The growth of the Swedish kingdom led to the expansion of the Swedish dominion to the east & the placement of the newly founded town of Stockholm in the geographical center of a small empire. Two more factors contributed in the rapid transformation of the small insignificant island town into the Swedish capital of the Middle Ages. Navigation on Lake Mälaren changed dramatically as land elevation isolated it from the Baltic Sea, making the strait of Stockholm the only navigable passage into the Lake.That created the need for a trading post on the exact location of the city. Furthermore Birger Jarl, considered by some as the official founder of the city, seems to have achieved an agreement with the Hanseatic city of Lübeck in northern Germany, which included an invitation to the Germans of the League to settle in the new city offering them generous benefits in return.

The relation with the League certainly played a role in the city’s economic breakthrough which became evident during the reign of Magnus Ladulås, King of Sweden from 1275 to 1290, when the city’s ties with the mighty Hanseatic League were strengthened further & Stockholm became the de facto political center & royal residence of the Swedish kingdom. &

Operating as a defensive lock before the lake & the cities & parishes around it, Stockholm acquired a castle & a defensive wall protecting the strait against the looting pirates. In 1270 the Riddarholmskyrkan (Riddarholm Church) Stockholm’s oldest surviving building in Gamla Stan and the Franciscan Grey Friar’s Abbey are founded.  A few years later, on 1306 the consecration of the city’s oldest church now part of the Storkyrkan Cathedral takes place.,_Stockholm

More & more buildings are built as trade & shipping attracts all sorts of artisans from the Swedish country who elevate the small provincial town of the past in a proper urban center of the time. Population rises to about 5.000 thousand people & the image of St.Eric (King Eric IX) patron saint & symbol of Stockholm first appears on the city’s seal.