Monday

Old Town, Sweden






Old Town is the original Stockholm. It is the oldest part of Stockholm, also called GamlaStan. A place filled with stunning views, picturesque streets and historical sites. A place where you won't tire of your camera or your abilities as a photographer.

On this island Stockholm began – and never changed. Medieval streets and buildings create an atmosphere where time stands still. Transforms and becomes almost fairy-tale like at night. All sightseeing trips of Sweden start right here in Old Town:)

This is a living museum of old Swedish life and culture that used to be. Some of the buildings have always stood where they do today, others were carefully taken down, moved to their current location in today’s Stockholm, and reconstructed exactly as they had stood in Old Town. The result is an authentic old Swedish town center.

Almost all the buildings are used, as shops, coffee houses, etc. There must be a gazillion cafes all along Sweden, but more concentrated in Old Town. Many buildings and shops are occupied by people continuing traditional Swedish crafts and occupations. We found people strolling around in old costumes, more than happy to be stopped and asked about the town and life in "the old days" - this is a place in a million! A place to fall in love with:)

We visited an old schoolhouse, just as it was shutting, but the lady insisted we come in. She then proceeded to give us a complete guided tour, explaining how people were taught, what they were taught, how in fact some of the brighter pupils then had to teach younger ones. We must have delayed her for quite some time but she didn't mind at all.

There are a lot of unique things to see when visiting the Old Town. Set up during the 1300 century, today there are about 3000 people living in the old city. During the summer the neighborhood is invaded by tourists that wants to enjoy the special atmosphere that only Stockholm's Old Town can provide. We were happy to be amongst this potpourri of people from all over the world at this time.

After some point we deviated from the tourist flow and walked the outlines of the medieval alleys. Sweden was a political power to be reckoned with in 1700 & 1800 century and its medieval charm today which is so cool, but back then most definitely was'nt. Inside, there still occasionally exist ancient vaults, and if you stop at Café Sten Sture in the middle of GamlaStan, like us, you can sip a yummy latte under them gorgeous facades:)

There is much to shop in Old Town, from furniture, jewelry, to browse the roads lined with artisan’s shops and cafés, be drawn into art, toys, Nautica, pottery, maps, to, printed things on souvenirs like mugs, key chains etc- clearly aimed at the tourists

We also visited a cathedral, Storkyrkan (the Big church) where crown princess Victoria married her Daniel last summer. The church was first built in medieval times, and has continuously been altered and rebuilt up to the present day. We took our time to listen to an organ concert in the majestic surroundings, admired the wooden sculpture of St George rescuing the maiden in distress, and also paid a visit to the souvenir shop with lots of “fair trade”-marked handicraft.

A tip: if you want to really experience history close on, and feel a pleasant frisson of horror at the stories of people who once lived, loved, committed crimes and possibly became ghosts to haunt castles and back streets alike – prolly you should sign up for an evening tour that offer horror stories that are guaranteed!:)

16 comments:

R Niranjan Das said...

Colourful shots. The stoned paths gives a medieval feel.

www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Read this post on old town os stockholm, with envy, I might add. You are one lucky, lady, madam. Have a nice trip.

Regards

Shaukat

melinda said...

This Old Town sounds unreal. You have added one more place to my list of 'must travel to' places:)

john said...

Old Town!! My most favourite place in the world. Hope to take family this for for a vacation in the nxt mnth

sheila said...

Gamla Stan, the Old Town. This of course is my fave destination in the world, the original “City Between the Bridges” from the 13th century:) Was sooo happy to meet you!

Jim said...

Hey M! No mention of Drottningholm,
the palace where the royal family lives? Am sure you musta seen it tho. Wonderfully located on an island just outside Stockholm, we travelled there by a ferry. Drottningholm is nicknamed the Nordic Versailles, which is not far removed from the truth, would you agree? The most posh of all Stockholm sights I's say!

Mee said...

So many of you have asked me about shopping/erotica of Sweden!:) So here's my take: like the rest of Europe, Sweden too sells much stuff in Euro/Kroners, makes the rupee look very light in comparison, so I shopped very selectively:)

We got some art from a few artisans in Old Town, did see a lot of elegant sex toys for the modern mistress (think Dita von Teese) but they were only for exhibit. Pom Pom Parlour offers the shoppers retro inspired inner-wear, selected shoes and gloves from Minna Parikka and a small assortment of Tarina Tarantino jewelry. I got some stuff as souvenirs, and got a prized dolphin in silver for myself. One must commend the service minded staff for their excellent 'tune-in' to buyers, without being intrusive-always reachable and happy to help. The clothing stores have the dressing rooms which are so uniquely decorated, transport you to olden times. Much to be learnt in retail from Sweden!

Shweta said...

Oh my, Sweden sounds like such a lovely csy place. Yet no one really talks about Sweden much. Undersold destination? Love the pictures, so scenic and pretty.

gita said...

oye! you likely to be off this mnth too? lovely post. looks like an exotic land, but then all of Europe is pretty rich in greens, clean and architecture. More when we catch up!

ashish said...

Always good to go off the beaten path, thats where the discoveries are. Sweden sounds a very likable place. Old world charm coexisting with modernity. And you are so right all f Europe has so much to offer in terms of history, architecture and stories. Enjoyed both the posts on Sweden.

Neeraj said...

I find that walking tours are the best way to explore and experience a new place.

Anonymous said...

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Nithya
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Anonymous said...

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Nithya
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Mee said...

@R Niranjan Das - indeed very medieval, very Nordic - a must visit to feel the era:)

@Shaukat - Many thx- lovely to see u here, after ages!:)

@Mel- heheee

@john, @sheila - mine too, now!:)

@Jim- had so much to write, so skipped some:) Indeed a very very pretty locale:)

@Shweta- clearly undersold- its a gorgeous country!

@Gita, @ Ashish :)true

@Neeraj - and I hate walking...hehee, but for sure, no btr way:)

@Nithya - ty:)

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