The next stop on my virtual tour through Stockholm is the Storkyrkan in the Gamla Stan (old town). The Storkyrkan, or Nicolai kyrka, is located between the palace and the Stock Exchange. It is a beautiful Cathedral, but probably overlooked quite a few times as the exterior isn't that grand. And that is a real pity as the interior of the cathedral is stunning! It has many unique artefacts, and an absolute must see on your visit to Stockholm.
When I walked into the Cathedral it overwhelmed me right away. All I could say was ooooh and oooooh again, so taken I was the first sight of the interior of this Cathedral. Nothing really sensible came out of my mouth, I didn't know what to say, but oooooh.... beautiful.... and oooh again. It is not that the Cathedral is huge, like some Cathedrals, but it is just stunningly beautiful. The cathedral was first constructed in 1250, but has been rebuilt many times since then. Because of that the exterior appears to be Baroque but the interior exhibits basic Gothic elements.
The cathedral is open from 1 Jan - 20 May, 30 Sep - 31 Dec Mon-Sun 09.00 - 16.00 and 21 May - 29 Sep Mon-Sun, 09.00-18.00
Morning services are held every Sunday at 11am.
Winter Season: Free admission
Summer Season: 25 SEK for adults, Children free
Looking up to the top of one of the Royal Pews. Again, it is all gold and glittering and lots and lots of detailing. The more I walked around in the Cathedral the more impressed I got. I had no clue the Storkyrkan was THIS beautiful! I had read it was great, but this was so much more than I expected.
Second picture: The Seven-Branched Candlestick
Just behind the Royal pews is the next artefact: The Seven-Branched Candlestick. This is a candelabra of bronze and just over 12 feet high. It was probably made in Germany in the 15th century and has been in the Cathedral for more than five hundred years.
The highlight of the Cathedral is without a doubt the monument of St.George and the Dragon. This is an extremely well-preserved sculptural ensemble, unequalled among its kind, created by Berndt Notke of Lübeck. The sculpture is made from materials such as oak and elk antlers. It was unveiled in 1489 as an altar monument for the shrine to St.George. The monument is huge, and so impressive to see. This sculpture alone would make it more than worth while to visit the Cathedral!
You might have heard of St.George and the Dragon before as it is a famous legend. The legend tells of a terrible dragon that demanded human offerings from the town of Selene as its price for not destroying the town. The day that the King's daughter was to be sacrificed, St.George comes riding by. He promises to kill the dragon if the town's heathen inhabitants convert to Christianity.
The monument of St.George and the Dragon is so impressive that you might overlook this painting, which is hanging on the wall next to the statue. But when you notice it, you wonder why you hadn't seen it before, because it is huge!!! This painting called "The Last Judgement", was created by David Klöcker von Ehrenstrahl in 1696. This is not the only work of this artist in the church, you can see another one in the south side-aisle of the Cathedral, which depicts the crucifixion. Both pictures were painted originally for the chapel of the Castle of the Three Crowns, the predecessor of the Royal Castle. They were rescued from the fire that destroyed the Castle in 1697, and have remained under the protection of Stockholm Cathedral ever since.
During my whole stay in the Cathedral the organ was playing and it was so beautiful! So after my visit to the Cathedral I didn't leave right away, instead I sat down, closed my eyes for a while and listened to the organ play. So beautiful and so amazing to hear the sound of the organ fill the cathedral with its beautiful tones. I could have stayed here for hours just listening to the music.
The organ in the Storkyrkan was built in 1960 by Marcussen & Son and has 53 stops. The façade of the organ was created in 1789 for an earlier organ-work.
But the big organ wasn't the only one playing, also this little instrument was used and made a duet with the big organ. The effect was great! I really felt in luck being in the Cathedral while they were practicing the music. There are a lot of concerts in the Cathedral, almost every week, so you've got a real chance of hearing the organ play and enjoying its mesmerizing sound. The concerts are mostly given in the weekends, and there is a brochure at the entrance of the Cathedral telling you all about when the concerts are given.
Prices for the concerts can vary, but roughly said they are between 70 SEK and 250 SEK, but can be more expensive at certain occasions.
The Storkyrkan was first mentioned in 1279 and is now the cathedral of Stockholm. It is a huge church with lots of beautiful artwork inside, one of which is the famous sculpture of St. George and the Dragon by Bernt Notke (1489).
When we visited (around 3.40 p.m.) we were not aware of the fact that the cathedral closed at 4 p.m. - we walked around and enjoyed this beautiful church, when suddenly someone started playing on the organ! Wow, what a fantastic atmosphere this was! Unfortunately we could not listen to this impromptu concert very long, since we were asked to leave - but what we heard and saw left us with a lasting impression!
Normally the church is open from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. from September - April and from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. from May - August.
Storkyrkan is a beautiful cathedral on Gamla Stan. It is the oldest church in Stockholm and holds within its walls the oldest known painting depicting Stockholm (painted in 1520). It is also has other beautiful artefacts like the (wood) statue of 'St George and the Dragon' by Bernt Notke (1489). This church was first mentioned in writing in the 13th Century, it is Gothic architecture on the inside but the outside was remodelled in the 18th to a Baroque styling - most likely to match the surrounding buildings better.
It has been used for centuries for royal weddings and coronations.
I definitely recommend visiting this cathedral, but while there, ask if they are doing any tours up the clock tower. I arrived just before a tour was about to start and was asked if I wanted to join (for a fee of course), but it was money well spent. The guide (a priest in training, who looked a lot like Paul Walker) gave good insight into what conditions were like in centuries past and about the people who inhabited the tower. Then you get amazing views of the city around you!!
Check out my Storkyrkan Travelogue for views of the city from the clock tower.
The Big Church, or Storkyrkan, is the most important church of the city. It's situated very close to the Royal Palace and the Stortorget. It was built in the 13th century and was opened officially in 1306. Officially the city of Stockholm doesn't have a real cathedral, but this church is often called the Cathedral because of the important role it played in history.
The square, brick church was the place where the Swedish kings got married and crowned. The current shape of the Storkyrkan was established in the 15th century. Before that it was a more simple design. The baroc parts of the church were added in the 30's of the 18th century.
The interior of the church is very caracteristic because of its brick walls on the inside. Originally there was plaster on these walls, but that was removed during a renovation in the past century. The statue of St. George and the Dragon and the beautiful Royal seats are the most impressive aspects in here.
Every saturday at 13:00 there is a concert in the church with its organ.
Storkyrkan was Stockholm's impressive cathedral where the Swedish Monarchs were crowned; it is located next to the Kungliga Slottet. The church was consecrated in 1306 and replaced a smaller church on the same site which was gutted by fire. The space within the church features medieval paintings on the ceiling, notably work by Albertus Pictor in the Chapel of the Suls cross vault. There is a life sized statue of St George, his horse and the dragon. Thestature was commissioned by Sten ture the Elder to symbolise Sweden's fredom from Denmark - it was sculpted by the Berndt Notke in 1494.
The Sunday service is held at 11.00 and is in Swedish. There are also regular classical concerts.
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