Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is a remarkably beautiful city; also known as the "Venice of the North" is built on 14 islands connected by over 53 bridges that allow travelling between the various neighbourhoods.
Stockholm is located on a large archipelago comprised of many islands, and is a true paradise for locals and the thousands of visitors who come to the city mainly in the summer.
The city, with nearly 850,000 inhabitants, excluding suburbs, is relatively small, but offers a wealth of attractions, including its fabulous topography, admirable old churches, a variety of museums and delightful parks.
The pictures that follow include a sample of the many attractive views that adorn and can be seen in this lovely city, recognized as the most beautiful city in Scandinavia and perhaps one of the prettiest capitals in the world.
Gamla Stan, "the old town between the bridges". In the center is the 13 Century Riddarholm church, resting place of the Swedish monarchs.
As its song “Stockholm i mitt hjärta” (Stockholm in my heart) says it, the wonderful Swedish capital is a mixture of sweetness and saltiness.
Stockholm in my heart let me praise you now. Aged in youthful greenery, city of the Islands, that's you!
Of the cities I know in the world you are the city with everything. Thanks to the love of Mälaren for the sea, a mix of sweetness and saltiness.
This refers specifically to the setting of the city, which is located at the junction of the Baltic Sea on the east and the Great Lake Mälaren to the west.
Riddarholmen church is one of the oldest churches in Stockholm. The cast-iron spire is one of the most distinctive landmarks on the Stockholm skyline.
On the small island of Stadsholmen is “Gamla Stan”, the Old Town. The town, a maze of narrow streets with 750 years of history, was built around the 13th century and is among the oldest towns in Sweden. This is where the city of Stockholm originally started and from where it spread over the archipelago. The city is said to have been founded around 1250 by Birger Jarl (a.k.a. Birger Magnusson) as a fortress to protect Sweden from the attacks of foreign invaders and to stop the pillage of other already developing towns on Lake Mälaren, such as Sigtuna.
Shopping street in Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s Old Town. The town located on the island Stadsholmen dates from the 13th century and is a maze of cobbled medieval alleyways and narrow streets with ancient architecture.
Narrow street in Gamla Stan (the Old Town), Stockholm.
Riddarholmen church is one of the oldest churches in Stockholm. It was founded in the 13th century as a Franciscan monastery. The cast-iron steeple dates from 1841 and it is one of the most distinctive landmarks on the Stockholm skyline. Most Swedish kings are buried at Riddarholmen.
Stockholm City Hall is a striking building on the shores of Lake Mälaren; it took twelve years to build. Nearly eight million dark red bricks traditionally used in the construction of churches were used. It was inaugurated in 1923. This is the venue of the Nobel Prize banquet and one of Stockholm's major tourist attractions.
Stockholm's City Hall stands on the eastern corner of Kungsholmen island. The City Hall is the political centre of the Swedish capital and one of its best-known landmarks .
Tyska kyrkan, the German Church is also located in Gamla Stan, and is dedicated to Saint Gertrude of Nivelles (626-59). Gertrude was the abbess of the Benedictine monastery of Nivelles, in present day Belgium. She is the patron saint of travellers.
Gamla Stan seen from the waters of Lake Mälaren. In the background, the tall spire of the German Church.
The changing of the guard at the Royal Palace on Gamla Stan in Stockholm takes place each day from mid-May until September. The military ceremony starts at 11:45 AM on weekdays and 12:45 pm on Sundays. The ceremony with lots of music and elegant marching is very gallant and precise.
Swedish Royal Guard soldiers relax as they wait for the precise time to start the daily ceremony of Change of the Guard at the Royal Palace, Stockholm.
The Royal Dramatic Theatre (Dramaten) is Sweden's national theatre stage. It has been in operation since 1788. The organization has been at the large building in its present location since 1908. The stylish building has several halls and 8 stages where about one thousand shows are performed every year.
The theatre's acting school has produced many actors and actresses of international fame such as Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman, among others.
The Royal Dramatic Theatre (Dramaten) in Stockholm is Sweden's national theatre stage.
The Grand Hôtel of Stockholm was founded in 1872 and opened in 1874. Since 1901, the Nobel Prize laureates and their families have stayed at this hotel.The elegant five-star hotel is located next to the National Museum and another graceful hotel, the Bolinder Palace, which was incorporated to the Grand Hotel in 1889. This is also the location of the Royal Swedish Automobile Club (KAK).
The Stockholm Grand Hôtel, a luxury 5-star hotel has been home to celebrities, Nobel prize laureates and high-profile events since 1874. On the waterfront, the hotel overlooks the Royal Palace and Stockholm’s Old Town
The Bolinder Palace Hotel, part of the Stockholm Grand Hotel since 1889. It houses the Royal Swedish Automobile Club (KAK)
An excellent break during a long day of visiting palaces, museums and historic churches is enjoying one of the masterpieces of Swedish culinary artistry. Perhaps one of the best known examples of Scandinavian gastronomy is the Swedish Smorgasbord. But, if one wants to be able to continue exploring the magnificent city of Stockholm after lunch, a wiser choice would be a Smörgåstårta or sandwich cake. This is a type of large sandwich dish with several fillings and toppings that looks more like a birthday cake than a regular sandwich.
The fancy concoction is usually assembled with multiple layers of bread sandwiched with creamy filings covered with toppings such as shrimp, smoked salmon, eggs, tomatoes and other vegetables. It is served cold and sliced as if were a regular cake. Two versions of the salty dessert-looking cake follow: