History of Stockholm: Gamla Stan (Part 2)

Fortress Tre Kronor

In the last part we spoke about Gustav I Vasa who liberated Stockholm from Danish rule and settled in the Gamla Stan fortress. The fortress was dubbed Tre Kronor in 1588.

Gustav Vasa expanded the castle’s defensive measures, while his son John III of Sweden later rebuilt and improved the castle aesthetically, turning it into a renaissance style castle and adding a castle church.

On May 7, 1697 a large fire broke out in Tre Kronor that completely demolished the majority of the then more-than-400-year-old castle. Most of the national library and royal archives were destroyed when the castle burned down, making the country’s early history unusually difficult to document.

Plans were made to rebuild a new castle on the old foundation. Nicodemus Tessin the Younger was the architect in charge of rebuilding. The new building, Stockholm Palace, was completed in 1754. Nicodemus died in 1728 and did not get to see it completed.

Protected from the enemy by the mighty fortress the town grew. In the 1200s around 3000 people lived in Gamla Stan and by the late 1800s that number grew to more than 13000 people.

Walking trough is alleys you can still hear the merchants shouting and the hammers pounding, as if history stood still. The narrow, cozy streets were merely beaten and full of litter and kitchen waste that people through from the windows.

As for now in November 2020, those streets are completely empty and a walk trough them will make you feel like time stood still…

If you would like to read Part one of this Series – Klick here – Topic: History of Stockholm: Gamla Stan (Part1)

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