Best places in Sweden

GAMLA STAN

Storkyrkan G

TrSngsund 1. Map 3 B3. Q 08-723 30 16. 0 Gamla Stan. EJ 2, 43, 55, 76. May-Aug: 9am-6pm daily; Sep-Apr: 9am-4pm daily. Q 7 lam Sat & Sun. Eng: Jul-Aug: i 1am Fri. Q Eng: Jul-Aug: 1pm, 4pm Mon-Fri, 2pm Sat, noon Sun. 10D

Stockholm’s 700-year-old cathedral is of great national religious importance. It was from here that the Swedish reformer Olaus Petri (1493-1552) spread his Lutheran message around the kingdom. It is also used for royal ceremonies.

Originally, a small village church was built on this site in the 13th century, probably by the city’s founder Birger Jarl. It was replaced in 1306 by a much bigger basilica, St Nicholas, which was altered over the centuries.

The Gothic character of the interior, acquired in the 15th century, was revealed in 1908 when, during restoration work, plaster was removed from the pillars, exposing the characteristic red tiling. The late Baroque period provided the so-called royal chairs and the pulpit, while the facade was adapted to bring it into keeping with the rest of the area around the Royal Palace. The 66-m (2l6-ft) high

Storkyrkan’s facade in Italian Baroque style, seen from Slottsbacken

The sculpture St George and the Dragon by Bernt Notke (1489) in Storkyrkan

tower, added in 1743, has four bells, the largest of which weighs about 6 tons.

The cathedral houses some priceless artistic treasures, including St George and the Dragon, regarded as one of the finest late Gothic works of art in Northern Europe. The sculpture, situated to the left of the altar, was carved from oak and elk horn by Lubeck sculptor Bernt Notke. Unveiled in 1489, it commemorates Sten Sture the Elder’s victory over the Danes in

1471 Cseep33).

The Last Judgment (1696) is a massive Baroque painting by David Klocker von Ehrenstrahl. The 3-7-m (12-ft) high bronze candelabra before the altar, likely to be German, has adorned the cathedral for some 600 years. One of

the cathedral’s most prized treasures is the silver altar, which gave the interior a completely new appearance in the 1650s. It was a gift from the diploma*

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