Economic development & easier transportation brought a new rise in population, new plans of modernization & new prominent buildings that spread both in & out of the city center. Art Nouveau buildings like the new Central Post Office, Neo-Baroque like the Parliament House & Neo-Renaissance buildings like Södra Teatern became the new landmarks of the capital.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Post_Office_Building_(Stockholm)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament_House,_Stockholmhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%B6dra_Teatern

In 1897, on the occasion of Stockholmsutställningen, Stockholm’s International Industrial Exposition on the island of Djurgården the bridge of Djurgårdsbron is constructed along with the Open Air Museum and zoo of Skansen, the Nordic Museum and the funicular railway of Skansens bergbana. Four years later Stockholm becomes the venue of the first Nobel Prize ceremony in history, following the wishes of one of its most famous sons today, named Alfred Nobel, four years after his death.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Art_and_Industrial_Exposition_of_Stockholm#/media/File:Stockholm_photochrom2.jpghttp://www.nobelprize.org/ceremonies/eyewitness/henschen/

Sweden was neutral during the First World War & its industries rose up to meet the great demand for Swedish steel. Post-war economic growth and prosperity elevated all well being indicators & formed the foundations of the renowned Swedish social welfare.

http://www.zmescience.com/other/great-pics/100-years-ago-telephone-tower-stockholm-connected-5000-telephone-lines/http://coololdphotos.com/this-is-stockholm-in-the-1920s/http://coololdphotos.com/this-is-stockholm-in-the-1920s/

During the 1930’s new public parks & playgrounds for children were installed & suburbs began to expand. The modernist & functionalist movements took a somewhat radical form, with historical buildings, even whole districts like Klara demolished for more contemporary constructions.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Norrmalm_in_the_1930s#/media/File:Norrbro_1938.jpghttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Norrmalm_in_the_1930s#/media/File:Gustaf_W_Cronquist_Stockholm_(9).jpeg

Sweden managed to stay neutral during World War II avoiding the fate of most occupied by the Nazis countries. The whole country became a safe haven for tens of thousands of refugees, especially from Scandinavia as well as people of Jewish origin. Stockholm started taking the form of a Scandinavian cosmopolis by the beginning of the 1950’s with people of all nationalities flocking in the city with dreams of a new life. The quality of life of Scandinavia and Sweden in particular was already a famous and commonly accepted reality and it was rooted to a great extent to the policies followed by the Social Democratic Party which held government for 44 years, from 1932 to 1976, years that formed the country’s welfare state.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sightseeing_Stockholm_1950.jpghttps://vintagenewsdaily.com/40-black-and-white-photos-that-document-everyday-life-of-stockholm-from-between-the-1940s-and-1950s/https://vintagenewsdaily.com/40-black-and-white-photos-that-document-everyday-life-of-stockholm-from-between-the-1940s-and-1950s/

In May 1971 a large crowd of Stockholm’s citizens organized by the Stockholm branch of Friends of the Earth would stage a protest, one of the first of its kind against the felling of 13 ancient Scots elm trees that would cause damage to the subway structure. It would be known as the Battle of the Elms, a landmark protest that underlined the city’s deep love for the natural environment, something evident in its modern city-scape. The protest achieved its goal and the trees that were supposedly near their natural end still stand bearing the marks of the first chainsaw cuts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elm_Conflicthttps://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almstriden#/media/Fil:Almstriden_1971e.jpghttps://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almstriden#/media/Fil:Almstriden_1971a.jpg

In 1986 Olof Palme, one of the most popular politicians in the country, leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party & Prime Minister from 1969 to 1976 & 1982 until his unexpected death, is assassinated in Stockholm for unknown until this day reasons causing a shock that would last for years in the psychic of the Swedish people.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olof_Palme#/media/File:Olof_Palme_1968.JPGhttps://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/who-killed-olof-palme-sweden-awaits-answers-over-pms-assassination-br7vs5czg

Today Stockholm is considered one of the most sophisticated & environmentally aware capitals of Europe with its metropolitan area of 26 municipalities housing a population of more than 2 million people. According to the European Cities Monitor 2010 Stockholm is today the best city in Europe in terms of freedom from pollution. Water and tress are two ever-present features of the city. Green technologies and waste management in Stockholm set the standard for the rest of the world in a time of climate crisis. Most importantly Stockholm is today one of the most beautiful cities in the world, most cosmopolitan than ever before and more confident about its own future than ever.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Djurg%C3%A5rdenhttps://pixabay.com/de/photos/tyska-kyrka-stockholm-haven-nacht-4665295/

https://pixabay.com/de/photos/k%C3%B6nigspalast-schweden-stockholm-377913/

The end of the 16th & the beginnings of 17th century was the time of the formation of the Swedish Empire. It was  a period when the city grew six fold, its economy skyrocketed & a great part of its present street network was formed. The Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) reshaped Europe’s borders. Sweden played a key role & gained respect & territories. The country was elevated into a European leader and protector of Protestantism. It was during those years that Stockholm became the capital of Sweden once again (1634) obtaining a monopoly over trade between Swedish & foreign merchants.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty_Years%27_War#/media/File:Strasbourg_walter_gustave_adolphe.JPGhttp://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/showpost.php?p=6091420&postcount=2078

