Gamla Stan Walk, Part 2 (Self Guided), Stockholm

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 German influence. Among the many places of interest found here are The Stockholm Stock Exchange (built originally between 1773 and 1778), The Bonde Palace (arguably, the most prominent monument of the Swedish Empire period), and The House of Nobility (keeping records and acts of the Swedish nobility). Follow this guide to see Stockholm the way it used to be back in the old days!
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Gamla Stan Walk, Part 2 Map

Guide Name: Gamla Stan Walk, Part 2
Guide Location: Sweden » Stockholm (See other walking tours in Stockholm)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 14
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Author: rose
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Tessin Palace
  • Stortorget Number 3
  • Stortorget Number 5
  • Stockholm Stock Exchange Building
  • Stortorget No. 22
  • Stortorget No. 18-20
  • Prästgatan
  • Gamla Stans Polkagriskokeri AB
  • Lilla Nygatan
  • Gåstorget
  • Västerlånggatan
  • Storkyrkan
  • Bonde Palace
  • Swedish House of Nobility
Tessin Palace

1) Tessin Palace

Designed in the Baroque style, with its powerful lines and artistic influence, Tessin Palace is located in a part of Stockholm known as Gamla Stan. Gamla Stan is in the oldest part of the city. Once known as “The Town between the Bridges” the town is located on the island of Stadsholmen. With beautiful views and a rich architectural history, this is an area of town that will transport visitors back to medieval Sweden. Tessin Palace is located on prime property next to the Royal Palace. Its cubical shape, dotted with perfect rows of windows and its pastel yellow color lend well to the strong lines designed by its architect. Built in the late 1600s , the building is a creation of famed architect Nicodemus Tessin the Younger. The architect designed and constructed several churches and buildings around Stockholm for the royal family during the 18th century. After his death, the building was willed to his son Carl Gustaf Tessin, who lived in it for a short period of time and then was forced to sell it to settle his own financial debt. Since that time, the palace has been owned by Swedish Royalty and has been the residence of several governors and noblemen.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Stortorget Number 3

2) Stortorget Number 3

Located on the boundary of Stortorget, Sweden, building Number 3 was constructed by the wealthy merchant Hans Bremer in the 1640s. The building still displays the original cross vault design and, if guests look closely, they will discover the original German inscription at the entrance of the building. The building is commonly known as Grillska Huset, which means “Grill House”. It acquired the name from one of its most legendary residents, Antoni Grill, who was an immigrant from Augsburg and a goldsmith. The Grill family took pride in owning this piece of real estate and, the house remained in the possession of the Grill family for the next 200 years. In present day, the building is the headquarters of the Stockholm City Mission, which is a Christian charity that works with the poor and indigent. The building is considered to be one of the most beautiful of the buildings in Stortorget. Visitors to the area will enjoy spending time enjoying the square, with all of its shops and cafes. Building Number 5, itself, has a wonderful coffee shop, where visitors can enjoy a piping hot cup of rich dark coffee while enjoying the beauty of the architecture which fills the area.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Stortorget Number 5

3) Stortorget Number 5

Situated near Building Number 3, Building Number 5 was another of the real estate purchases of Antoni Grill. Visitors today will enjoy visiting the secondhand shop which currently sells goods from within these historic walls. The joists of the building are embellished with detailed painted flowers, fruits and animals, which transport guests back to ancient Stockholm. The building currently houses a Christian charity and, on Sundays, services are held followed by a meal for the homeless. Stortorget has many corners and architectural structures to explore. To explore the town, all a person needs to do is to begin walking. There is something to see on every side of the town square. The original city was enclosed on all four sides by tall walls. Architecture in the area tends to mirror the classic architecture commonly found during medieval times. Stortorget has a rich history, which includes the gruesome Stockholm Bloodbath. This tragic part of Swedish history took place in 1520 when a change in royalty happened and King Christian II ordered the slaughter of over 80 noblemen. It is said that the men were beheaded and their heads were thrown into a high pyramid in the center of the square while the bodies were left to fill the streets of the square with rivers of blood.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Stockholm Stock Exchange Building

