Monday, 1 June 2015

Gamla Stan in Stockholm

 
 
 
Gamla Stan is one of the 14 islands that Stockholm is built on and one of the world's best-preserved medieval city centres.
 
 
 
 
 
Before Stockholm sprawled out to neighbouring islands the whole city was once limited to this small island, referred to historically 'as the city between the bridges'.
 
 
 
 

 
The island city grew into a mess of winding streets and ramshackle houses until most of the western half burned down in 1625.
 
 
 
 
 
Meandering alleys lined with crooked buildings can be found here
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
some of which are extremely narrow
 
 
 
 
 
as well as imposing architecture
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
lots of craft and tourist shops
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
and lots of cafes where Swedes indulge in fika, a ritual of afternoon coffee and cake, an important aspect of social and cultural life.
 
 
 
 
 
There are sculptures in the squares
 
 
 
 
this one is Jarntorget where we sat for afternoon tea
 
 
 

 
or by the metro station.
 

 


There are churches





including the Cathedral




Arched alleyways are to be found everywhere







 

 
We were intrigued by three consecutive ones
 

 






 
that led to 
 
 
 


this gorgeous courtyard, Brantingtorget





with a dramatic fountain in the middle





 

 



 

The Palace, Kungliga Slottet, is here




 

 
with the Hogvakten, the Royal Guards
 
 

 
 

and where we happened to witness the changing of the guards.


 

 


A game of boules was going on in a nearby square.
 
 
 

 

We walked all around the small island, reached the north end where we could see the district of Norrmalm across the water

 

 
and ended up in Jarntorget, that was buzzing with people sitting in the outdoor cafes
 
 



we were lucky to find a table here, Café Nova
 
 
 


 
the water pump was next to us.
 

 

We were intrigued by these which are to be found all over the city and which cover the windows of any building that is in the process of being renovated - a very clever idea, we thought.





We then crossed the Norbro bridge that had been taken over by the Gumbo 3,000 event





but which still afforded great views




 






we could not see much of the Opera House as it was hidden by the huge stage that had been set up.






We walked to Nybro where we took the ferry





and then another ferry that took us back to Slussen, the bridge that connects Gamla Stan and Sodermalm which is where we were staying




This was our first sighting of the open views that this city affords





and which make it such a wonderful place to be.






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