The 17th century was Stockholm’s golden age. Many ambitious plans were implemented in order to transform the city into a modern capital of the time, with the main core & the surrounding districts (Normalm, Södermalm, Östermalm) experiencing a construction orgasm. Along the eastern waterfront the medieval wall is replaced by a row of prestigious palaces (Skeppsbron). Riddarholmen a former medieval slum is gradually transformed into a sumptuous baroque city.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skeppsbronhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riddarholmen

The state granted monopoly was not the only thing that favored Stockholm. The city was also one of the best natural ports of the era, with a capacity to harbor the biggest ships of the time right next to its core. That alone was enough for the naval trade of the city to prosper. The glory days however couldn’t last forever. In 1700 Russia, Saxony-Poland & Denmark-Norway summoned their powers & attacked the Swedish Empire commencing the Great Northern Wars that would last until 1721. The Black Death that hit Stockholm in 1710, killing 1/3 of the population & the Τreaty of Nystad in 1721 ended Sweden’s role as a major European power & crippled Swedish ambitions of a lasting empire.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Nystad#/media/File:Treaty_of_Nystad.jpghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_Empire

The end of the 18th century was also marked by the rise of the so-called Skeppsbro Nobility, a term used to describe the wealthy wholesalers who inhabited that area. It was also marked by the further development of the city’s shipyards & the building of numerous trade houses. The new Royal Palace in Gamla Stan, in the place of the old fortress palace of Tre Kronor (Three Crowns) was completed & the last wooden buildings in Gamla Stan were replaced by new safer edifices.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_Palace#/media/File:Kunliga_slottet_2_copy1.jpghttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Gamla_stan#/media/File:Stockholm_(34574684405).jpg

King Gustav III (r.1772-1809) revamped the capital’s facades in neoclassical style with constructions such as the Gustav Adolf square, the Royal Swedish Opera, Bridge Norrbro & Customs House at Skeppsbron, all designed & inaugurated during his reign.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Swedish_Operahttp://www.wikiwand.com/sv/Gustav_Adolfs_torg,_Stockholmhttp://www.1zoom.net/Cities/wallpaper/446506/z1901.4/

During the 1780’s three large parks were created around Brunnsviken in the new style of the period – English landscape parks. All still remain relatively untouched: Bellevue in the south, Hagaparken in the west and Tivoli in the north. Haga Park is one of Europe’s best preserved parks in this particular landscape style.

Grown Uphttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagaparken

Stockholm remained the political powerhouse of Sweden despite the tectonic changes that occurred during the Napoleonic Wars, such as the loss of Finland in 1809 & the Union with Norway in 1814. The case did not apply for the economic role of the city since Gothenburg had evolved into a leading port of Sweden & Norrköping into the leading industrial city. That changed in the latter half of the 19th century with the increase of industrialization & the factories built after the 1840’s. Trade & services followed suit. Gas works, sewage, running water & paved streets were introduced in the capital which was now connected with the rest of the continental countries through its new railway system inaugurated in 1871 while steam engine boats became a common sight.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Stockholmhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_Central_Station

King Gustavus restored the city’s privileges & used the Protestant Reformation to curb the power of the church. In 1527 he persuaded the Riksdag of Västerås (comprising the nobles, clergy, burghers & freehold peasants) to confiscate church lands, which was then a 21% of the farmland. Protestant Reformation was quickly implemented & sermons in the church were held in Swedish, with Latin completely abolished by 1530. Old churches & chapels around the city were demolished. Sweden’s & Stockholm’s severance with the Papal church would be irreversible. Stockholm’s importance grew even more during Vasa’s era. The city’s fortifications were reinforced & defensive towers were added to the city walls. Vaxholm castle was created to the east as a main guardian of the archipelago.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_I_of_Swedenhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1561_in_Sweden

Stockholm’s economy boomed, with the exports of iron, salmon & butter being 4 to 5 times more than the ones of other Swedish cities at the time. The modernization of the tax system & the expulsion of all Hanseatic merchants who up to that point held the monopoly of foreign trade proved to be crucial. Stockholm was the seat of the official royal residence during the years of Vasa’s sons as well. The Swedes continued to flock in the kingdom’s strongest bastion increasing the population (about 8000 people 1560-1580) that started to spread from the central island of Stadsholmen to Södermalm to the south & Normalm to the north.

http://walkingstockholm.blogspot.gr/2014/02/stockholms-suburbs-in-maps.htmlhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tre_Kronor_(castle)#/media/File:Slottet_Tre_Kronor_1661.jpg

 

The dominant Danish King along with archbishop Gustav Trolle of Uppsala would organize the beheading of anti-unionist bishops, noblemen & common enemies in the so called Stockholm Bloodbath that took place between 7–9 November of 1520, despite the promise given by King Christian II for general amnesty just before the surrender of the city.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_Bloodbath#/media/File:Blodbadstavlan.jpghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_Bloodbath

