Västerlånggatan, Stockholm

Västerlånggatan, Stockholm

Today renowned as one of Gamla Stan's most picturesque and busiest tourist magnets, Västerlånggatan was for many centuries one of the main streets in Stockholm, together with Österlånggatan, both running outside the city walls. During the 15th century, they were collectively called Allmänningsgatan ("The Common Street") or Långa gatan ("The long street"). The current name Västerlånggatan ("the Western Long Street") was officially coined in 1885.

Originally, the street was little more than a pathway following the shoreline, linking the northern city gate, Norrbro, with the southern, Söderbro. In the 15th century, it became a high-traffic paved artery road with dwellings and shops on both sides. During the Middle Ages and the Vasa era, the southern part of the street formed part of the district centered on Järntorget, inhabited by influential merchants. Along the rest of the street, craftsmen had their small workshops, and the northernmost section, stretching between Mynttorget and Storkyrkobrinken, was called Stadssmedjegatan ("City's Smith's Street"), because the blacksmiths and coppersmiths had their shops here, confined outside the city limits due to the risk of fire. In the 17th century, this section was inhabited by goldsmiths which added to its prestige.

Starting the mid 19th century, the medieval street facades were transformed to the taste of the day; plaster ornaments and cast iron colonettes mail-ordered from Germany replaced the medieval fronts, resulting in the large shop windows usually displaying some well-preserved interiors.

Throughout the second half of the 20th century, the street scene began to change amid revitalization in its business district, seeing hotels, high-end businesses and restaurants moving in and many old shops, after more than 250 years in business, moving out, forced to relocate or shut down by soaring rents, subsequently replaced by more or less fitting successors marketing tourist-oriented gewgaws.

Today, Swedes and tourists alike love to mingle among the local boutiques, medieval gables and later additions, the street thus preserving its old ways — offering its musicians to Stockholmers hurrying to work in the morning; blustering pub-crawlers still vexing stoic dwellers, and the old forged iron signs continuing to ignore the neon signs still tempting passers-by with all sorts of gadgets.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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Västerlånggatan on Map

Sight Name: Västerlånggatan
Sight Location: Stockholm, Sweden (See walking tours in Stockholm)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Stockholm, Sweden

Create Your Own Walk in Stockholm

Create Your Own Walk in Stockholm

Creating your own self-guided walk in Stockholm is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Sodermalm District Walking Tour

Sodermalm District Walking Tour

Södermalm, or "Söder" for short, is a borough in central Stockholm, incorporating a large island of the same name (formerly known as "Åsön"). Although considered an island, the water surrounding Södermalm to the north and south does not flow freely, but passes through a series of locks. Visitors are charmed by the borough's narrow, cobbled streets and neat squares, as...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
The Museums Island Walk

The Museums Island Walk

With almost 70 museums in operation, Stockholm houses more museums than most cities on the planet. The island of Djurgården, inside Stockholm, is home to an array of museums and historic monuments, including Scandinavia’s most popular Vasa Museum and Sweden’s first open-air museum. To explore these and other museums of Djurgården in detail, follow this self-guided walk.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Old Town (Gamla Stan) Walk

Old Town (Gamla Stan) Walk

Gamla stan (The Old Town) is the oldest part of Stockholm, officially known until 1980 as “The Town Between Bridges” (Staden mellan broarna). Established in the 13th century, the area abounds in medieval alleyways, cobbled streets, and archaic architecture, showing a great deal of North Germanic influence. There are quite a few historic sights in the area, including The Royal Palace, The...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
City Center (Norrmalm) Walk

City Center (Norrmalm) Walk

Once an independent city, Norrmalm has been a part of Stockholm (one of its central areas today) since 1635. Many of Norrmalm's old buildings were torn down during the 1950s-60s to clear space for modern construction. Still, the most notable pieces of local architecture are in place and reveal a wide range of styles - Late Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque. Among the many places of interest found...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles

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