Friday, August 15, 2014

Stolkholm, Sweden, Worth A Return Someday

Stockholm:  Beauty on Water
Their city slogan says it all.

Stolkholm is built on fourteen islands that are connected by over fifty bridges.  The city is surrounded by 24,000 other islands that are full of summer homes for Stolkholm and other Swedish residents.  For example, the members of ABBA have homes there.
The Royal Palace in Stockholm. Photo: Norberg Design AB/Dick Norberg.

Above is the Royal Palace, the King's official residence and where some offices of his government are housed, is located in the center of Stolkholm.  The palace is also home to five museums.  It is, however, no longer the actual residence of the royal family. 

The king and his family moved out of Stockholm's city center when their three children were small and onto an island, just outside the city, in Lake Malaren.  They now reside in the 17th century Drottningholm Palace.   Built in the17th century, this palace has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site and is the best preserved palace in Sweden.

Prince Carl Philip, the middle child and only son, was born the heir apparent. However, a constitutional reform, which was already under way at the time of his birth, later made his older sister, Victoria, the heir apparent and Crown Princess of Sweden on 1 January 1980. This came about due to Sweden's adoption of  the principles of absolute primogeniture, which hold that the oldest child of whatever sex is the heir apparent.  Previously, the oldest male child was the heir, taking precedence over any older females. Sweden was the first monarchy to adopt absolute primogeniture.

TheVasa Museum is home to a restored warship, the Vasa, which sank on August 10,1628 in sight of the harbor on its maiden voyage. Although the cannons were salvaged in 1661, the wreck itself was not salvaged until 1961 after 333 years at the bottom of the sea.  Beacause the ship sunk in brakish water many of the creatures that would have destroyed the wooden vessel were not present.  Therefore, the reconstructed vessel is 98% original. The Vasa was constructed from 1626-1628's using a design mandated by the king for two tiers of cannon.  The weight of these extra cannon made the Vasa top heavy and unseaworthy. But, everyone was reluctant to tell the king.  Therefore, she sank.

Stadshuset:  Stockholm's City Hall and the site of the Nobel Prize presentations and banquet each year.

The Stockholm Music Museum was founded 1899 and pays tribute to Sweden's folk dance music, waltz, polka, schottische, mazurka plus the more modern music of ABBA and Roxette. Above is the wing of the museum that houses the permanent ABBA exhibition.  In the exhibit you will see example of the group's stage clothes, artifacts, concert footage, interviews etc.  The commentary on the tape that guides you through the museum is done by the members of ABBA.  Am I the only one who did not know that ABBA is an acronym of the first letters of the band members' first names (Agnetha, Benny, Björn and Anni-Frid).


SOFO is the trendy section of Stockholm and stands for "South of Folkungagatan". It is bounded by Folkungagatan street to the north, Ringvägen to the south and in the east and west by Erstagatan and Götgatan, respectively.
The name SoFo is a pun on  the Soho districts in London and Manhattan, and is an area of creative and innovative fashion and retailing. In particular, many Swedish fashion designers are located in SoFo.
Although compact, SoFo also offers a wide selection of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and art galleries.

The character Pippi Longstocking was invented by writer Astrid Lindgren for her daughter to amuse her while she was ill and bed-ridden. The book has become one of the most beloved children's books in the world and has been translated into 60 languages.
I remember a Halloween years ago when my niece dressed up and went trick or treating as Pippi Longstocking.  And a very cute one she was, too.
For a reason I can not yet understand, Pippi Longstocking is featured in the Vasa Museum as part of their children's museum. Again, WHY?

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