The echo of the tragic event had the opposite result in the Swedish public opinion than what was expected by the Danish King. Gustav Vasa, son of one of the victims of the execution & heir to Sten Sture the Elder (nephew), traveled to the northern provinces of Sweden seeking support for vengeance and a new revolt. He finally succeeded in commencing the Swedish War of Liberation that would lead to the final end of Kalmar Union. Gustav Vasa’s election as a King in 1523 by the members of the Swedish Privy Council (Swedish nobles) was backed by the German councilors of the city of Lübeck. Later that year Gustav entered Stockholm triumphantly as King of Sweden installing himself in the Tre Kronor palace, the castle first built by Birger Jarl in the middle of the 13th century according to the tradition. In 1983, in remembrance of the election of Gustav as Swedish king on 6 June, that date was declared the National Day of Sweden.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_I_of_Swedenhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_I_of_Swedenhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johan_Gustaf_Sandberg

 

In 1493 the Danish & Norwegian King Hans or John I forms an alliance with Ivan III of Russia with the latter commencing an invasion to Finland from 1495 to 1497. The invasion was unsuccessful but Sten Sture lost the support of Swedish nobility which deposed him in 1497. In the war that followed Sten Sture with the support of Swedish peasantry is defeated by John I at the Battle of Rotebro just north of Stockholm and is forced to surrender the city. Although Sture was given the highest position of authority in Sweden by the new King after their reconciliation, during the following rebellion against the Danes in 1501, Sture again led the Swedish struggle for independence until his death in 1503. His closest relatives & heirs were his deceased sister’s children of the House of Vasa. His nephew, born a few years earlier would be crowned as King Gustav I of Sweden twenty year after Sture’s death.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_Deposition_against_King_Hans#/media/File:German_mercenary_engineer_Paul_Dolnstein's_drawing_of_a_Swedish_peasant_host_fighting_German_mercenaries_in_1501.jpghttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Sten_Sture_the_Elder#/media/File:At_Stockholm_2019_023.jpghttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Riddarholmen_in_the_1530s#/media/File:Riddarholmen_V%C3%A4dersolstavlan.JPG

In 1520 Hans’ (or John I’s) son, Christian II of Denmark would finally conquer Stockholm in his third attempt to subdue the pro-independence Swedes led by Sten Sture the Younger (of Ekesiö family) who was mortally wounded in the Battle of Bogesund. He died on the ice of lake Mälaren on his way back to Stockholm. Sture’s widow Christina Gyllenstierna took command of Stockholm after securing the support of the lower classes. In September of 1520 after four months of siege by the army of the Danish king Christian II, the Sture’s widow surrendered the capital to the Danes.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Sten_Sture_the_Younger#/media/File:Sten_Sture_the_Younger.jpghttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Sten_Sture_the_Younger#/media/File:Sture_Sten_Svantesson_d.y._1492-1520,_och_Kristina_Gyllenstierna,_1494-1559_-_Nationalmuseum_-_15066.tifhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christina_Gyllenstierna#/media/File:Denkmal_Christina_Gyllenstierna.jpg

Magnus IV of Sweden is crowned in 1336 at Stockholm, King of both Norway & Sweden, extending for a short time the Swedish dominance beyond its usual borders. He would build the royal citadel according to his needs in a form that would give the castle its name Tre Kronor “Three Crowns”).  In 1343 the youngest son of Magnus IV, Haakon VI becomes King of Norway & King of Sweden after the death of his older brother Eric XII  in 1359. In 1364 however, the members of the Swedish Council of Aristocracy, banished from the country after a revolt against Magnus IV, seek the support of Albert II Duke of Mecklenburg & the Hanseatic cities to dethrone their King.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haakon_VI_of_Norwayhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_II,_Duke_of_Mecklenburghttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:V%C3%A4dersolstavlan#/media/File:V%C3%A4dersolstavlan_Tre_kronor.jpg

Stockholm with a large Hanseatic population welcomed the intervention & Albert II’s son Albert is crowned new King of Sweden in 1364. The arrival of Albert led to eight years of civil war in Sweden between the supporters of Albert & Magnus IV. In 1365 Magnus IV’ forces supported by Haakon VI of Norway (his son) are defeated by Albert’s German army. In 1371 the combined army of Valdemar IV of Denmark and Haakon VI lay siege to Stockholm. With the help of Swedish nobility of Stockholm Albert manages to keep the city & secure the Swedish crown. Albert kept the Swedish crown for 19 years until he tried to reduce the extent of the estates of the Swedish nobility. Stockholm’s nobles who felt betrayed, turned to Margaret I of Denmark for support. In 1389 the Danes defeated Albert at the Battle of Åsle opening the way for the Union of Kalmar that would unify the three Nordic Kingdoms under a common regent with a Treaty signed in 1397.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalmar_Unionhttp://www.asleta.se/en/kategori/18/battle-of-asle-1389.html &https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalmar_Union

Although Stockholm became the official capital of the Swedes in 1419 a decision that clearly based on the strategic location and proximity of Stockholm to Copenhagen, the Kalmar Union soon appeared to be nothing more than an unhappy marriage with the first hostilities between the unified countries occurring in the 1430’s. The frequent warfare of the Danes on several territories of Northern Germany affected Swedish exports with continental Europe & since the collection of taxes continued uninterrupted, indignation of the Swedish nationals was not a surprise. In 1434 a rebellion led by Swedish nobleman Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson against Eric of Pomerania, King of Kalmar Union, resulted in the deposition of Eric & the bitter end of the union for the Swedes. That didn’t mean the Danes would let Sweden go without a serious fight.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engelbrekt_rebellionhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engelbrekt_Engelbrektsson#/media/File:Stadshuset_Engelbrekt_2012x.jpghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_of_Pomerania

Another episode of the bad divorce unfolded in 1471 when Sten Sture the Elder, was elected regent of Sweden by the Swedish Privy Council advocating the formal Swedish secession from the Kalmar Union. In response to the election Christian I of Denmark sailed to Sweden with a military force that was defeated at the Battle of Brunkenberg near Stockholm. Alas that wouldn’t be the end of it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sten_Sture_the_Elder & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg_von_Rosenhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Brunkeberg

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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanseatic_League#/media/File:Stadtrecht_P.Schiffrecht.MHG.ajb.jpghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanseatic_League#/media/File:Kaart_Hanzesteden_en_handelsroutes.jpg

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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnus_III_of_Sweden & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riddarholm_Churchhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Sweden_(800%E2%80%931521)#/media/File:Sweden_1250.png

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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riddarholm_Churchhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey_Friar%27s_Abbey,_Stockholmhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storkyrkan

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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_IX_of_Sweden#/media/File:Eric_the_Holy_of_Sweden_Torsgatan_sculpture_2012_Stockholm.jpghttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Coats_of_arms_of_Stockholm#/media/File:V%C3%A4lkommen_till_Stockholm_2009.jpghttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Reliefs_of_Coats_of_arms_of_Stockholm#/media/File:Enskedestationen_2014b.jpg

The name Stockholm, “Log-Islet” (stock=log & holme=islet) in Swedish, first appears in historical records in 1252 in letters written by Birger Jarl (one of the founding fathers of the Swedish nation and de facto ruler of Sweden from 1248 until 1257) & King Valdemar of Sweden (nominally from 1250, in reality from 1257 when he came of age until 1275).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birger_Jarls_torg & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birger_Jarlhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birger_Jarl & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_City_Hallhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valdemar,_King_of_Sweden & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skara_Cathedral

The origin of Stockholm nevertheless predates its written history. Lake Mälaren’s first organised settlement Birka was located 30 km west of modern day Stockholm on the island of Björkö and is regarded one of the oldest towns in Sweden, along with its neighboring Hovgården in the Island of Adelsö.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A4larenhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bj%C3%B6rk%C3%B6,_Eker%C3%B6

The written text Vita Ansgari (The life of Saint Ansgar, known as the Apostle of the North.) by Rimbert (Archbishop of Bremen-Hamburg) in 865, describes the unsuccessful efforts of his predecessor to convert the pagan population in Birka around 830. A few years later Birka is abandoned for a new settlement (Sigtuna) at the northern shores of Lake Mälaren, a location more apt to the naval route that led to the Swedish political & religious capital of the time, the city of Uppsala. Sigtuna quickly became one of the most important cities of Sweden, operating as a christian missionary outpost & trade center, reaching its heyday between the 10th & 11th century when it even minted the first Swedish coins in history.

http://www.langdale-associates.com/sweden_2013/part_8/map_page_2.htmhttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Maps_of_M%C3%A4laren#/media/File:Landskapskarta_M%C3%A4laren.png

At the end of 1100’s Sigtuna experienced a series of raids by different Baltic tribes that led its population in a quest for a new settling place. According to the legend, the leaders of Sigtuna let the matter in the hands of fate after letting a log of wood filled with gold drift in the sea until it hit land on the shores of the island of Riddarholmen, where Gamla Stan (Old town) stands today.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamla_stanhttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Aerial_views_of_Riddarholmen#/media/File:Riddarholmen,_1870.jpg

Leaving the myth aside the new location combined many elements that could help in the defense against future attacks. It also provided the perfect location for both naval and land trade. Dendrochronological examinations of logs found in the area show that the trees around Gamla Stan were cut down between 970 and 1020 AD. Historical records show that the city grew rapidly during the late 1270’s & throughout the 1280’s. That growth came after the ending of a long warfare between rivaling Swedish parties.

 

The name Stockholm, “Log-Islet” (stock=log & holme=islet) in Swedish, first appears in historical records in 1252 in letters written by Birger Jarl (one of the founding fathers of the Swedish nation and de facto ruler of Sweden from 1248 until 1257) & King Valdemar of Sweden (nominally from 1250, in reality from 1257 when he came of age until 1275).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birger_Jarls_torg & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birger_Jarlhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birger_Jarl & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_City_Hallhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valdemar,_King_of_Sweden & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skara_Cathedral

The origin of Stockholm nevertheless predates its written history. Lake Mälaren’s first organised settlement Birka was located 30 km west of modern day Stockholm on the island of Björkö and is regarded one of the oldest towns in Sweden, along with its neighboring Hovgården in the Island of Adelsö.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A4larenhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bj%C3%B6rk%C3%B6,_Eker%C3%B6

The written text Vita Ansgari (The life of Saint Ansgar, known as the Apostle of the North.) by Rimbert (Archbishop of Bremen-Hamburg) in 865, describes the unsuccessful efforts of his predecessor to convert the pagan population in Birka around 830. A few years later Birka is abandoned for a new settlement (Sigtuna) at the northern shores of Lake Mälaren, a location more apt to the naval route that led to the Swedish political & religious capital of the time, the city of Uppsala. Sigtuna quickly became one of the most important cities of Sweden, operating as a christian missionary outpost & trade center, reaching its heyday between the 10th & 11th century when it even minted the first Swedish coins in history.

http://www.langdale-associates.com/sweden_2013/part_8/map_page_2.htmhttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Maps_of_M%C3%A4laren#/media/File:Landskapskarta_M%C3%A4laren.png

At the end of 1100’s Sigtuna experienced a series of raids by different Baltic tribes that led its population in a quest for a new settling place. According to the legend, the leaders of Sigtuna let the matter in the hands of fate after letting a log of wood filled with gold drift in the sea until it hit land on the shores of the island of Riddarholmen, where Gamla Stan (Old town) stands today.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamla_stanhttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Aerial_views_of_Riddarholmen#/media/File:Riddarholmen,_1870.jpg

Leaving the myth aside the new location combined many elements that could help in the defense against future attacks. It also provided the perfect location for both naval and land trade. Dendrochronological examinations of logs found in the area show that the trees around Gamla Stan were cut down between 970 and 1020 AD. Historical records show that the city grew rapidly during the late 1270’s & throughout the 1280’s. That growth came after the ending of a long warfare between rivaling Swedish parties.

The  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.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanseatic_League#/media/File:Stadtrecht_P.Schiffrecht.MHG.ajb.jpghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanseatic_League#/media/File:Kaart_Hanzesteden_en_handelsroutes.jpg

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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnus_III_of_Sweden & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riddarholm_Churchhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Sweden_(800%E2%80%931521)#/media/File:Sweden_1250.png

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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riddarholm_Churchhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey_Friar%27s_Abbey,_Stockholmhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storkyrkan

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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_IX_of_Sweden#/media/File:Eric_the_Holy_of_Sweden_Torsgatan_sculpture_2012_Stockholm.jpghttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Coats_of_arms_of_Stockholm#/media/File:V%C3%A4lkommen_till_Stockholm_2009.jpghttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Reliefs_of_Coats_of_arms_of_Stockholm#/media/File:Enskedestationen_2014b.jpg

Magnus IV of Sweden is crowned in 1336 at Stockholm, King of both Norway & Sweden, extending for a short time the Swedish dominance beyond its usual borders. He would build the royal citadel according to his needs in a form that would give the castle its name Tre Kronor “Three Crowns”).  In 1343 the youngest son of Magnus IV, Haakon VI becomes King of Norway & King of Sweden after the death of his older brother Eric XII  in 1359. In 1364 however, the members of the Swedish Council of Aristocracy, banished from the country after a revolt against Magnus IV, seek the support of Albert II Duke of Mecklenburg & the Hanseatic cities to dethrone their King.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnus_IV_of_Sweden#/media/File:Eric_of_Sweden_(1282)_seal_1905.jpghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haakon_VI_of_Norwayhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_II,_Duke_of_Mecklenburg

Stockholm with a large Hanseatic population welcomed the intervention & Albert II’s son Albert is crowned new King of Sweden in 1364. The arrival of Albert led to eight years of civil war in Sweden between the supporters of Albert & Magnus IV. In 1365 Magnus IV’ forces supported by Haakon VI of Norway (his son) are defeated by Albert’s German army. In 1371 the combined army of Valdemar IV of Denmark and Haakon VI lay siege to Stockholm. With the help of Swedish nobility of Stockholm Albert manages to keep the city & secure the Swedish crown. Albert kept the Swedish crown for 19 years until he tried to reduce the extent of the estates of the Swedish nobility. Stockholm’s nobles who felt betrayed, turned to Margaret I of Denmark for support. In 1389 the Danes defeated Albert at the Battle of Åsle opening the way for the Union of Kalmar that would unify the three Nordic Kingdoms under a common regent with a Treaty signed in 1397.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalmar_Unionhttp://www.asleta.se/en/kategori/18/battle-of-asle-1389.html &https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalmar_Union

Although Stockholm became the official capital of the Swedes in 1419 a decision that clearly based on the strategic location and proximity of Stockholm to Copenhagen, the Kalmar Union soon appeared to be nothing more than an unhappy marriage with the first hostilities between the unified countries occurring in the 1430’s. The frequent warfare of the Danes on several territories of Northern Germany affected Swedish exports with continental Europe & since the collection of taxes continued uninterrupted, indignation of the Swedish nationals was not a surprise. In 1434 a rebellion led by Swedish nobleman Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson against Eric of Pomerania, King of Kalmar Union, resulted in the deposition of Eric & the bitter end of the union for the Swedes. That didn’t mean the Danes would let Sweden go without a serious fight.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engelbrekt_rebellionhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engelbrekt_Engelbrektsson#/media/File:Stadshuset_Engelbrekt_2012x.jpghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_of_Pomerania

Another episode of the bad divorce unfolded in 1471 when Sten Sture the Elder, was elected regent of Sweden by the Swedish Privy Council advocating the formal Swedish secession from the Kalmar Union. In response to the election Christian I of Denmark sailed to Sweden with a military force that was defeated at the Battle of Brunkenberg near Stockholm.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sten_Sture_the_Elder & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg_von_Rosenhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Brunkeberg

Alas that wouldn’t be the end of it. In 1493 the Danish & Norwegian King Hans or John I forms an alliance with Ivan III of Russia with the latter commencing an invasion to Finland from 1495 to 1497. The invasion was unsuccessful but Sten Sture lost the support of Swedish nobility which deposed him in 1497. In the war that followed Sten Sture with the support of Swedish peasantry is defeated by John I at the Battle of Rotebro just north of Stockholm and is forced to surrender the city. Although Sture was given the highest position of authority in Sweden by the new King after their reconciliation, during the following rebellion against the Danes in 1501, Sture again led the Swedish struggle for independence until his death in 1503. His closest relatives & heirs were his deceased sister’s children of the House of Vasa. His nephew, born a few years earlier would be crowned as King Gustav I of Sweden twenty year after Sture’s death.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_Deposition_against_King_Hans#/media/File:German_mercenary_engineer_Paul_Dolnstein's_drawing_of_a_Swedish_peasant_host_fighting_German_mercenaries_in_1501.jpghttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Sten_Sture_the_Elder#/media/File:At_Stockholm_2019_023.jpghttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Riddarholmen_in_the_1530s#/media/File:Riddarholmen_V%C3%A4dersolstavlan.JPG

In 1520 Hans’ (or John I’s) son, Christian II of Denmark would finally conquer Stockholm in his third attempt to subdue the pro-independence Swedes led by Sten Sture the Younger (of Ekesiö family) who was mortally wounded in the Battle of Bogesund. He died on the ice of lake Mälaren on his way back to Stockholm. Sture’s widow Christina Gyllenstierna took command of Stockholm after securing the support of the lower classes. In September of 1520 after four months of siege by the army of the Danish king Christian II, the Sture’s widow surrendered the capital to the Danes.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Sten_Sture_the_Younger#/media/File:Sten_Sture_the_Younger.jpghttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Sten_Sture_the_Younger#/media/File:Sture_Sten_Svantesson_d.y._1492-1520,_och_Kristina_Gyllenstierna,_1494-1559_-_Nationalmuseum_-_15066.tifhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christina_Gyllenstierna#/media/File:Denkmal_Christina_Gyllenstierna.jpg

The dominant Danish King along with archbishop Gustav Trolle of Uppsala would organize the beheading of anti-unionist bishops, noblemen & common enemies in the so called Stockholm Bloodbath that took place between 7–9 November of 1520, despite the promise given by King Christian II for general amnesty just before the surrender of the city.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_Bloodbath#/media/File:Blodbadstavlan.jpghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_Bloodbath

The echo of the tragic event had the opposite result in the Swedish public opinion than what was expected by the Danish King. Gustav Vasa, son of one of the victims of the execution & heir to Sten Sture the Elder (nephew), traveled to the northern provinces of Sweden seeking support for vengeance and a new revolt. He finally succeeded in commencing the Swedish War of Liberation that would lead to the final end of Kalmar Union. Gustav Vasa’s election as a King in 1523 by the members of the Swedish Privy Council (Swedish nobles) was backed by the German councilors of the city of Lübeck. Later that year Gustav entered Stockholm triumphantly as King of Sweden installing himself in the Tre Kronor palace, the castle first built by Birger Jarl in the middle of the 13th century according to the tradition. In 1983, in remembrance of the election of Gustav as Swedish king on 6 June, that date was declared the National Day of Sweden.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_I_of_Swedenhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_I_of_Swedenhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johan_Gustaf_Sandberg

King Gustavus restored the city’s privileges & used the Protestant Reformation to curb the power of the church. In 1527 he persuaded the Riksdag of Västerås (comprising the nobles, clergy, burghers & freehold peasants) to confiscate church lands, which was then a 21% of the farmland. Protestant Reformation was quickly implemented & sermons in the church were held in Swedish, with Latin completely abolished by 1530. Old churches & chapels around the city were demolished. Sweden’s & Stockholm’s severance with the Papal church would be irreversible. Stockholm’s importance grew even more during Vasa’s era. The city’s fortifications were reinforced & defensive towers were added to the city walls. Vaxholm castle was created to the east as a main guardian of the archipelago.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_I_of_Swedenhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1561_in_Sweden

