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Photographer's Note

This is Stortorget (Grand Square), the centre of Gamla stan (Stockholm's Old Town) and the largest and oldest square on "The island between the bridges", which used to be the official name of the Old Town.

I tried to make this photo slightly less obviously postcardish by including a working man and his van, plus two posters for a music festival, in the foreground. Looking through the TE archives I had expected to see dozens of photos from here, so I was surprised to find very few.

The red and orange twin buildings in the centre of the view were built in the 1650's (or rather rebuilt then into the present shape) and the 1520's respectively.

To the right is a glimpse of the former Stock Exchange, which is now the headquarters of the Swedish Academy and also houses the Nobel Prize museum and library.

Click at Map: view to see where I took this.

To most Swedes Stortorget is mainly known for the "Stockholm bloodbath"‚ when about 80 persons were executed here during three days in 1520 as a result of a political and religious power struggle. A show trial that sentenced all these people to death took place immediately after the Danish King Kristian II had been coronated as King of Sweden. This political upheaval was soon followed by the Swedish exit from the Kalmar Union, which since 1397 had been an alliance between Sweden, Denmark and Norway, including their respective dependencies of Finland, Iceland, Faroe Island and Greenland, as well as the Orkney and Shetland Islands.

With the coronation of Gustav Vasa in 1523, Sweden won its complete independence after having been periodically ruled by Germans and Danes for hundreds of years. The religious power struggle that also lay behind the "bloodbath" lead to a break with the Catholic church during the reign of Gustav Vasa.

In the WS is a slightly related photo connected with the "Stockholm early music festival" advertised on the posters. For one week (ending yesterday) there were concerts of medieval, renaissance and baroque music in three churches in Gamla stan. There were limited, pre-booked audiences in the churches and live streaming.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11723 W: 564 N: 22519] (97648)
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