twice: once in the 1720s and once in 1990. The current church was completed in 1995. Katarina Kyrka was named after Princess Katarina. She was the halfsister of King Gustav II Adolf and the mother of King Karl X Gustav. Katarina Kyrka stands close to the spot where the victims of the Stockholm Bloodbath of 1520 were burned after being executed by Danish King Kristian II. As a result some people think the church is cursed and that is why it has been destroyed twice. Katerina Kyrka is a beautiful domed yellow building and well worth a visit. You can see it from many parts of the city.

Katarina kyrka - Stockholm

Katarina kyrka - Stockholm

Katarina kyrka - Stockholm

Katarina kyrka - Stockholm

As Stockholm is made up of 14 islands, one of the best ways to get around is by boat. We boarded a boat at the Royal Palace and went off to Djurgarden. Then from there we went by boat to Sondermalm.

Boat Trips. - Stockholm

Boat Trips. - Stockholm

Boat Trips - Stockholm

Boat Trips - Stockholm

Boat Trips - Stockholm

Boat Trips - Stockholm

Posted by irenevt 07:07 Archived in Sweden Comments (0)

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