Stockholm’s economy boomed, with the exports of iron, salmon & butter being 4 to 5 times more than the ones of other Swedish cities at the time. The modernization of the tax system & the expulsion of all Hanseatic merchants who up to that point held the monopoly of foreign trade proved to be crucial. Stockholm was the seat of the official royal residence during the years of Vasa’s sons as well. The Swedes continued to flock in the kingdom’s strongest bastion increasing the population (about 8000 people 1560-1580) that started to spread from the central island of Stadsholmen to Södermalm to the south & Normalm to the north.

http://walkingstockholm.blogspot.gr/2014/02/stockholms-suburbs-in-maps.htmlhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tre_Kronor_(castle)#/media/File:Slottet_Tre_Kronor_1661.jpg

The end of the 16th & the beginnings of 17th century was the time of the formation of the Swedish Empire. It was  a period when the city grew six fold, its economy skyrocketed & a great part of its present street network was formed. The Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) reshaped Europe’s borders. Sweden played a key role & gained respect & territories. The country was elevated into a European leader and protector of Protestantism. It was during those years that Stockholm became the capital of Sweden once again (1634) obtaining a monopoly over trade between Swedish & foreign merchants.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty_Years%27_War#/media/File:Strasbourg_walter_gustave_adolphe.JPGhttp://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/showpost.php?p=6091420&postcount=2078

The 17th century was Stockholm’s golden age. Many ambitious plans were implemented in order to transform the city into a modern capital of the time, with the main core & the surrounding districts (Normalm, Södermalm, Östermalm) experiencing a construction orgasm. Along the eastern waterfront the medieval wall is replaced by a row of prestigious palaces (Skeppsbron). Riddarholmen a former medieval slum is gradually transformed into a sumptuous baroque city.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skeppsbronhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrangel_Palacehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riddarholmen

The state granted monopoly was not the only thing that favored Stockholm. The city was also one of the best natural ports of the era, with a capacity to harbor the biggest ships of the time right next to its core. That alone was enough for the naval trade of the city to prosper. The glory days however couldn’t last forever. In 1700 Russia, Saxony-Poland & Denmark-Norway summoned their powers & attacked the Swedish Empire commencing the Great Northern Wars that would last until 1721. The Black Death that hit Stockholm in 1710, killing 1/3 of the population & the Τreaty of Nystad in 1721 ended Sweden’s role as a major European power & crippled Swedish ambitions of a lasting empire.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Nystad#/media/File:Treaty_of_Nystad.jpghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_Empire

The end of the 18th century was also marked by the rise of the so-called Skeppsbro Nobility, a term used to describe the wealthy wholesalers who inhabited that area. It was also marked by the further development of the city’s shipyards & the building of numerous trade houses. The new Royal Palace in Gamla Stan, in the place of the old fortress palace of Tre Kronor (Three Crowns) was completed & the last wooden buildings in Gamla Stan were replaced by new safer edifices.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_Palace#/media/File:Kunliga_slottet_2_copy1.jpghttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Gamla_stan#/media/File:Stockholm_(34574684405).jpg

King Gustav III (r.1772-1809) revamped the capital’s facades in neoclassical style with constructions such as the Gustav Adolf square, the Royal Swedish Opera, Bridge Norrbro & Customs House at Skeppsbron, all designed & inaugurated during his reign.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Swedish_Operahttp://www.wikiwand.com/sv/Gustav_Adolfs_torg,_Stockholmhttp://www.1zoom.net/Cities/wallpaper/446506/z1901.4/

During the 1780’s three large parks were created around Brunnsviken in the new style of the period – English landscape parks. All still remain relatively untouched: Bellevue in the south, Hagaparken in the west and Tivoli in the north. Haga Park is one of Europe’s best preserved parks in this particular landscape style.

Stockholmhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagaparken

Stockholm remained the political powerhouse of Sweden despite the tectonic changes that occurred during the Napoleonic Wars, such as the loss of Finland in 1809 & the Union with Norway in 1814.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_War#/media/File:The_Finnish_war_map1.svghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_between_Sweden_and_Norway

The case did not apply for the economic role of the city since Gothenburg had evolved into a leading port of Sweden & Norrköping into the leading industrial city. That changed in the latter half of the 19th century with the increase of industrialization & the factories built after the 1840’s. Trade & services followed suit. Gas works, sewage, running water & paved streets were introduced in the capital which was now connected with the rest of the continental countries through its new railway system inaugurated in 1871 while steam engine boats became a common sight.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Stockholmhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_Central_Station

Economic development & easier transportation brought a new rise in population, new plans of modernization & new prominent buildings that spread both in & out of the city center. Art Nouveau buildings like the new Central Post Office, Neo-Baroque like the Parliament House & Neo-Renaissance buildings like Södra Teatern became the new landmarks of the capital.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Post_Office_Building_(Stockholm)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament_House,_Stockholmhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%B6dra_Teatern

In 1897, on the occasion of Stockholmsutställningen, Stockholm’s International Industrial Exposition on the island of Djurgården the bridge of Djurgårdsbron is constructed along with the Open Air Museum and zoo of Skansen, the Nordic Museum and the funicular railway of Skansens bergbana. Four years later Stockholm becomes the venue of the first Nobel Prize ceremony in history, following the wishes of one of its most famous sons today, named Alfred Nobel, four years after his death.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Art_and_Industrial_Exposition_of_Stockholm#/media/File:Stockholm_photochrom2.jpghttp://www.nobelprize.org/ceremonies/eyewitness/henschen/

