Stockholm Cathedral aka Storkyrkan
This magnificent red-brick gothic Cathedral is snuggly tucked away between the Royal Palace and the Nobel Museum, in the very heart of medieval Stockholm.
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This magnificent red-brick gothic Cathedral is snuggly tucked away between the Royal Palace and the Nobel Museum, in the very heart of medieval Stockholm. Its high vaulted ceiling pleases the eye of the beholder, statues and old paintings tell about the splendor of Sweden, its glorious victories and nonetheless famous noblemen. It is the place of royal coronations and weddings, in 2010 the Crown Princess Victoria said “I do” to Prince Daniel in the Big Church (this is how the name translates from Swedish) and the ceremony was broadcast nationwide.
It is the mother church of the Church of Sweden Diocese of Stockholm. Catholic at the foundation (1279), Lutheran in modern tradition (since 1527), it offers a warm welcome to people of all backgrounds and beliefs.
Come and see the wonderful architecture, attend a service or enjoy a concert, be with God, light a candle - or find a little peace in the middle of a busy day.
The Swedish are in love with the sea, thus a ship hanging in front of the organ.
This is the worship globe, you can light a candle and say a quiet prayer here. As to the sermons, Storkyrkan is a functioning church and there are both regular services and concerts. Most of the services are in Swedish, though they do have bilingual morning prayers (Mondays through Fridays at 9a.m.) as well as Holy Communion on Sundays at 11a.m. (in Swedish with English translation available).
The globe has been in the Cathedral since 1972, it is the work of the artist Torolf Engstroem.
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On the column opposite there are the father and the son, the two geniuses, Nicodemus Tessin the Younger (1654 – 1728) – a great architect, city planner and administrator, and his son Carl Gustaf Tessin (1695 – 1770) – a prominent politician, one of the most brilliant personages of his day, and the most prominent representative of French culture in Sweden; he eventually became the Swedish prime minister. The father redesigned the Royal Palace (unfortunately, he died before the project was finished), designed the Gardens at Drottningholm, Steninge Palace, Tessin Palace, and the Holy Trinity Church in Karlskrona.
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(the photo depicting the famous sculpture will be added soon) One of the main attractions in the church is the wooden statue of St George slaying the dragon. From the late 1400s, it commemorates the Battle of Brunkenberg (1471), St. George represents Sten Sture the Elder, the Dragon is the Danish king Christian I (defeated in the battle being hit in the face by musket fire and surviving! after it), and the princess is Sweden, thus saved from Danish oppression.
Sten Sture had been elected as Lord Protector of Sweden in 1471 and he voted for Swedish secession from the Kalmar Union (uniting Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, the Northern Isles and Sweden from 1397 to 1523). In response to the election of Sture, Christian I sailed to Sweden with a military force, intending to unseat him as Lord Protector. They met on the field near the modern Hoetorget in Stockholm. Sture's victory over Christian meant his power as regent of Sweden was secure and would remain so for the rest of his life.
According to legend, Sture had prayed to St. George before the battle and later paid tribute to the patron saint by commissioning a statue carved by Bernt Notke, a Luebeck sculptor in 1489.
Now this sculpture is also a reliquary containing relics supposedly of St. George and six other saints. There is a bronze replica of the statue in Galma Stan, in Koepmanbrinken St.
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(the pulpit and the royal pews are coming as well) The French Baroque pulpit made by Burchard Precht in 1698-1702 became the model for a number of other large pulpits in Sweden. It is ornated with two large winged genii (divine spirits present in every individual, thing or place), a radiant sun bearing the Hebrew inscription, the portrayal of the story of the Canaanite woman (Matthew 15:21-28), the Christ’s head and the statue of Hope. Also, it mentions the main investors: the Funck family who bore the greater cost of the pulpit. Beneath the pulpit lies the worn gravestone of Olaus Petri.
Olaus Petri, aka Petersson (1493 – 1552) was a clergyman, writer, judge and major contributor to the Protestant Reformation in Sweden. Olaus Petri wrote the Rule for Judges' Associations, these 42 general rules, a mixture of common law and statutes, have formed the basis of Scandinavian legal traditions, particularly in Sweden and Finland. His brother Laurentius Petri (Pars Persson) became the first Evangelical Lutheran Archbishop of Sweden.
There is a 19th-century statue of Olaus Petri next to the altar.
Down the central aisle, you can see two Royal Pews, the work of Nicodemus Tessin the Younger and Butchard Precht. They are lavishly decorated, there is a crown forming a canopy and many putti hovering above. The royal seats are upholstered in blue and there is a sign ‘please do not touch’ attached to each box.
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The main treasure of every church is the altar. Here it is black ebony veneer with silver reliefs that depict the Last Supper, the Crucifixtion, the Burial and the Resurrection of the Christ. On either side of the Silver Altar is a sculpture holding a candle, one of St. Nicholas (the patron of the church) and the other of St. Peter, both designed by G. Torhamn and carved in oak by the sculptor Herbst in 1937. The rose window above the altar was made in Paris in the 1850s.
Overall, the church is a great place to visit (40 SEK ~ 4 euros, or free with Stockholm pass). The exterior and interior of the church are a mix of Gothic, Baroque and Medieval styles, reflecting the expansion of the church since the 1200's. In fact, the outside doesn't really match the inside style-wise.