Gamla stan, the old town of Stockholm

6 May 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© 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

© - Jorge Láscar/cc-by-2.0

© – 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

© Johannes Jansson/

© Johannes Jansson/

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

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…

Stockholm Public Library

28 November 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Opera Houses, Theaters, Libraries

Rotunda © Andrea Serio/cc-by-sa-3.0

Rotunda © Andrea Serio/cc-by-sa-3.0

Stockholm Public Library (Swedish: Stockholms stadsbibliotek or Stadsbiblioteket) is a library building in Stockholm, designed by Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund, and one of the city’s most notable structures. The name is today used for both the main library itself as well as the municipal library system of Stockholm. Discussed by a committee of which Asplund himself was a member from 1918, a design scheme was proposed in 1922, and construction began in 1924. Partly inspired by the Barrière Saint-Martin (Rotonde de la Villette) by Claude Nicolas Ledoux, Asplund abandoned earlier ideas for a dome in favour of a rotunda whose tall cylinder gives the exterior some monumentality. In the course of its planning, he reduced elements of the classical order to their most abstract geometrical forms, for the most part eliminating architectural decor. Stockholm Public Library was Sweden’s first public library to apply the principle of open shelves where visitors could access books without the need to ask library staff for assistance, a concept Asplund studied in the United States during the construction of the library. All the furnishings in all the rooms were designed for their specific positions and purposes.   read more…

Tanum on the west coast of Sweden

19 November 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Island of Hällsö © Oschti

Island of Hällsö © Oschti

Tanum Municipality (Tanums kommun) is a municipality in Västra Götaland County in western Sweden. Its seat is located in the town of Tanumshede, with 1,600 inhabitants. Other towns of the municipality are Grebbestad, Fjällbacka, Hamburgsund, Kämpersvik and Rabbalshede. The present municipality was formed in 1971 through the amalgamation of three former units. Before the subdivision reform of 1952 there were seven entities in the area.   read more…

Fjällbacka in Sweden

26 October 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© F.A.E./cc-by-sa-3.0

© F.A.E./cc-by-sa-3.0

Fjällbacka is a locality situated in Tanum Municipality, Västra Götaland County in Sweden with 860 inhabitants. Fjällbacka is mostly known as a summer tourist resort, with a long history. Fjällbacka is wellkown für it’s Lobster Safari’s, offered by local fishermen. The lobster season’s are starting in September.   read more…

The hotel ship Barken Viking

1 October 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Tall ships, Hotels, Yacht of the Month

Barken Viking © Pär Henning

Barken Viking © Pär Henning

The Viking (better known by the ship type as a prefix, Barken Viking) is a four-masted steel barque, built in 1906 by Burmeister & Wain in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is reported to be the biggest sailing ship ever built in Scandinavia. Viking was originally built as a sail training ship for the rapidly growing Danish merchant fleet. At that time, seaworthiness and cargo capacity were given top priority. One day in July 1909, while carrying a full cargo of wheat from Australia, Captain Niels Clausen recorded a speed record in the ship’s log: 15.5 knots (28.7 km/h; 17.8 mph).   read more…

Icehotel Jukkasjärvi in Sweden

22 August 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Hotels

Icehotel © Tom Corser -

Icehotel © Tom Corser –

The Icehotel (styled as ICEHOTEL) is a hotel built each year with snow and ice in the village of Jukkasjärvi, in northern Sweden, about 17 kilometres (11 mi) from Kiruna. It is the world’s first ice hotel. After its first opening in 1990, the hotel has been built each year from December to April. The hotel, including the chairs and beds, is constructed from snow and ice blocks taken from the nearby Torne River. Artists are invited to create different rooms and decorations made by ice. Besides bedrooms, there is a bar, with glasses made of ice and an ice chapel that is popular with marrying couples. The structure remains below freezing, around −5 °C (23 °F).   read more…

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