Sweden was neutral during the First World War & its industries rose up to meet the great demand for Swedish steel. Post-war economic growth and prosperity elevated all well being indicators & formed the foundations of the renowned Swedish social welfare.

http://www.zmescience.com/other/great-pics/100-years-ago-telephone-tower-stockholm-connected-5000-telephone-lines/http://coololdphotos.com/this-is-stockholm-in-the-1920s/http://coololdphotos.com/this-is-stockholm-in-the-1920s/

During the 1930’s new public parks & playgrounds for children were installed & suburbs began to expand. The modernist & functionalist movements took a somewhat radical form, with historical buildings, even whole districts like Klara demolished for more contemporary constructions.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Norrmalm_in_the_1930s#/media/File:Norrbro_1938.jpghttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Norrmalm_in_the_1930s#/media/File:Esseltehus_1937.jpghttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Norrmalm_in_the_1930s#/media/File:Gustaf_W_Cronquist_Stockholm_(9).jpeg

Sweden managed to stay neutral during World War II avoiding the fate of most occupied by the Nazis countries. The whole country became a safe haven for tens of thousands of refugees, especially from Scandinavia as well as people of Jewish origin.

Stockholm started taking the form of a Scandinavian cosmopolis by the beginning of the 1950’s with people of all nationalities flocking in the city with dreams of a new life. The quality of life of Scandinavia and Sweden in particular was already a famous and commonly accepted reality and it was rooted to a great extent to the policies followed by the Social Democratic Party which held government for 44 years, from 1932 to 1976, years that formed the country’s welfare state.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sightseeing_Stockholm_1950.jpghttps://vintagenewsdaily.com/40-black-and-white-photos-that-document-everyday-life-of-stockholm-from-between-the-1940s-and-1950s/https://vintagenewsdaily.com/40-black-and-white-photos-that-document-everyday-life-of-stockholm-from-between-the-1940s-and-1950s/

In May 1971 a large crowd of Stockholm’s citizens organized by the Stockholm branch of Friends of the Earth would stage a protest, one of the first of its kind against the felling of 13 ancient Scots elm trees that would cause damage to the subway structure. It would be known as the Battle of the Elms, a landmark protest that underlined the city’s deep love for the natural environment, something evident in its modern city-scape. The protest achieved its goal and the trees that were supposedly near their natural end still stand bearing the marks of the first chainsaw cuts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elm_Conflicthttps://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almstriden#/media/Fil:Almstriden_1971e.jpg

In 1986 Olof Palme, one of the most popular politicians in the country, leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party & Prime Minister from 1969 to 1976 & 1982 until his unexpected death, is assassinated in Stockholm for unknown until this day reasons causing a shock that would last for years in the psychic of the Swedish people.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olof_Palme#/media/File:Olof_Palme_1968.JPGhttps://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/who-killed-olof-palme-sweden-awaits-answers-over-pms-assassination-br7vs5czg

Today Stockholm is considered one of the most sophisticated & environmentally friendly capitals in Europe with its metropolitan area of 26 municipalities housing a population of more than 2 million people. According to the European Cities Monitor 2010 Stockholm is today the best city in Europe in terms of freedom from pollution. Water and tress are two ever-present features of the city. Green technologies and waste management in Stockholm set the standard for the rest of the world in a time of climate crisis. Most importantly Stockholm is today one of the most beautiful cities in the world, most cosmopolitan than ever before and more confident about what the future holds than ever.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Djurg%C3%A5rdenhttps://pixabay.com/de/photos/tyska-kyrka-stockholm-haven-nacht-4665295/

https://pixabay.com/de/photos/k%C3%B6nigspalast-schweden-stockholm-377913/

http://www.bredangcamping.se/en/https://www.google.com/maps/place/Bred%C3%A4ng+Camping+Stockholm/@59.2651091,17.9057087,4277a,35y,38.63t/data=!3m1!1e3!4m8!3m7!1s0x465f7686c279c841:0xe63b012decc65c0!5m2!4m1!1i2!8m2!3d59.2956025!4d17.9231226

Bredäng Camping area is attractively located close to Lake Mälaren and 350 meters from the Mälarhöjdens open-air swimming area. Grassland area with trees, surrounded by planted embankments. Minigolf. Indoor swimming pool 2 km. Tennis 1 km. IKEA and Heron City 3 km. Hot water included in the camping price. All of the hot water comes from eco-friendly district heating. Located 10 km south-west of central Stockholm. From the E4/E20: Turn off towards Bredäng and follow the camping signs. Nearest shopping centre and Bredäng underground station 700 meter. During the summer there are also boat services from Mälarhöjdsbadet to Drottningholm Palace and Stockholm City Hall (for more info about the boat click HERE). Hostel. 4-bed rooms and cottages. 4-star servicehouses. Shop and restaurant. More

http://www.bredangcamping.se/en/bildgalleri/http://www.bredangcamping.se/en/bildgalleri/