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.
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”. 🙂