Stockholm, Sweden

St. James' Church, Stockholm, Sweden

Often, incorrectly called St. Jacob’s Church, this church stands in central Stockholm close to the old town. The reason for it’s confusion in name is that in Swedish – in common with many other languages – James and Jacob are the same name.

St. James’ is perhaps the most central of Stockholm’s churches standing as it does overlooking Gustav Adolfs Torg close to the Royal Opera and the Royal Palace. Today it is no longer used as parish church, having lost that role to the Cathedral in 1989.

The earliest mention of a church here is from 1311 and a parish in 1430. By this time it seems probable that the church was built in stone. However, King Gustav Vasa had the church demolished to make way for fortifications around the edges of the Old Town in 1527.

By 1580 the situation had quietened down and King John III ordered a new church to be built in the same location. Work started in 1588. A further round of enlargements took place in the 1630s and 1640s. In 1643 the church was inaugurated in the presence of Queen Christina. Unfortunately in 1723 a fire swept through the church and destroyed the roof. A new roof with a central tower was built by 1739.

Finally, in the early 1800s a complete rebuild was undertaken once again leaving the church with a Neo-Renaissance style which is familiar from many of the buildings in Stockholm. The last major work was in the early 20th Century when a new copper roof was added and the interior was altered to its current state in the 1930s.

 Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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