Granhult kyrka (= church) is the most beautiful church I ever saw. Yes, even compared to Basilica San Marco’s glittering splendor. It is the simple beauty, the painted wooden interior, which made this little church so exceptional for me. From the outside it looks rather simple, covered all over with weathered shingles. I found the birch trees left and right of the entrance very cute, something like a welcome sign, or maybe a remains of last midsummer?
According to the leaflet, the church was built around 1220, completely in wood. Inside it is painted all over: walls, ceilings, the chancel, the little vestry. Many of the paintings are of “newer” date (17-18th century) though, but this didn’t take away the really breathtaking feeling I had inside. The paintings on the main ceiling are depicting God’s throne in heaven (see photo). The ones in the vestry are scenes of the Old Testament, mainly Adam and Eve in paradise and Abraham’s sacrifice, painted by the artist Johan Christian Zschotzscher. There is an interesting little opening in the chancel (closed now) which, according to the information displayed outside of the church, is a hagioscope, a hole through which people who were not allowed to enter the church, either because they were sick or because they had committed a crime, could watch the mass. On the wall opposite of the altar is a little statue, of St. Olaf (of Norway) with axe and a figure below his feet. It is quite interesting to read about him on Wikipedia (see link) because it explains a lot about early Scandinavian history.
Take your time to visit this church. It won’t be crowded, and the people who come for a visit will respect the serenity. When I was there, everyone who entered the church was speechless in view of these magnificent paintings and atmosphere.
The church is open daily and there is no entrance fee. But it would be good to leave a donation in the little box below the St. Olaf statue. I found the sign there very much moving and it served the purpose:
You have seen me and maybe admired me,
I am old and fragile, please help to maintain me,
Please put a coin in the box,
That’s what the church’s committee is asking for. Thanks.
If you like, you can look at the six albums on my Granhult page, it will give you more ideas of the church’s interior and the surroundings.
From Växjö, drive northeast, direction Lenhovda. It is north of Lenhovda, on road 31, between the villages/hamlets of Vithult and Markhult on the eastern side of the road. There is a sign which says Granhults k:a (k:a = kyrka, church), but it is a white sign, not a brown one with reference to historical sights (which is do not understand due to this beauty of the church). After turning off road 31, it is approx. 1 km to drive/walk/cycle.
Location of Granhult Kyrka on Google Maps.
nearest airport: Kalmar (international) or Växjo (regional)
© Ingrid D., September 2009 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)
Maybe I've got a false idea in my brief visit to Sweden, but the liveliest impression were the colours of trees, matching the houses' warm paintings.
Cold, sadness, enhanced the pleasure of living in a Mediterranean country.
sÄLEN IS IN dALARNAS LÄN AND IT IS MOSTLY FAMOUS TO BE A WINTER RESORT, BUT LATELLY IT HAS A LOT OF SUMMER ACTIVITIES TOO. It has many spors activities and a gorgeous nature. So, people who want to leave the big city and come to a summer destination wih many things to do, can choose Sälen. Sälen has many activities and events for families and it can be really cheap to rent a cottage during the summer time compare to the winter.
St. Eric's Path (Eriksleden in Swedish language) is the most famous among all the paths in and around Uppsala. It stretches from Gamla Uppsala kyrka (Old Uppsala church) to the center of the city in Uppsala passing through Svartbäcken's residential area, a distance of approximately six kilometer long. Yellow direction signs (as depicted on our main photograph) are indicated along the way to guide visitors to the correct path.
Scenery along the way is wonderful to admire especially the scenic river with many different species of birds and ducks, the wooden and metal bridges, the magnificent structure of Fyrishov sports centre, the lovely and quiet residential area of Svartbäcken, the undulated hills, the thin evergreen forests, the vast vacant green land, the villages at Gamla Uppsala and of course the three burial mounds.
Tables and chairs together with the waste disposal bins are provided along the way for visitors to rest and have some picnics before continuing their journey towards their desired destination. We have walked along this path several hundred times. Nevertheless we do not seem to get bored. St. Eric's Path is also an ideal path for cycling, jogging and walking with the dogs especially by the locals.
