The Church of Catherine

22 Jul

Today’s HDR is an autumn capture of the Church of Catherine taken from the cemetary where several famous Swedes are buried, e.g. the assassinated Foreign Minister Anna Lindh and the popular Dutch-Swedish singer Cornelis Vreeswijk. Below the picture you can read a short summary of the church’s history.

A autumn capture of the Church of Catherine (Katarina kyrka) at Södermalm in Stockholm, Sweden.

In 1954 King Charles X Gustav granted a request from the growing population in Södermalm to found a new parish in the eastern part. The building of the new church, which is named after his mother the Princess Catherine, started in 1656. Charles X wild plans of relocating the Royal Castle from the Old Town to Södermalm needed a first class church there. For this project the most capable Swedish architect of that time, Jean de la Vallée, where hired. But the construction went on slowly due to lack of funds and it was not until 1695 before the church were completed. The Church of Catherine was built as a central church in the shape of a Greek cross which was the first of its kind in Sweden.

On the first of May 1723 the Church of Catherine was badly damaged in “Katarinabranden” a large fire at Södermalm which also destroyed about 500 houses. However the rebuilding of the church started almost immediately and was supervised by the city architect Göran Josua Adelcrantz. The new tower was larger was larger than the previous one and had an octagonal shape.

Since the Church of Catherine was built on the hill where the bodies from the Stockholm Bloodbath were burned it was said that she had a curse over her. Two times should her church tower collapse. This prophecy was fulfilled on the night of 17th of May 1990 when the church once again was badly damaged by a fire. Immediately the foundation “Rädda Katarina”, Save Catherine, was started and collected money to rebuild the church. The rebuilding, supervised by the architect Ove Hidemark, was made using only original building materials and in 1995 the Church of Catherine was again inaugurated.

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Posted by on July 22, 2011 in Church, History, Photo, Stockholm


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