Category Archives: Stockholm

Scenic Stockholm



Painted mailboxes on a house in Old Town


(Somehow these last Stockholm photos ended up in the drafts folder instead of getting posted on Sunday.  After yesterday’s intense post, I figure we all need a few beautiful photos.)


Stockholm Scenes



Stockholm in the glow of sunset


Stockholm’s Old Town

Stockholm’s Old Town is on a small island and, not surprisingly, has beautiful architecture, winding streets, and lots of tourists.  I’ve mentioned before my love for Romanesque and Gothic churches.  One of the benefits of the Reformation in Sweden is that Baroque fixtures weren’t added to the original Gothic churches.  Not only did I get to visit several Gothic churches, the Swedish ones have beautiful painted ceilings.

A narrow street in Old Town

Painting ceiling in the Gothic Cathedral

Sunset over Old Town






In the Presence of Greatness

I hadn’t intended to take the tour of the historic Stockholm Town Hall, but it was on the way from Old Town to the conference opening reception so I decided to stop in.  I’m glad that I did.  Not only is the building historically and architecturally interesting, the Nobel Prizes award ceremony is held there each year.  Standing in the great hall is the closest that I will ever get to some of the greatest scientists, thinkers, writers and activists in our world.

The Nobel Prize ceremony is held in this hall, called the blue hall because it was originally supposed to be painted blue.


Wedding ceremonies, each 3 minutes, are held in this hall (which really is blue) on Saturday afternoons. The murals were painted by a prince.


A scene from the gold hall -- all the walls are covered with scenes from Swedish history done in gold tiles

The Vasa — Sunken and Restored

The Vasa is a wooden warship that was intended to help the Protestant Swedes defeat the Catholic Poles in the religious wars of the 17th century.  Unfortunately 20 minutes into its maiden voyage in 1628, the ship sunk.  It was a new design, narrow and with two cannon decks.  With the weight of full-size cannons on both decks and not enough ballast down below, down it went.  The location of the sunken ship was eventually forgotten.  In 1956, salvage divers working on other ship wrecks in the Stockholm harbor noticed an unusual mound — and discovered the Vasa.  Because of the salinity of the water, there are no sea worms to destroy the wood and the Vasa was still 95% intact.  In an amazing feat of underwater engineering, the Vasa was raised in 1961, restored and installed in a museum.  You can read more about the ship and the restoration project on the museum website.



Stockholm in 24 Hours

Last week I attended the Baltic Studies in Europe Conference at Soderton University in Stockholm.  The conference began with a reception on Sunday evening.  I arrived on Saturday afternoon, so I had 24 hours for sightseeing before the work part of the trip.  I crammed as much as I could into those short hours (including a good night’s sleep).

Saturday:  Photography Museum (3 interesting exhibits), dinner in the museum cafe with a view of Old Town, walk through Old Town, an hour listening to a rockabilly band and a blues band at Stampen Blues Club in Old Town.

Sunday: Vasa Museum, walk along the waterfront, lunch and more walking in Old Town, Cathedral, Palace Square, buying gifts for my niece and nephew, tea and cake in Old Town, Town Hall tour.

Let me just say that I loved Stockholm!  The architecture is beautiful.  I hadn’t realized that it is built on an archipelago of islands with water and bridges everywhere.  There were many more things that I didn’t get to see — the ethnographic museum (one of the oldest in Europe), the history museum (with the Vikings exhibit), the many parks.  I’m already dreaming of a trip back.

As I was walking through the Palace Square, I saw these mounted guards — later I learned that if I’d followed them, I would have seen the changing of the guard at the palace.