4) Stockholm Stock Exchange Building

Owned by the Swedish Academy, the Stockholm Stock Exchange Building is located in the old part of Stockholm. The building has been used by the Swedish Academy while chooseing the winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature, since its inception in 1901. The building, now known as the Stockholm Stock Exchange Building, was built for the bourgeoisie. The bottom floor once was used as the trading floor and the upper floor was a large scale ballroom. The Academy chose the ballroom for it’s use purely because of its size. The building is home to the Nobel Museum and the Nobel Library. As the home of the Stockholm Stock Exchange, which was the main financial securities trading agency, it has been an active part of the Swedish business community over the years. However, recently the stock exchange merged with the Helsinki Stock Exchange and now operates from other office space. The stock exchange was founded in 1863. The Nobel museum is a fantastic opportunity for visitors to explore the history of the Nobel Prize, since its beginnings in 1901. In addition to a history of the prize, guests will be able to explore the life of its founder, Alfred Nobel. The museum hosts a huge selection of exhibitions which include films, dramas and scientific experimentation.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Stortorget No. 22

5) Stortorget No. 22 (must see)

Stortorget No. 22 is easily identified by its color. The green building, which is located on the left side of the square, was built in 1758. It was once occupied by the Saxon Polycarpus Crumbügel, who was one of the closest friends of King Charles XI. Built on medieval walls, the building also housed one of Sweden’s wealthiest men, Councilor Johan Berndes, who was attributed with the development of Swedish copper production. While being explored by archeologists in 1998, a vaulted chamber was discovered to connect to the kitchens, which proved that a crude plumbing system existed during the 1700s.

This area of Stortorget, Stockholm is one of the oldest sections of the city. Designed in a square, the area is extremely picturesque and filled with many merchants and cafes for guests to enjoy while people-watching on the town’s square. Stortorget sits at the highest point in the city of Stockholm and it presents a carefully restored rendition of the historical buildings of the 18th century. The exquisite antique cobble-stone streets will have guests feeling like they have been transported back into an ancient time in historic Old Sweden, while the pastel buildings mimic the colors common to this area of the world.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Stortorget No. 18-20

6) Stortorget No. 18-20 (must see)

A quaint public square located in the Old Town section of Stockholm, Stortorget is an artistic and shopping hub filled with incredible performances, unique handicrafts and sumptuous culinary offerings. On the west side of the square are private buildings known only by their addresses. These historic buildings date back to the 18th century and have been occupied by several famous residents including Councilor Johan Berndes, a Swedish copper mogul.

In 1998, an archeological excavation revealed primitive attempts at plumbing from medieval Sweden, which was unexpected based on historical records. The buildings 18–20 were merged into one in the 17th century and named for Johan Eberhard Schantz. Stortorget had a violent history, as it once was the location of the Stockholm Bloodbath, which took place in 1520 and resulted in the beheadings of over 80 noblemen. The bodies were left in the square to bleed out, leaving pools of blood running throughout the town, which was a ghoulish message to the Danish King’s opposition.

Why You Should Visit:
The Old Town (or 'Gamla stan') is by far the most picturesque area in Stockholm, and while this square seems unpretentious at first sight, it has a unique ambiance.

Make sure to stand in the middle and look all around you.
Sight description based on wikipedia

7) Prästgatan

Known as “The Priest’s Street,” Prästgatan can be found in Gamla Stan in the oldest section of Stockholm. The street’s name is derived from its ecclesiastic residents during the 16th century which included three chaplains and a bell-ringer. In 1708 a parsonage was built which stands in the same place today. One end of the street led to the Blackfriars monastery. The Blackfriars were part of the Dominican Order, of the Roman Catholic Church which was founded by Saint Dominic in 1216. The monastery was ordered destroyed during the Protestant Reformation under the direct order of King Vasa. Part of the archeological excavation, which took place in 199, involved the unearthing of the front corner of the monastery. On the corner where Kåkbrinken intersects Prästgatan is a runestone, which is a raised stone with an inscription that was a popular tradition during the age of the Vikings. The stone dates back to around 1000 and is one of the oldest items found in the city. The stone is one of three runestones which can be found in the city. Visitors to the city can plan a day around exploring the streets in Gamla Stan while searching for the three runestones.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Gamla Stans Polkagriskokeri AB

8) Gamla Stans Polkagriskokeri AB

What to buy here: Home made candy canes- mint white and red stripes.

