Stockholm, Sweden

Tyska Kyrkan (The German Church), Stockholm, Sweden

The German Church, sometimes called St. Gertrude’s Church, began life as the headquarters for the German Guild of Merchants in Stockholm. Throughout the Middle Ages there were a lot of German merchants in Stockholm but they didn’t possess their own place of worship until 1558 when Gustav Vasa permitted them to hold their own sermons. In 1571 John III allowed the Germans to create their own palace and over the next few years the Guild headquarters began its slow transformation into a church.

In the mid-1600s the rebuild entered a new phase and it was turned into a two-naved church under architect Hans Jakob Kristler. As time passed the German presence in Stockholm grew less and by 1800 the congregation had dwindled to just 113 people, then in 1878 a fire destroyed the tower of the church. However, a rebuild (with the current spire) was immediately ordered as it was seen as an important symbol of the German community in Sweden. Today the congregation numbers around 2,000 and services in German are held every Sunday.

 Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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