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  • Stockholm, A City on Many Islands

    Stockholm City Hall @Michael Caven

    Stockholm City Hall @Michael Caven/flickr

     

    The capital of Sweden is the “Venice of the North”

    Stockholm is expanded on 14 islands situated between the Lake Malaren and the Baltic Sea, a true symphony of water and light during Summer time. When the shining Nordic sun reflectsin the vast waters of Stockholm, the city almost gives a Mediterranean aspect, being relaxed and calm.  It is the time when the locals invade the cafes from the sidewalks, parks and squares.

    At start, Stockholm was made of only the idyllic and well preserved Gamla Stan, situated on a single island and having many lovely narrow streets with cafes, restaurants, art halls and squares filled with stores.

    At these islands, which is between the fresh waters of the lake and the salt water of the sea, count Birger Jarl extended a settlement, transforming it into a city in 1252. (At these -> On thesewhich is -> located, extended -> founded) Stockholm developed rapidly since Birger established strong and cordial relationships with Lubeck, allowing German merchants the right of free trade and accommodation for them. (allowing -> giving; for them -> unnecessary)

    Gamla Stan(Old Town) @2benny/flickr

    Gamla Stan(Old Town) @2benny/flickr

    The German church from the old city is one of the most interesting German places of worship and a landmark of the city having the tombs of 16th century martyrs. Its presence shows the good relationship between Stockholm and the Hanseatic German city of Lubeck.

    A Friendly Palace

    The massive Royal Palace, built in baroque style, is located on an island and is now the building of the parliament.  It was built to replace a smaller palace, Tre Kronor (the 3 crowns), which burnt down in 1697, the reconstruction lasted until 1754.  It was opened to the public even from the beginning.

    The introduction of the canalization in 1859 resulted in the reconstruction of the whole city center. Many old buildings were restored yet numerous new streets and parks also appeared. Most of today’s schools, museums, hospitals and libraries dates back to that time.

    Since Sweden was not involved in wars since 1814, Stockholm had the opportunity to become one of the most wonderful, modern, prosperous and culturally colorful capitals of the world.  The passion of locals for theaters, expositions and museums is recognized outside of the Scandinavian borders.  It is an extraordinary experience to visit expositions and museums in Stockholm even for kids.

    The rich Swedish cultural heritage can be admired in the Skansen Museum on Djurgarden island. This was established in 1891 asthe first open air museum in the world and hosts 150 constructions from the middle ages to the 19th century. The most beautiful panorama of Stockholm is from Skansen hill.

    Not far away in a modern building built of timber, Vasa is situated. Vasa is an old battleship and it was once a proud Swedish maritime symbol. It submerged with all the marines and 64 cannons near the dock of the port. Vasa stood underthe water of Stockholm, without suffering damages for 333 until it was extracted to the surface in 1961.

    The Art from the Island

    Passing through the Grand Hotel,  where Nobel prize nominees and world leaders are accommodated, continuing between the uninhabited islands near the National Museum you can reach Af Chapman at Skeppshomen, the island of arts.

    Drottingholm Palace @Ricardo Ramírez Gisbert/flickr

    Drottingholm Palace @Ricardo Ramírez Gisbert/flickr

    The road is marked by sculptures, settled on long grasslands. Along the Museum of Modern Arts, and the Academy of Beautiful Arts and Architecture there are numerous workshops. The longest Gallery of Art in the world is underground. We talk about the subway, where along the about 100 stations you can see the works of artists with international reputation.

    At the commercial district and business called Norrmalm, situated between the railway station and Palaces park called Kungstragaarden lies the cultural center. Three big galleries guard temporary expositions of art, photography, modelling, design and multimedia events.

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