It’s about time to blow some life into this blog again! The break became longer than it was first intended to be. But it was well needed and now I have got inspiration and energy back to post here regularly again. Maybe not on a daily basis, but I will at least post a couple or more pictures a week. First out is another one I found in my archives. I captured it in May last year. It’s the Museum of Labor in Norrköping at the blue hour. The building, also known as Strykjärnet (The Flatiron), once hosted one of Norrköping’s many textile industries. This industrial era ended a long time ago but the buildings are preserved and are used for different purposes now. The Flatiron has also been named “the most beautiful industrial building in Sweden” by the well known sculptor Carl Milles.
Category Archives: History
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about and posted a HDR of the Monument to Charles XII in Kungsträdgården in Stockholm. Sometimes that statue ironically is called “The lion surrounded by four cowards”. Just some 100 meters away from that monument you find its counterpart, the Monument to Charles XIII. Consequently this monument is sometimes called “The coward surrounded by four lions”. I’m not sure why Charles XIII is considered as coward but he’s not remembered among the most successful monarchs in the history of our country. He succeeded his nephew Gustav IV Adolf when he was forced to abdicate and go into exile after the loss of Finland to Russia in the Finnish war 1808 – 1809. He also become the King of Norway, as Charles II, when Norway was forced into union with Sweden in 1814. Since his both children with Queen consort Charlotte died at young age he become the last Swedish monarch of the House of Holstein-Gottorp. When he died in 1818 he was succeeded by Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte, Marshal in Napoleons French army and the founder of the House of Bernadotte.
Charles XIII may be best remembered as the younger brother of Gustav III of Sweden and the cousin of Catherine the Great of Russia. The statue, at Kungsträdgården, in his memory is made by swedish sculptor Erik Gustaf Göthe and was uncovered in 1821.
Today I upload something more colorful, Östermalms Saluhall. THis is IMO the most iconic building in this part of Stockholm. It was opened on the first of December 1888 after just 6 months of construction. The architects behind this beautiful brick structure was Isak Gustaf Clason and Kasper Salin, two relatively young, but already successful architects. Clason and Salin got inspired by new brick architecture in northern Germany, Italy and France which they had studied during a scholarship-funded trip. In France they took particular interest in the numerous monumental and sophisticated cast iron structures that would later be used as the frame for Östermalms Saluhall’s brick cathedral. Clason later become a professor of architecture with buildings such as the Nordic Museum to his name.
Today’s HDR pictures the real warship Vasa that was salvaged from the bottom of the Stockholm harbor in 1961. Read more about her below the picture!
In 1625 King Gustavus Adolphus ordered the building of 4 new warships to his navy. Dutchborn master shipwright Henrik Hybertsson received the contract to build two lager and two smaller warships. In 1626 the construction of Vasa, which was one of the larger ships, started. Henrik Hybertsson died in 1627 and was succeeded by Hein Jakobsson, also he dutchborn, as supervisor of the shipbuilding. In 1628 King Gustavus Adolphus made an inspection of the shipyard, he was eager to launch his new ships against the Polish Navy in the ongoing Thirty year’s war. Despite that the fact that Vasa failed a stability test at the shipyard she set off on her maiden voyage on 10th of August 1628. After sailing only 1 300 meters she heels over and sinks in the middle of the Stockholm harbor.
Vasa was not the largest ship built of its time but with her 48 24-pounder guns she had the greatest firepower the world ever seen. The probable reason for Vasa sinking was that she was poorly constructed. The underwater part of the hull was too small and the ballast insufficient to support the rig and heavy armament. The loss of Vasa was a big blow for the Swedish Navy however the Polish and Danish Navies were to week at the time to challenge Sweden dominance over the Baltic Sea. The sister ship of Vasa, Regalskeppet Äpplet (The Apple) was launched later the same year. The Apple was modified during construction by Hein Jakobsson and did not suffer the same instability as Vasa did. The Apple, that was significantly larger than Vasa, served as a Flagship in the Swedish Navy for over 30 years.
While the guns of the warship Vasa was salvaged by Albrecht von Treileben in the mid 1660’s the warship itself fell into obscurity. It was not until the mid 1800’s that she was rediscovered. In 1956 Anders Franzén and Per Edvin Fälting started diving on the ship and the year later a cooperation to salvage her was started. The lifting of the ship from 32 meters depth started in 1959 but it took 2 years before Vasa broke the surface and again saw daylight after 333 years at the bottom of the Stockholm harbor.
The warship was is not only the most well-preserved ship of its time it also have become the symbol for Sweden’s time as Great Power. The Vasa Museum also have become one of the most popular tourist attractions of Stockholm.
Like I mentioned in an earlier post, Stockholm is full of monuments to our Kings. One of the less known Kings is Charles XV. He was the third regent in the House of Bernadotte and reigned Sweden and Norway (as Charles IV) from 1859 to 1872. He was succeeded by his younger brother Oscar II. This statue, made by Gustaf Malmqvist, can be spotted at Djurgården close to the Biological Museum and Skansen.
After a short walk across the Djurgården Bridge we arrive at the open air museum Skansen. Here we visit a small wooden church named Seglora kyrka. The Seglora church was originally built in Seglora parish, near Borås in the western part of Sweden, in 1729. In the beginning of the 1900’s this church was replaced by a larger church built out of stone and the wooden church was to be demolished. However Artur Hazelius, the founder of Skansen, wanted to have a church in his open air museum. His first plan was to build a copy of an existing church but when he found out the fate of the Seglora church he decided to save it for the after world. In 1916 the church council agreed to sell the Seglora church to the Nordic Museum and immediately the work started to move the church from Seglora to Skansen. On the 26th of May 1918 the move was completed and the church was again consecrated.
The ceiling paintings you can see in the HDR-picture below are made by the Gothenburg artist Sven Wernberg and pictures scenes from the life of Jesus. The altarpiece was made 1780 by the artist H. Fabriqueren Åhwall and replaced and older one. This was done after the Bischop had said “att Altare Taflan war nog gammal och af litet anseende”, “the Altarpiece is old and of small value”.
Even of the Seglora church serves as a museum, regular religious services are held here as well as concerts. Seglora is also a popular church for weddings and baptisms.
The beautiful stained glass windows in the Church of Saint Peter and Saint Sigfrid, the English Church, are made by Morris & Co in London and the Swedish artist Einar Forseth. The largest and most beautiful of these windows is the one in the west end of the church. It’s dedicated to the Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden, the grandmother of our present King Carl XVI Gustav and the Danish Queen Margrethe II. The English born Princess Margaret of Connaught, grandchild of Queen Victoria, married Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden in 1905. Two years later she become the Crown Princess of Sweden when Gustav V ascended to the throne. But Margaret was never to be Queen of Sweden, in 1920 she sadly passed away while pregnant with her 6th child. However, Sweden still got a English born Queen. Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf married with Louise Mountbatten in 1923 and in 1950, when Gustaf VI Adolf ascended to the throne, Louise become Queen consort of Sweden.