Top cultural sites of Sweden: monuments, theaters and churches
Church of St. Nicholas, Stockholm
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» The Church of St. Nicholas is the oldest church in Stockholm that was designated the status of a cathedral in 1942. The church was mentioned in the testament of knight Karlsson (1279). It is supposed that it was built by the founder of Stockholm, Birger Jarl.
» In the middle of the 18th century, the church was rebuilt and refurbished. At the church, there is the medieval wooden sculpture of Saint George fighting a dragon. It was made in 1489.
» Swedish royalties were crowned here. The last coronation took place here in 1873.
» At the church, Swedish kings’ wedding ceremonies were held. In 2010, Daniel Westling and Princess Victoria, the eldest daughter of King Carl XVI Gustaf, got married here. This event took place on the day of her parents’ marriage in 1976.
German Church, Stockholm
» The German Church is also called St. Gertrude's Church. In the Middle Ages, there was the German Guild of Merchants. Many German people also lived here. Many years later, in 1642, the guild’s building was rebuilt into a church and consecrated in honor of St. Gertrude (626-659), the patroness of travelers.
» One of the stained glass windows depicts St. Gertrude holding a bowl and a church model in her hands.
» In 1878, the bell tower was destroyed by fire. It was restored by the Berlin architect Julius Raschdorff. Now, the bells ring four times a day.
» In the church, there is also a royal gallery decorated with sophisticated carved elements. It was built for the members of German royal families visiting services. It was designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Elder (1615-1681).
» Nowadays, the church is visited by about 2 000 parishioners. Services are held in German.
Klara Church, Stockholm
» The Church of Saint Clare was built together with a convent on the initiative of Magnus Ladulas in the late 13th century.
» In 1527, the convent was demolished.
» In 1751, there was a large tower. The interior of the church was damaged and one of the towers collapsed.
» The church gained its modern appearance after the reconstruction in 1886. The modest and dark facade contrasts with a white and golden luxurious interior. There is an altar that has been preserved since 1766.
» The church tower is the highest in the city. It is 116 m high. It is crowned by a spire in the shape of a gilded cockerel. The bell tower has 35 bells that weigh 8.5 tons. A modern and electric clock was hung on the tower in 1965.
» At the cemetery of the church, you can see preserved gravestones of famous people living in Stockholm.
» Nowadays, the major activity of parishioners is charity. They feed homeless people and drug addicts, visit detainees in jails and help them.
Museum of Natural History, Stockholm
» The Museum of Natural History was founded about 200 years ago. The museum collection built by the Royal Academy of Sciences in 1819 includes 10 million exhibits. The museum houses specimens of flora and fauna, the collection of minerals, and natural resources.
» In 1916, the museum moved to the building complex built specifically for it. In the museum, researchers from several universities Stockholm work. There is also the Bird Banding Laboratory.
» In the IMAX Cosmonova cinema, you can watch 3D documentaries. The hall is equipped with a ceiling screen of perforated aluminum, which creates an illusion that you are in the film. Emotional individuals and small children are not recommended to watch some films.
» Exhibitions are organized in such a way that you can not only see exhibits on stands, but also take a look into some phenomena. At the “Smart Person” exhibition, you can look inside different organs, e.g. the head, the heart, or the stomach, and learn about how they work. The exhibition dedicated to Earth, you can hear sounds of magma, as well as see dinosaurs’ eggs, mammoths, and a huge sea monster. You can see meteorites, precious stones, and minerals at the exhibition “Treasures from the Earth Interior”.
National Museum, Stockholm
» The National Museum in Sweden houses a lot of art objects. Besides the museum, they are also kept in several Swedish royal castles and the Museum of Porcelain. The first pieces of art were collected by King Gustav Vasa in the middle of the 16th century.
» In the middle of the 18th century, the Swedish envoy Carl Tessin bought a lot of paintings for the king’s collection in Paris. In 1792, the collection was donated to the National Museum.
» In 1866, the German architect August Stüler completed the construction of a new museum building. The rich collection puts the museum on a par with the Louvre, the Prado Museum, or the National Gallery in London.
» Here, you can see picturesque paintings of such Dutch, French, Italian, and English artists, as: van Gogh, Rembrandt, Rubens, El Greco, Perugino, Goya, Renoir, Gauguin, etc. They are gems of the museum collection.
» The museum had been closed for reconstruction until 2018. When the museum was renovated, its exhibits were kept in the Academy of Fine Arts.
Nobel Museum, Stockholm
» The Nobel Prize Museum was opened in 2001 in the former stock exchange building. It was opened to mark the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize establishment by Alfred Nobel (1833-1896).
» The prize has been awarded since 1901 in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, peace. 800 people have become prize winners since.
» The museum is decorated in an unusual and non-standard way. There’s a kind of cableway under the ceiling running through all the halls, bearing portraits of the laureates.
» The museum shows films, organizes conferences and exhibitions dedicated to famous laureates.
» The museum has a cafe where you can relax and eat, and if you turn your chairs over, you can see the Nobel laureates’ autographs. It’s surely an entertaining place to visit.
Nordic Museum, Stockholm
» The Nordic Museum is located on the island of Djurgården. It keeps within its walls the history and culture of the Swedish from 1520 to the present day.
» During his life, collector Artur Hazelius (1833 - 1901) collected, bought pieces of furniture, clothes, toys from all over Sweden and other northern countries.
» The permanent museum building was erected in 1907. This magnificent building had features of the best Danish palaces. The main hall has a huge statue of Gustav Vasa, the king of Sweden that restored the country’s independence.
» The collection includes 1.5 million exhibits and a large series of photographs – about 6 million shots.
» Visitors to the museum are invited to participate in role playing, for example, working on a farm or cooking food without electricity and water supply. To immerse fully in the role play, visitors can change into historical costumes.
» The museum has its own farm and shop where visitors can buy modern and classic products, fabrics, books, jewellery, and, of course, traditional woolen gloves.
Riddarholm Church, Stockholm
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» Riddarholm Church was built at the abbey in the 80s of the 13th century.
» In the 16th century, the abbey was reconstructed and a tower with a wooden spire was added to it. In 1835, the wooden spire was replaced by an iron one.
» In 1807, church workers were dismissed and religious services stopped being held.
» At the church, Swedish monks were buried. The oldest grave here is of Magnus Ladulas who died in 1293. He was the king of the Folkung dynasty and the son of Birger Jarl, the founder of Stockholm. Since that time, 17 royalties and members of their families were buried at the church.
» At Riddarholm Church, legendary Charles XII found his final resting place. It was his troops that were defeated at Poltava. In 1950, the deceased started to be buried at the cemetery of Hagaparken.
» On the walls of the church, there are 1 748 arms of knights of the Royal Order of the Seraphim. Since the foundation of the Order in 1748, every entrant receives his own coat of arms. It is kept in the Royal Palace. When a knight dies, his coat of arms is taken to the church and the bells ring for an hour, from 12:00 to 13:00.