14 islands of Stockholm

The Kingdom of Sweden is part of northern Europe and belongs to Scandinavia. This remarkable nation comprises 220 thousand islands.

Venice of the north

Stockholm is the Swedish capital, being also the country’s largest city overall, the most important and one of the oldest. It is located in Sweden’s south-east, gathering 14 islands which happen to be connected by 53 bridges. Hence its epithet: Venice of the North, one often used.

It is a truly enchanting city, endowed with a beautiful architecture, gorgeous parks and also being quite close to water. Sweden didn’t have to endure the malaise’s of World War II and so it preserved authentic architectural treasures.

It is a city very well outlined in several aspects, in order to provide its inhabitants with a high quality of life. And that energy is felt as we stroll through the city. In my opinion, coming from someone who loves warm temperatures, the problem is the weather itself… I visited it during October and the average temperatures were around 8ºC.

Stockholm is a city that can be visited by foot rather well and, if necessary, one can use its public transport network.

History

The city of Stockholm was founded in 1252 by Birger Jarl. This regent wanted to enact a fortress to protect the Lake Malaren from the looting pirates. This lake is one of Sweden’s largest and is quite close to Stockholm.

Due to its location, Stockholm was a common plateau for several ships, which, at the time, were circulating between the Baltic Sea and the Lake Malaren. These were merchant, war and also pirate vessels.

And, with that being the case, Birger Jarl made the decision to put stakes on a canal, the one currently known as Norrström. The city’s development happened at a fast pace, but many years had to pass before being chosen as the country’s capital.

In the 14th century, the Kalmar Union was held, with Sweden joining Denmark and Norway, to exercise their rule over the Baltic Sea. However, this union’s king was Danish for more than 100 years and the Swedish aristocracy remained dissatisfied with the situation.

As a result, Gustav Eriksson banished the Danish king on the 6th of June of 1523. This is currently the National Day of Sweden.

Over the years, Stockholm became the country’s political and administrative epicenter. Throughout the period during which Sweden was the ruling power in Northern Europe, a tremendous cultural development took place.

In 1634, Sweden became the nation’s capital. It is the seat of government, of the Swedish Parliament and the residence of the head of state.

4 areas

We can divide the city into 4 different areas. The center, Blasieholmen and Skeppsholmen, Djurgarden and Gamla Stan. The latter is my favourite.

Center

This is the heart of the city, as well as its commercial hub. It comprises several museums, theaters, markets and lovely green areas.

In the 18th century, this was also the area where the noblemen started to edify their stone-made residences.

Blasieholmen and Skeppsholmen

From a cultural standpoint, it is a quite interesting area indeed. This is where we can find the most significant museums and cultural institutions of the city.

In previous centuries, elegant palaces were built in this area.

Djurgarden

It started as a royal reserve, where reindeer deer and elk were kept. It is now a colossal natural park, being the world’s 1st city park.

Gamla Stan

This area is endowed with immense historical heritage. This is the location of the Royal Palace, the Parliament, the busy and narrow streets and the elegant palaces.

There are still traces of Stockholm’s beginning stages as a city.

 

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