Stockholm, Sweden – Two

One photo gallery was simply insufficient to showcase all of the wonderful sites that Stockholm has to offer. So here are plenty more recommendations of what to see and do in this wonderful Swedish city.

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1 Colorful Buildings Along Norr Mälarstrand in Stockholm, Sweden

The Kungsholmen island in Stockholm has seen several transformations, first as the home of Franciscan monks in the 15th century, then a period of industrialization starting in the 18th century with the addition of military use during the 19th century. It radically changed again in the 1900s when a formal city plan was followed to construct the current housing. These colorful shoreline buildings hug the Riddarfjärden bay. The tree-lined Norr Mälarstrand street also acts as a quay for mooring boats.

Norr mälarstrand 18, 112 41 Stockholm, Sweden
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2 Norrström River from Vasa Bridge in Stockholm, Sweden

This view of the Norrström River from the Vasabron or Vasa Bridge shows how it winds itself through central Stockholm. It starts as an enormous, 75 mile long lake west of the city called Mälaren and forms at the Riddarfjärden bay a short distance from this photo. It then empties into the Baltic Sea. The water is too fast for reliable transportation but is a favorite among fishermen.

Vasabron, 111 28 Stockholm, Sweden
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3 Neighbors Chatting in Old Town of Stockholm, Sweden

Most historic sections of major foreign cities tend to be jammed with tourists. I find this to be distracting at best but usually exhausting. But if you want to see and feel what Stockholm must have been like centuries ago, then stroll along the cobblestones of Österlånggatan street in Gamla stan. It is calm, charming, historic and a place where neighbors still sit outside to enjoy the sunshine while chatting.

Österlånggatan 32 111 31 Stockholm, Sweden
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4 Ship Bow on Skeppsbron 18 in Stockholm, Sweden

The first things that caught my eye about this tall, thin building at Skeppsbron 18 were the two telamones or male-shaped columns flanking the front door. They are very rare in architecture. When I stepped back, I was delighted to see the sandstone ship bow below the two-story bay window. This magnificent building was a bank when it opened in 1910 until 1970. Its current occupant, Investment AB Kinnevik, annually sponsors Stockholm’s largest Christmas tree.

Skeppsbron 18 111 30 Stockholm, Sweden
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5 Suit of Armor Sculpture in Stockholm, Sweden

At the base of a 1796 equestrian sculpture of Gustav II Adolf, in a square by the same name, is this suit of armor. It is a tribute to Gustavus Adolphus who was not only the King of Sweden from 1611 to 1632, but was legendary for his role as a general, commander and military innovator. His victories during the Thirty Years’ War led to the rise of the Swedish Empire.

Gustav Adolfs torg Stockholm, Sweden
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6 Gustav I Statue in Front of Riddarhuset in Stockholm, Sweden

In 1774, Pierre Hubert Larchevêque created the statue of Gustav I in front of the Riddarhuset which is also called the House of Nobility. Gustaf Eriksson Vasa led the Swedish War of Liberation against Denmark in the early 16th century. After his victory, he was king from 1523 until 1560. Many consider him to be the father of today’s Sweden. The Latin inscription on the House of Nobility’s pediment reads, “After the clear example of forefathers.”

Riddarhuset Riddarhustorget 10 111 28 Stockholm, Sweden
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7 Riddarholm Church Spire in Stockholm, Sweden

Riddarholm Church was constructed in the late 13th century making it one of Stockholm’s oldest buildings. It did not have a tower when it was built as a monastery. In 1581, King John III hired Willem Boy, a prolific architect at the time, to create a spire. After it was destroyed by lightening in 1835, this cast iron version was added. Notice the diamond-shaped design that turns blue against the sky.

Riddarholm Church 107 70 Stockholm, Sweden
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8 Vasabron Bridge in Stockholm, Sweden

Since 1878, the Vasabron bridge, whose namesake is King Gustav Vasa, has spanned over the Norrström to connect the Old Town of Gamla stan with the Norrmalm district shown here. The buildings on the left run along Strömgatan street. Visible on the right are the dome of Sankt Jacobs Kyrka and the Royal Swedish Opera House.

