Stockholm, Sweden

Storykyrkan (Stockholm Cathedral), Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm Cathedral, properly known as the Church of St. Nicholas or Storkyrkan (The Great Church) is the oldest church in Gamla Stan (the old town of Stockholm). It stands right next to the Royal Palace and as such has been at the centre of Swedish religious life for many years.

The first mention of a church here was in 1279, according to tradition it was constructed by Birger Jarl who founded the city of Stockholm itself. For 400 years the Church was the Parish Church of Stockholm, the only other churches of similar age being founded by religious orders. In 1527 the church became Lutheran Protestant when Sweden switched to that religion.

The Church only became a Cathedral in 1942 when a new Diocese of Stockholm was created. It has often been the church of choice for Royalty. The last Swedish King to be crowned here was Oscar II in 1873, but as recently as 2010 it became the focus for Sweden’s royalists when Princess Victoria, the heir to the Swedish throne, married here.

Two of the chief treasures inside the Cathedral are the statue of Saint George and the Dragon from 1489 and the earliest known image of Stockholm, a painting of 1632 called Vädersolstavlan (The Sun Dog Painting).

 Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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