The small town of Graenna (Gränna) is famous for the locally produced candy canes, known in dialect as 'Polka pigs' ('Polkagrisar'). The cosy and rustic small town is also known for growing and harvesting tons of fruit, mostly apples. The distinct smell of caramel and mint fills the air in the summer when hundreds of pounds of sweets are mixed, stirred and boiled to be shaped, by hand, into canes and caramels.

The famous twisted red and white candy cane is made locally, and only in the small town of Graenna (Gränna). It is boiled and shaped by hand into canes, caramels, decorations or lollypops. The flavor is the original white peppermint and strawberry caramel, but other flavors are approved and added to the family of candy canes, such as licorice, raspberry and violet. You can buy the candy as round bars, the traditional shape, as canes, caramels in a jar or lollypops in all sizes. The normal price for a standard size cane (80 grams) is 3 EUR and 20 EUR for 15 smaller canes (50 grams/each).
Lilla Nygatan

9) Lilla Nygatan

A small street on Gamla Stan that spans from the Munkbron square to Kornhamnstorg is Lilla Nygatan. The street was the result of city planning following a huge fire in 1625, which nearly destroyed the entire metropolis. During the 1990s, archeological digs in the area unearthed many medieval artifacts and evidence of the original town which existed on the ridge. When the archeologists examined Lilla Nygatan, they found confirmation of the old city wall that protected the area during the 14th century. Much of the town was destroyed during the age of Vasa, following the Protestant Reformantion. Several historical buildings sit on Lilla Nygatan. The Postmuseum is an exhibition which chronicles the postal and philatelic history. The façade of the building displays four green Ekeberg marble columns with Doric capitals. Ekeberg marble is a light colored marble which is quarried in Estonia. Regal groups of sphinx sit upon the columns and look out at onlookers. Visitors to the city will want to visit the museum and then spend the rest of the day exploring the local history. Those who are interested in architecture will find the street fascinating, as architectural styles that can be found include Baroque, Renaissance and Rococo. There are many shops, taverns and cafes dotting the streets and beckoning for visitors.
Sight description based on wikipedia

10) Gåstorget

Gamla Stan is filled with many small public squares, one of which is known as “Goose Square” or Gåstorget. Part of the Old Town of Stockholm, this area is a wonderful place for traveler to take time to explore and spend a relaxing day on a walking tour. Gåstorget is located between two major streets in Gamla Stan, Gåsgränd and Överskärargränd. The 18th century city architect, J. E. Carlberg was responsible for many of the street plans and city squares on the island. Many of the squares were designed originally as a horse-drawn carriage turning space and Gåstorget was one of those squares. The block features a tall bronze statue which sits on a granite base. The statue, which was cast in 1967 by artist Sven Lundquist, is called Tungviktare or “Heavyweights.” The sculpture measures approximately one meter in height and depicts two boxers with an audience of onlookers. The square is filled with lush greenery and beautiful ivy covered buildings. Lining the square and the two crossing streets are many craftsmen shops, taverns and cafes. Visitors will enjoy strolling around the square, sitting on one of the many benches or finding a spot at a cafe to sip a cup of coffee.
Sight description based on wikipedia