Vasabron 111 28 Stockholm, Sweden
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9 Bank Building Portal Sculptures in Stockholm, Sweden

At the turn of the 20th century, the Skåne Enskilda Bank was the country’s largest so when it came time for a branch office in Stockholm they wanted it to be on a grand scale that reflected their prestige. The best bank architect of the time was Gustav Wickman. He built an elaborate, red sandstone edifice at Drottninggatan 5 with these amazing carvings above the portal by sculptor GF Nording. The man and woman are allegories for trade and navigation. Notice how they are embracing a ship’s bow. Since 1979, the building houses government offices and is managed by the National Property Board.

Drottninggatan 5 111 51 Stockholm, Sweden
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10 Fisherman at Strömparterren Park in Stockholm, Sweden

The Helgeandsholmen islet is in the center of historic Stockholm. In every direction are tourists, guides and buses that are racing among the landmarks. Yet at Strömparterren Park the local fishermen are oblivious to the bustle. Instead, they patiently attend to their art of catching salmon, perch, pike, trout and other species from the rushing waters of the Norrström.

Strömparterren 3 111 30 Stockholm, Sweden
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11 Gilded Crown on Skeppsholm Bridge in Stockholm, Sweden

This gilded crown sits on the railing of a wrought iron bridge called Skeppsholmsbron. Built in 1861, the Skeppsholm Bridge connects the Blasieholmen peninsula with the Skeppsholmen islet. Once a naval base, the island has been transformed into parks and a cultural center for museums. In the background is the channel called Ladugårds-landsviken and the buildings along Stranvågen Boulevard.

Skeppsholmsbron 111 48 Stockholm, Sweden
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12 Skating Pavilion on Kastellhomen Island in Stockholm, Sweden

Immediately after crossing the Kastellholmsbron bridge from Skeppsholmen to the Kastellhomen island you will discover this small yet charming brick pavilion called Skridskopaviljongen. It was built in 1882 by the Royal Skating Club and Royal Swedish Yacht Club to serve members of the social elite after they spent a day on the bay. It has been totally restored with antique furnishings and rented out by the Hotel Skeppsholmen for special events.

Kastellbacken 1 111 49 Stockholm, Sweden
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13 Paradise Sculpture at Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden

The Moderna Museet has a large collection of contemporary and modern art including works from Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol. Curiously, there are 16 very large and colorful sculptures out front made from fiberglass, plastic and iron. They are called “The Fantastic Paradise” and were created in 1966 by Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely for Montreal’s World Exposition. Then they were donated to the Stockholm art museum in 1971.

Moderna Museet Exercisplan 4, 111 49 Stockholm, Sweden
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14 Gröna Lund Amusement Park in Stockholm, Sweden

Welcome to Gröna Lund amusement park in the heart of Stockholm on the Djurgården islet that started in 1883. Adrenalin junkies will love the three tower rides. On the right is Katapulten (Shot N’ Drop Tower). On the left is Fritt Fall Tilt (Giant Drop) that reaches 3.5 G-force as you plummet 262 feet. And real daredevils love the Eclipse (Giant Wave Swinger) in the middle where you spin around a 26 foot chain from a height of 400 feet. Still not enough? Then strap yourself into all seven of their rollercoasters. Have fun!

Lilla Allmänna Gränd, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden
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15 Band Member Face Cutouts at ABBA Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

In front of the ABBA Museum is a photo of the Swedish pop group members (left to right) Benny Andersson, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus. Their faces have cutouts that allow tourists to replace their own for a photo op. The band was only active for ten years starting in 1972 yet their music is still widely heard, especially in the stage production of Mama Mia! The museum of memorabilia opened in Stockholm in May of 2013.

Djurgårdsvägen 68 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden
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16 Skeppsholmen Church Now Eric Ericsonhallen in Stockholm, Sweden

In 1849, the Skeppsholmen Church was built on the islet by the same name in Stockholm, Sweden. It provided religious services to the Swedish Navy until they left the island in 1969. In 2009 it became a concert hall called the Eric Ericsonhallen or the Eric Ericson International Choral Centre.

