Beautiful Stockholm was founded around 1252 on Stadsholmen or Stockholmen – now called Gamla Stan – by Birger Jarl, and has been celebrated through the centuries by authors and poets like Carl Michael Bellman, August Strindberg, Hjalmar Söderberg and Per Anders Fogelström (who wrote an entire series depicting life in the city). Stockholm Municipality today has a population of 795,163. The city has around 100 museums: Among its top attractions are the Vasa Museum, Skansen, the Old Town and the Royal Palace.
What do you know about the Swedish capital? With the help of Stockholm expert Martin Stugart, we came up with some Stockholmiana.
Who then was this Birger Jarl?
Birger Jarl was a Swedish statesman born Birger Magnusson. According to tradition he founded Stockholm, where several structures are named after him, Birger Jarlsgatan and Birger Jarls Torg for instance.
Stockholm’s nicknames: Venice of the North, Pearl of Europe, Kungsbudane, Queen of Mälaren, and Eken.
Why the name Stockholm?
There are many theories. This is one: Across from Stadsholmen there used to be a palisade of logs marking the border between Södermanland and Uppland. Because of these logs (stockar), the holm in Stockholm's ström became known as Stockholmen. Later, in 1252 when a city was founded, it inherited a shorter version of the name.
Before there was Stockholm: The earliest written mention of Stockholm dates from 1252, when the mines in Bergslagen made it an important site in the iron trade. But Stockholm is also the location of Agnafit, the place where Lake Mälaren met the Baltic Sea. Some say Agnafit was a fishing village on the island Stadsholmen, before Stockholm was founded. According to the Norse Sagas, Agnafit was the location where King Agne was hanged in his golden torc by his captive bride Skjalf.
Some fictive Stockholmers: Movitz, Ture Sventon, Karlsson på taket, Martin Beck, Harry Friberg, Anderssonskans Kalle and Doktor Glas.
What is Slussen?
Slussen, which means "the lock" in Swedish, is named after the locks between Mälaren and the Baltic Sea. The locks allow passage between these two bodies of water. Once heralded as an example of ingenious urban planning, Slussen is now in a somewhat dilapidated state and a “Nya Slussen” is being planned.
Where is Katarinahissen?
Katarinahissen goes from Slussen up to the heights of Södermalm. It was originally constructed in 1881, the current elevator is from 1935.
When was Stadshuset built?
Stockholm's Stadshus was designed by architect Ragnar Östberg and built between 1911 and 1923.
Who founded Skansen?
Skansen, the first open air museum and zoo in Sweden, was founded in 1891 by Artur Hazelius.
When did the Vasa ship sink?
Vasa, the warship built for Gustav II Adolf, sank on her maiden voyage on August 10, 1628, south of Beckholmen. She was raised in 1959.
Did Carl Michael Bellman live on Bellmansgatan?
Yes, Carl Michael Bellman lived at Bellmansgatan 24, but not in the house that’s currently there. He was born at Hornsgatan 29A.
Did Bellman frequent the pub Den Gyldene Freden?
Contrary to popular belief, he did not, and it was because of political reasons. Bellman was a royalist, and Den Gyldene Freden was a haunt for supporters of the political party Caps. Den Gyldene Freden was also a pricey restaurant and Bellman was never a rich man, not even during his heyday.
Where did August Strindberg live?
At the time of his death August Strindberg lived in the Blue Tower at Drottninggatan 85. He died on May 14, 1912 and was laid to rest on Norra begravningsplatsen.
Where is Olof Palme buried?
Olof Palme is buried at Adolf Fredriks kyrkogård.
Which is Stockholm’s oldest square? Stortorget, which was the center when Stockholm was built.
Which is Stockholm’s oldest building? Storkyrkan, which was built around 1270. Storkyrkan, however, burnt down in 1306 and had to be rebuilt. Riddarholmskyrkan was built in 1280 and has remained the same since. Stockholm’s oldest private house is the so-called Keithska huset at Baggensgatan 27 in the Old Town. It was built in 1336.
Which is Stockholm’s oldest eatery?
Probably Zum Franziskaner, which may have been founded as early as 1421. Since 1840 it is situated at Skeppsbron 44.
Climate: Because of the city’s high northern latitude, Stockholm’s climate is extremely varied with distinct seasons. Cold winters and mild summers. The highest temp ever recorded in Stockholm was +36°C (97°F), the lowest was –32°C (-26°F).
Mean age in Stockholm 2006: 39.
Mean income in Stockholm 2006: 202,700 SEK (33,860 USD).
Stockholm skyline with Riddarholmskyrkan, Stadshuset and Storkyrkan.