Tag Archives: Kungsträdgården

The Monument to Charles XIII

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.

The monument to Charles XIII at Kungsträdgården in Stockholm.


Posted by on September 4, 2011 in History, Photo, Stockholm


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The monument to Charles XII

Yesterday I promised something other than churches in todays upload. In the background you can see the Church of Saint Jacob but the main subject in this HDR is the Monument to Charles XII. However we will visit the Church of Saint Jacob later in Part IV of the Stockholm church walk. I can give you a teaser that it’s a very beautiful church inside. Below the picture you can read about the monument and the Warrior King Charles XII.

The monument to King Charles XII at Kungsträdgården in Stockholm.

It is often said that the history of Sweden is the history of its Kings. Maybe this is true because if you walk around in Stockholm you will find monuments to our Kings everywhere. Actually that would be a good theme to present them all as HDR-pictures here but for now I settle for posting one or two. This monument to Charles XII, Karl XII in Swedish, is located in Kungsträdgården, Stockholm. Charles XII, known as “The Lion of the North” a title he shares with Gustavus Adolphus, spent his whole regime on the battlefield defending the Swedish Empire from a threefold attack made by Denmark, Poland and Russia. In the beginning the brave young Charles was very successful on the battlefield but after 9 years of constant warfare he meet his superior, Peter the Great of Russia, in Poltava. On the 27th of June 1709 the Swedish army, marching towards Moscow, was annihilated and this marked the end of the age as Great Power for Sweden. However Charles managed to escape and after a couple of year in exile in the Ottoman Empire he returned to Sweden just to start a new war against Norway. In his second attempt to conquer Norway, in 1918, he finally meet his fate. Just like Gustavus Adolphus Charles died when his head was penetrated by a projectile. His death is surrounded by uncertainty and it have been suggested that he was murdered by his own men that had grown tired of Charles endless warfare. however it’s most likely that he was hit by a Norwegian bullet. Charles never got married and had no children therefore he was succeeded on the throne of Sweden by his younger sister Ulrika Eleonora .

The monument to Charles XII is made by Johan Peter Molin. Charles points towards east and Russia that always been Sweden’s archrival. Actually there is a popular story among military that “The enemy always comes from east”. In the monument Charles is surrounded by four mortars made in Dresden. The Mortars looks very alike pots and the swedish word for pot, kruka, is synonymous for coward. So the monument is sometimes ironically called “Lejonet omgiven av fyra krukor”, translated to English that would be “The lion surrounded by four cowards. What’s so funny about that??? Well, 100 meters behind there’s another statue of a Swedish King, Charles XIII. Charles XIII is sometimes considered as a coward and his statue is surrounded by four lions. Well It’s not so hard to guess what this statue ironically is called then “Krukan omgiven av fyra lejon”, “The coward surrounded by four lions”. 🙂

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Posted by on July 27, 2011 in History, Photo, Stockholm


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