Kyrkslingan 2 111 49 Stockholm, Sweden
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17 Admiralty House on Skeppsholmen Island in Stockholm, Sweden

In 1650, the Admiralty House was built in Stockholm as part of the Swedish Naval Service Defense Council. Most of it was rebuilt in a Neo-classical style in 1846. It is located on the western shore of the Skeppsholmen island.

Västra Brobänken 111 49 Stockholm, Sweden
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18 Dome on Church of Catherine in Stockholm, Sweden

Katarina kyrka’s magnificent dome, several spires and bright yellow color are clearly visible high on a hill in Södermalm from the shores of Strömmen, the waterway leading into central Stockholm. The namesake for the original Church of Catherine, which was built in the late 17th century, was the mother of King Charles X. It has been destroyed twice by fires, first in 1723 and then again in 1990. The current baroque appearance was rebuilt in 1995.

Högbergsgatan 13, 116 20 Stockholm, Sweden
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19 Royal Art Academy in Stockholm, Sweden

In 1672, Governor Alex Carlsson Sparre built the Sparreska Palace in the Norrmalm district of Stockholm. It subsequently suffered two fires in 1693 and 1751. After an extensive renovation, it was donated to what would become the Stockholm Royal Art Academy, an art school that was an extension of the Royal University College of Fine Arts until 1978. The building underwent two additional expansions before reaching its present appearance.

Jakobsgatan 27C, 111 52 Stockholm, Sweden
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20 Åhléns City Department Store in Stockholm, Sweden

After Johan Petter Åhlén founded his humble business in 1899, the department store chain that still bears his name has grown into one of Sweden’s largest retailers with 77 locations in the county. This Åhléns City flagship is located in the Sergels Torg area, a popular shopping district that includes their major competitor NK which stands for Nordiska Kompaniet. Although shopping in a foreign country is always fun, be aware of MOMS. No, not your mother, but the hefty value-added tax that is imposed on most products and services in Sweden.

Klarabergsgatan 50, 111 21 Stockholm, Sweden
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21 Former Börshuset Now Nobel Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

When the Börshuset building was completed in 1778 on the north side of Stortorget Square, it housed the Swedish Stock Exchange until the Stockholmsbörsen vacated it in 1998. It is now owned by the Swedish Academy where they conduct their meetings, announce the winner of the Nobel Prize for literature and have their Nobel Museum and Library.

Stortorget 2, 103 16 Stockholm, Sweden
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22 Couple Admire Photos at Fotografiska in Stockholm, Sweden

Housed along a quay of the Stadsgåden wharf in an old brick custom house is the Swedish Museum of Photography called Fotografiska. It features two floors of photo exhibits by contemporary photographers. This couple is admiring a wall of random and frankly bizarre photos that have been pinned to a large wall.

Stadsgårdshamnen 22, 116 45 Stockholm, Sweden
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23 Graduation Celebration in Dump Trucks in Stockholm, Sweden

A curious yet enjoyable Swedish tradition on a Friday afternoon in early June is to see numerous dump trucks jammed full of dancing, cheering and waving teenagers as they are driven around the city accompanied by blaring music. This is graduation day from high school. They sure look like they are having fun.

Operakällaren Operahuset, Karl XII:s torg, 111 86 Stockholm, Sweden
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24 St. Eugenia Catholic Church in Stockholm, Sweden

It is very easy to walk by this doorway on Kungsträdgården 12 in the Norrmalm neighborhood of Stockholm and consider it to be an office building. Not even the small gilded cross suggests that inside is St. Eugenia Church, the oldest Catholic parish in Sweden. The premises which were built in 1887, were gifted to the church in 1962 and the church was consecrated twenty years later.

Kungsträdgårdsgatan 12 111 47 Stockholm, Sweden
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25 Saint George and Dragon Statue in Stockholm, Sweden

Köpmanbrinken, which means Merchant’s Slope, is a ramp-like street that branches off of Österlånggatan in the Old Town. This area used to be the city’s fish market during Medieval times. At its peak is this statue of Saint George slaying the dragon. It is a 1912 bronze reproduction of a wooden one located nearby inside Storkyrkan Cathedral.

Köpmantorget, 111 31 Stockholm, Sweden
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