Theme Week Lapland – Tornio

24 August 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  13 minutes

View from Suensaari water tower © Estormiz

View from Suensaari water tower © Estormiz

Tornio is a city and municipality in Lapland, Finland. The city forms a cross-border twin city together with Haparanda on the Swedish side. The municipality covers an area of 1,348.83 square kilometres (520.79 sq mi), of which 161.59 km² (62.39 sq mi) is water. The population density is 17.97 inhabitants per square kilometre (46.5/sq mi), with a total population of 21,000. It borders the Swedish municipality of Haparanda (in Finnish: Haaparanta). Tornio and Haparanda have a history as twin cities, and are currently set to merge under the names TornioHaparanda and HaparandaTornio. A new city centre is under construction on the international border and several municipal services are shared. The towns also share a common golf course, situated astride the border. The new IKEA store in Haparanda has signposting in Finnish as well as in Swedish, and all prices are signposted in two currencies. In spite of being a border city Tornio is unilingually Finnish with a negligible number of native Swedish speakers, although this does not count vast numbers of bilinguals who speak Swedish as a second language, with an official target of universal working bilingualism for both border municipalities.   read more…

Nationalmuseum in Stockholm

24 June 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions Reading Time:  6 minutes

© flickr.com - allen watkin/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – allen watkin/cc-by-sa-2.0

Nationalmuseum (or National Museum of Fine Arts) is the national gallery of Sweden, located on the peninsula Blasieholmen in central Stockholm. The museum’s operations stretches far beyond the borders of Blasieholmen, the nationalmuseum manage the National Portrait gallery collection at Gripshom, Gustavsbergporclain museum, a handful of castle collections and the Swedish Institute in Paris (Institut Tessin). In the summer of 2018 Nationalmuseum Jamtli opened in Östersund as a way to show a part of the collection in the north of Sweden.   read more…

Abisko in Sweden

22 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Living, Working, Building Reading Time:  6 minutes

Abisko Östra © Helleborus

Abisko Östra © Helleborus

Abisko is a village in Sápmi (Lapland), in northern Sweden, roughly 250 km within the Arctic Circle, and near Abisko National Park, located 4 km west of the village. It has 130 inhabitants. Abisko is home to the Abisko Scientific Research Station, an important centre for research into Arctic ecology and climate change. The research station hosts the Climate Impacts Research Centre, Umeå University, where research, education and outreach on aquatic and terrestrial ecology are undertaken.   read more…

Stockholm Palace

16 March 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  9 minutes

© Brorsson/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Brorsson/cc-by-sa-3.0

Stockholm Palace or the Royal Palace is the official residence and major royal palace of the Swedish monarch (King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia use Drottningholm Palace as their usual residence). Stockholm Palace is on Stadsholmen, in Gamla stan in the capital, Stockholm. It neighbours the Riksdag building. The offices of the King, the other members of the Swedish Royal Family, and the Royal Court of Sweden are here. The palace is used for representative purposes by the King whilst performing his duties as the head of state.   read more…

Grand Hôtel in Stockholm

5 January 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Hotels Reading Time:  4 minutes

Blasieholmen with the Grand Hôtel in the center © Arild Vågen/cc-by-sa-4.0

Blasieholmen with the Grand Hôtel in the center © Arild Vågen/cc-by-sa-4.0

Grand Hôtel is a five-star hotel in Stockholm. It was founded by Frenchman, Jean-François Régis Cadier, in 1872. It opened on 14 June 1874 at the same time as the Grand Hotel in Oslo; all the Scandinavian capitals have a major hotel called ‘Grand Hotel’. The Grand Hôtel is located next to the Nationalmuseum and opposite the Royal Palace and Gamla stan (the old town).   read more…

Gamla stan, the old town of Stockholm

6 May 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

© Julian Herzog/cc-by-4.0

© Julian Herzog/cc-by-4.0

Gamla stan (The Old Town), until 1980 officially Staden mellan broarna (The Town between the Bridges), is the old town of Stockholm, Sweden. Gamla stan consists primarily of the island Stadsholmen. Officially, but not colloquially, Gamla stan includes the surrounding islets Riddarholmen, Helgeandsholmen, and Strömsborg. The town dates back to the 13th century, and consists of medieval alleyways, cobbled streets, and archaic architecture. North German architecture has had a strong influence in the Old Town’s construction.   read more…

The Galleon Vasa

1 January 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Tall ships, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  14 minutes

© flickr.com - Jorge Láscar/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Jorge Láscar/cc-by-2.0

Vasa is a retired Swedish warship built between 1626 and 1628. The ship foundered after sailing about 1,300 m (1,400 yd) into its maiden voyage on 10 August 1628. It fell into obscurity after most of her valuable bronze cannons were salvaged in the 17th century until she was located again in the late 1950s in a busy shipping lane just outside the Stockholm harbor. Salvaged with a largely intact hull in 1961, it was housed in a temporary museum called Wasavarvet (‘The Wasa Shipyard’) until 1988 and then moved permanently to the Vasa Museum in the Royal National City Park in Stockholm. The ship is one of Sweden’s most popular tourist attractions and has been seen by over 35 million visitors since 1961. Since her recovery, Vasa has become a widely recognised symbol of the Swedish ‘great power period‘ and is today a de facto standard in the media and among Swedes for evaluating the historical importance of shipwrecks.   read more…

Riksgränsen, the northernmost ski resort of Sweden

19 July 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  4 minutes

© Johannes Jansson/norden.org/cc-by-2.5-dk

© Johannes Jansson/norden.org/cc-by-2.5-dk

Riksgränsen, The National Border in Swedish, is a ski-resort in Kiruna Municipality in Lappland, 200 km north of the Arctic Circle. The skiing season is from February to June. From end of May the lifts operate under the midnight sun.   read more…

Portrait: Cnut the Great

22 March 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  12 minutes

Winchester Cathedral - Burial chest of Cnut the Great © Ealdgyth

Winchester Cathedral – Burial chest of Cnut the Great © Ealdgyth

King Cnut the Great, also known as Canute, was King of Denmark, England, and Norway, together often referred to as the Anglo-Scandinavian or North Sea Empire. The North Sea Empire was one of several forerunners of the European Union and the Eurozone. After his death, the deaths of his heirs within a decade, and the Norman conquest of England in 1066, his legacy was mostly forgotten. The medieval historian Norman Cantor stated that he was “the most effective king in Anglo-Saxon history”, although Cnut himself was Danish and not a Briton or Anglo-Saxon. Cnut is popularly invoked in the context of the legend of King Canute and the waves, but usually misrepresents Cnut as a deluded monarch believing he has supernatural powers, when the original legend in fact states the opposite and portrays a wise king.   read more…

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