This Blog Post was made in Cooperation with History of Stockholm Follow them on Instagram for more historic facts about Stockholm.
The Swedish-German relations are characterized by vicinity, affinity and understanding and are very good on many levels. Through these centuries, both countries have been close and their influence have been strong in both directions.
Bishop Ansgar from Bremen was a leading figure in Sweden’s Christianity and during the Hanseatic period (which was a trading-type of alliance from the 14- to 17th centuries), the trading between us was intense and the German influence in Stockholm and other cities were very large.
Martin Luther and the Protestant heritage still unite Sweden today with mainly northern and eastern Germany. With parts of north-eastern Germany, Sweden has particularly strong ties that are attributed to a common history when the areas were Swedish for almost 200 years – from the Thirty Years War, in 1618 to 1815.
Germany was the largest cultural source of inspiration in Sweden in the 1900s. today’s adult Germans have been characterized by Swedish culture, especially through our beloved author Astrid Lindgren, and her children’s books.
A fun fact is that, around 7,000 students learn Swedish at German universities and many choose an student exchange-year in Sweden.
Actually, Germany is Sweden’s most important trading partner. In addition, Germans are the leading country both in terms of investing and bringing tourists to Sweden. In December, 2017 there was over 57,000 German people living in Sweden.
During the Middle Ages, Hansan’s merchants had a great influence on Swedish commerce and also the Swedish language. According to a survey, the proportion of German loanwords in Swedish is 24-30%.
Later on, during the two world wars, many German war children came to Sweden, and between the late 1940s and the early 1990s, many East German refugees also came to Sweden.
Gröna Lund – In 1883, a German by the name of Jacob Schultheiss rented the area to erect “carousels and other amusements”. Until 2001, descendants of Schultheiss ran Gröna Lund.
It has been estimated that more than a tenth of all doctors in Sweden in the 18th century were Germans. One well-known example is Johan Jacob Döbelius, who was born in Rostock in 1674. After completing his medical education, he moved to Sweden, in 1696 and made an impressive career; among other things, he became Karl XII’s life medic, professor of medicine at Lund University and was ennobled to von Döbeln. Today, Döbelius is one of Sweden’s most depicted people
A well-known example from the field of architecture is Nicodemus Tessin, who was born in Stralsund, moved to Sweden and became noble. He founded a dynasty of architects and cultural figures whose activities have left a lasting mark in the Sweden. His son Nicodemus was the architect behind Stockholm Castle and grandson Carl Gustaf laid his foundation for the National Museum.
The German influence in Stockholm was considerable during the Middle Ages – half of both the population and the members of the City Council were German
If you haven’t noticed already, many buildings and streets in Stockholm City, mostly in the old town, are named “The German _”. One example is the german church in the old town. Around the church, there are streets called “tyska brinken” and “tyska skolgränd”. How come? It is because that the area around the german church was very characterized by Germany.