History of St. Eric's Path as quoted in the signboard at the starting point at Gamla Uppsala kyrka in Gamla Uppsala (as depicted on our third photograph).
It reads:- "According to the legend, on the 18th of May 1160 King Eric Jedvardsson walked from the royal manor at Gamla Uppsala to celebrate Mass in Uppsala. During Mass, a Danish force approached the church. When Eric left the church, a conflict began, which ended in his decapitation. His head rolled down from the height. Where it came to rest, a spring of water broke out.
Eric was soon regarded as a saint. His grave lay in Gamla Uppsala church, but when the cathedral there burned down in the 13th Century, his remains were moved in the new cathedral at Uppsala. Every year, the reliquary was borne in procession back to Gamla Uppsala church. The cult was discontinued in the 16th Century.
For the walker, St. Eric's Path gives a sense of tranquility during the 6 km walk in both urban and rural surroundings. Enjoy the peace and harmony your walk provides - Uppsala kommun."
The Burial Mounds is one of the most popular tourist attractions at Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala) in Uppsala. Tens of thousands of local and foreign tourists visit the site every year especially during the summer months between June and September. The West and East Mounds had been excavated whereas the Centre Mound was partially excavated. It was found that the dead had been properly cremated along with the precious objects. It is believed that the burial mounds were the burial grounds for the three kings during the Migration Period between the 4th and 6th centuries AD.
The path that is leading past the three mounds as depicted on our main photograph is known as St. Eric's Path. We have seen large mounds like this in South Korea. Our fifth photograph is shown here as a comparison. It was taken at the Royal tombs in Tumuli Park in Kyongju in South Korea.
The mounds in South Korea are out of bound to visitors. Visitors can only view the mounds from a distance as they are considered sacred places. In contrast visitors can climb to the top of the mounds in Uppsala and be rewarded with the commanding view of the surrounding areas in Gamla Uppsala. Visitors with families can be seen regularly having picnics above the mounds. Some locals even sun-bathing at the top of the mounds during hot summer.
I didn't see much in Sweden, but, from what I saw, Lund was my best surprise.
A beautiful town with... life. Maybe I'm being unfair to the other places, but Lund was the warmest place that I felt in the sunny but icy Sweden.
If you visit Öland in general and Borgholm in particular don't miss Storgatan (literally means Big Street in English) which is Borgholm's walking street. The walking street is dotted with lots of shops especially shops dealing in gifts, decor and souvenirs, cafés and restaurants. The walking street is one of teh most popular tourist attractions at Borgholm.
When we were there many shops are having realisation sales at large discounts. Most of these shops open only during the summer months usually between march and september each year. We found a structure which is quite imposing and attractive at the beginning of the walking street at Storgatan as depicted in our main photograph. We guess it is one of the better known landmarks in Borgholm. At the end of the walking street near the Guesthamn there is a park known as Societetsparken where you can enjoy a round of minigolf.
Anyway the weather was not kind to us that day. The sky was quite dark. It was windy and had been drizzling on and off. We stayed in the shops looking for bargain and hunting for souvenirs most of the time!
The Maritime Museum of Karlskrona is part of the naval port of Karlskrona which was designated as world heritage site by UNESCO since 1998. It is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city of Karlskrona. The museum has two floors of exhibition space. The view of the museum and the naval port is amazing from the sea as depicted in our above photographs.
Admission ticket to the museum is 90.00 kronor for adults and free-of-charge for children. Its opening hours are between 10.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m. daily during the summer months with shorter opening hours during the winter months. Visitors can visit the museum free-of-charge during the winter months. You may e-mail to the following address for more information about the naval port of Karlskrona:- email@example.com
Borgholm Castle has a history that date back to the 12th century. However the present baroque castle ruins were believed to be constructed in the middle of the 17th century during the reign of King Karl X Gustav. The castle was severely damaged in a fire in the early 19th century and was reconstructed ever since.
Borgholm Castle is opened to the public from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. daily during the summer months. Entrance fee is 70.00 kronor for adults and 40.00 kronor for children. Even dogs are welcome in the castle. You purchase your entry tickets at Sottsbutik which aslo sells refreshments, books, postcards, toys, gifts and souvenirs. You may also purchase concert tickets at Slottsbutik.