11) Västerlånggatan

An ancient historical street in Gamla Stan is Västerlånggatan, extending between the squares of Järntorget and Mynttorget and traces the original length of the defensive wall which protected the city during the 13th century. This street has been a high traffic area since the 15th century. The street has been lined with shops and cafes along with many residences. During the 15th century, the most common residents were local merchants who made their fortunes from the iron and copper trade. The other section of the street was filled with workshops and craftsmen including blacksmiths, coppersmiths and goldsmiths. At the turn of the century, the fabulous medieval facades were reconstructed and redesigned in favor of the popular architectural and design elements of the time. The result is a mix of oddly painted and plastered exteriors with well-preserved interiors. During the 20th century, the street had a revitalization in its business district with hotels, craftsmen shops, book stores and restaurants moving into the neighborhood. The ensued high rental rates resulted in small shops moving out and high end businesses moving into the area. Visitors to the neighborhood will want to devote time to walk and explore the city and all that it has to offer.
Sight description based on wikipedia

12) Storkyrkan (must see)

Storkyrkam, the Church of St. Nicholas or the Great Church, is a Brick Gothic style structure located in the center of Stockholm. Said to have been built by the founding father of Stockholm, Birger Jarl, the church served the Roman Catholic community until 1527, when it became a Lutheran Protestant church. Late into the Middle Ages it was once again used by the Roman Catholic Church and, to this day, it remains under the governance of the Archdiocese of Stockholm. It has been the preferred site for many ceremonies and celebrations within Sweden, including royal weddings, funeral services, and coronations.

Visitors to the church will want to see the large wooden statue of Saint George and the Dragon, which was carved in the 15th century. The statue is also a reliquary and, even today, contains relics of favored saints to the region. The pulpit was carved by Burchard Precht and is an excellent example of French Baroque style. The front of the pulpit portrays the biblical story of Matthew 15:21-28, the Canaanite woman, while the door of the pulpit displays a superb depiction of the head of Jesus Christ. The church is lined by special royal pews, which are adorned in blue velvet embroidered upholstery.

Why You Should Visit:
Architecturally interesting, culturally interesting, and very peaceful.

Check for free organ recitals (usually at noon) and other events.
Make sure to pick up a brochure as they are very helpful in explaining several main focuses in the cathedral.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-4pm; extended hours on weekdays until 5pm in June-July and 6pm in August
Sight description based on wikipedia
Bonde Palace

13) Bonde Palace

One of the many fabulous architectural structures of Old Town Sweden, Gamla Stan, is the Bonde Palace. This commanding building is one of the most notable structures in the town. Designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Elder and Jean De la Vallée, the building was once the home to government officials including the Lord High Treasurer, Gustaf Bonde. The building also once housed the Royal Library and the Svea Court of Appeals. The architectural style of the building reflects the Baroque and Renaissance styles that were common to construction during the 17th century. The building is surrounded by incredible Baroque gardens, while the center of the structure is covered by an exquisite copper roof. The first thing that visitors will notice upon arrival is the massive Ionic pillars. Portraits of Roman Rulers dot the walls. In present day, the building is home to the High Court of Stockholm. Over the years, the building has been associated with the penal system of Sweden as it bore witness to public floggings and mob beatings. As with many of the buildings, from this period of time, parts of the building have been destroyed by fire throughout the years. However, each time the building has been rebuilt, care has been taken to restore the building and to maintain the original style of this beautiful palace.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Swedish House of Nobility

14) Swedish House of Nobility

An important government building, the Swedish House of Nobility is the record-keeping agency of Sweden. This is the governing agency that doles out titles to nobility in Sweden, including counts, barons, esquires and knights. Over the years, the Swedish House of Nobility has played many roles including being a governing agency, a representative of the nobility and, most recently, it is a record-keeping agency which is regulated by the government of Sweden. The building associated with the House of Nobility, called the Riddarhuset, is located in the Old Town part of Stockholm. Built in the middle part of the 1600s, the building was designed and constructed by Simon de la Vallée until his death in 1642. The building was then complete by his son, Jean de la Vallée, whose influence can be seen in the roof, portals and staircase. During the 1700s, the building had multiple purposes including being used as a concert hall. The great hall has been used for many meetings including the parliament, the Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Literature. The coat of arms of Swedish nobility is displayed throughout the building on the walls and in numerical order. The ceiling is emblazoned with the allegorical painting of Mother Svea by David Klöcker Ehrenstrahl.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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