Part One of a Visit to Stockholm
You and I are taking the train from Nykoping to Stockholm, together we are going to walk around the city. We are dressed warmly and ready to spend the day in a beautiful city touched by winter's receding elegant blanket of snow. It will take about 12 hours to travel there, spend the day and travel back to Nykoping, are you ready?
This is the old Swedish Parliament building with the new Parliament building to the left. It is called the Rikdagshuset. The Dutch Baroque style was joined together in the 1970's and 80's and it was retored with the modern extension to a new, single, debating chamber. Style and artwork of the new portion of the building reflects the Nordic style with benches of Swedish birch and walls of Finnish birch panelling.
I am amazed at all the water around the city, it must be a beautiful place in summer, with all the blue skies and blue water. Here is a further view of the new portion of the Swedish Parliament to the right.
There are so many pedestrian streets here. They are narrow and cobblestoned. It seems that while people do like their autos, especially old one and American ones, they do a lot of walking.
Lets spend some time in some of these shops and then carry on.
Oh, you want to make a phone call? Well, here it is, gosh these must be quite old, but they are kind of sweet looking.
Out into the distance nothing but more bridges and water, ice broken up on the surface, the Swedish flag flies in the wind, the same which will bring the spring to all of us.
This walk way reminds me of so many in Europe, the curved arches between buildings, little walkways from one square to another, little paths used for hundreds of years. We walk them now, together.
I can just imagine running up and down these paths, up the stairs and down. I can see the children playing, the lovers embracing and the pursued being chased. This is Marten Trotzig's Grand. It is the city's narrowest street, being only 3 ft. wide. This street has 36 steps, named after a German merchant at the end of the 16th century who has two homes there, Trauzbich, the street was fenced off for 100 years and re-opened at both ends in 1945.
Do all paths point to the sea? In a place like Stockholm perhaps, each maze leads to water, to the open sea.
Clearly this is a dragon being slain, I wonder how many years he has reached up to meet his fierce opponent? How many seasons of snow has he met and cooled his fiery anger with?
Köpmanbrinken ("Merchant's Slope") is leading up to Köpmantorget, its railing featuring the statue of Saint George and the Dragon, a copy from 1912 of the original located in the Stockholm Cathedral. Where the statue is today there used to be an entire block triangular in shape. One of the three buildings it contained was used as a synagogue for a few years in the late 18th century, but as this collapsed on May 1, 1821, the entire block was demolished. Buildings collapsed somewhat frequently in the area as the underlying soil, composed entirely of land filling, slid eastward and pulled the layers of gravel under the buildings in the process. Also in 1821, a wall in 8 Köpmanbrinken, reported as "looking rather trustworthy", was however transformed into a ruin in a snap, flying debris smashing windows on the opposite side of the street.
Now this is a place to stop and visit, lets go in for a while, we can warm up and feed our intellect with exhibits filled with knowledge.
The museum exhibits an impressive art collection due to its benefactors, King Gustav III and Carl Gustaf Tessin. The museum was founded in 1792 as Kungliga Museet ("Royal Museum"), but the present building was opened in 1866, when it was renamed the Nationalmuseum.
The museum is home to about half a million drawings from the Middle Ages to 1900, prominent Rembrandt and Dutch 1700 century collection, and a collection of porcelain items, paintings, sculptures, and modern art as well. The museum also has an art library, open to the public as well as academics.
The current building, built between 1844 and 1866, was inspired by North Italian Renaissance architecture. It is the design of the German architect Friedrich August Stüler, who also designed the Neues Museum in Berlin. The relatively closed exterior, save for the central entrance, gives no hint of the spacious interior dominated by the huge flight of stairs leading up to the topmost galleries. The museum was enlarged in 1961 to accommodate the museum workshops. The present restaurant was instated in 1996.
Here in the old town is the Slottsbacken Obelisk. It is located in the very center of the city at the eastern facade of the Stockholm palace. The church in the background is Storkyrkan, it is the 700 year old cathedral which is used for important royal ceremonies. It is also the place where the Lutheran message was spread throughout Sweden by reformer Olaus Petri (1493 -1552).
The neo-Egyptian design of the obelisk was made by the artist Louis Jean Desprez and it was erected by theinventor and colonel-mecanicus Jonas Lidströmer in 1800. The construction was at the time considered to be complicated, since the Stockholm Obelisk is made of many and heavy stone boulders, and not as sometimes in the antiquity cut in one piece.
The Obelisk was commissioned by King Gustav III to show his gratitude to the burghers of Stockholm who guarded the city while the king was leading the Swedish-Finnish Navy in the Russian War in 1788-1790.
This is Strandvagen with its stately houses and boats along the quayside. It was created by the 10 wealthiest citizens of Stockholm in the early 1900's. The archtecture was reflective of the great wealth of those who wanted to make this a grand boulevard to stroll and live on.
This looks like a church and the way the snow is on the roof, there are kneeling angels present. It is actually the Nordiska Museet which is a museum which resembles an extravagant Renaissance castle, but portrays everyday life in Sweden from the 1520's to present day. It has more than 1.5 million exhibits.
Here is the Armemuseum, the Royal Army Museum, which was formerally the old armoury. The dome of the Hedvig Eleonora Kyrka is in the background.
Boats in the harbor. In spring when all the ice is gone, these will be sailing in their full glory.
The location of the green phone booths, the public square Korhhamstorg, or Grain Harbour Square in Gamla Stan, the old town center in Stockholm. The statue of a man drawing a bow on the square, who people often think is Willem Tell, is actually a homage to Engelbrekt Engelbreksson, who was the leader of the Engelbrekt rebellion (1434-1436) against the German-dominated government of Eric of Pomerania. The statue was carved by the sculptor Christian Eriksson, 1859 - 1935.
A symbol of the royal family.
Across the water, the facade of the National Museum.
Copyright 2011 by SheilaTGTG55 unless otherwise attributed.
Photos by H. Bernhardt.