The Fredrick Church (Fredrickskyrkan in Swedish) is also located at the large Stora Torget (Market Square) in the heart of the town of Karlskrona nor far from Fisktorget at the harbour. This church was also designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger in the late 17th century. Facing the church is the statue of King Karl XI which stands in the middle of the square. Fredrick Church was constructed in honour of King Fredrick I. The statue is actually facing the Fredrick Church as depicted in our third photograph. The whole area of the Market Square is a favourite meeting place for the locals as well as foreign tourists. Don't miss the Market Square when you visit the town of Karlskrona on your vacation!
The statue of King Karl XI (King Charles XI) is located in the middle of Stora Torget which was formerly a popular market square in the heart of the town of Karlskrona. The Market Square is said to be the largest in Scandinavia and the second largest in Europe after the Red Square in Russia.
The area around the statue is a great meeting place for the locals as well as foreign tourists. This statue is the most photographed item in the town of Karlskrona and is also one of the most famous tourist attractions in the town. Near the Market Square is the busy walking street which is dotted with lots of bars, cafes, restaurants, hotels and shops.
The Church of Holy Trinity (Heliga Trefaldighetskyrkan in Swedish) is the most famous and most important church in and around the town of Karlskrona. It is located at the Stora Torget (Market Square) where several other prominent landmark buildings are also located including the other popular Fredrick Church, Concert Hall Theatre, City Library and the Post Office. The center of the square stands a statue of King Karl XI who was the founder of Karlskrona. The location in and around Karlskrona including the Naval Port of Karlskrona has been designated as world heritage site by UNESCO since 1998.
The church was formerly known as Tyskakyrkan (the German Church) since most worshippers were German immigrants who used the church in the 18th century. Church of Holy Trinity was consecrated in the early 18th century. It was designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger in the late 17th century.
Malmö is Sweden's third largest city with over 260,000 residents. The old city centre around the Main Square provides an interesting mixture of old and new buildings. The best sights include St Peter's Church, the Town Hall and the Lilla Torg area with its indoor market.
Dragon Gate is a Chinese style pavilion located approximately 85 kilometers north-east of Uppsala on the outskirts of Älvkarleby not far from Gävle, a coastal city on the east coast of Sweden. If you drive along the motorway E4 between Stockholm or Uppsala and Gävle, you will come across the magnificent Dragon Gate along the motorway with its impressive 12 storey Chinese architectural hotel. The distance between Uppsala and Gävle is approximately 100 kilometers.
It is well worth stopping to have a look and to chill out. Admission to Dragon Gate is free at the moment except when making use of its amenities and facilities. Dragon Gate was constructed as a Chinese cultural center, a Chinese spa resort as well as a tourist attraction for local and Scandinavian tourists by mainland Chinese entrepreneurs. It seems construction works have not been entirely completed!
A giant Buddhist statue is located inside the large compound surrounded by the great wall facing the hotel. The interior of the main Dragon Gate building is equally impressive as depicted in our hidden photogrpahs above! A Chinese museum depicting among others numerous Chinese Terracota warriors from Xian is located inside the compound near the Buddhist statue. The museum was closed when we visited Dragon Gate in April 2009.
For those who are hungry, a Chinese restaurant serving economical Chinese buffet lunch is available at the Dragon Gate. Of course ample hotel rooms are available for those who wish to stay overnight at the resort.
The Post Museum is located at Lilla Nygatan at Gamla Stan (Old Town) in the heart of the city of Stockholm. It is the only postal museum in Sweden and is regarded as one of the best postal museums in the world. The Postal Museum exhibits the history of post offices in Sweden, philatelic history such as stamps, postcards and letters. It also has exhibits depicting how letters were delivered for the past four centuries in Sweden. Most of the stamps exhibited in the museum were donated by Posten including stamps depicting the royal family.
More than five millions stamps, letters, postcards and other exhibits are displayed in the museum. This is a "must-visit" museum for all stamp collectors and stamp enthusiasts. Don't miss the museum shop where you can purchase souvenirs and postcards to take home to your country. Please flip through our above photos depicting some stamps collections courtesy of Swedish Philatelic Association.
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