Monday, August 8, 2011

Stockholm – Venice of the North

I don’t know who said it first, but once upon a time someone proclaimed Stockholm to be “The Venice of the North”. Someone also came up with the slogan “Stockholm –The Capitol of Scandinavia”. That is a lot cockier, but not at all amusing if you’re from Norway or Denmark. But I digress! So, let’s get back to the subject at hand: The Venice of the North.

Yes, Stockholm is made up by a lot of water. The Baltic Sea comes in from one way and Lake Mälaren from the other. Stuck in between is Stockholm, which is made up of a lot of isles of different shapes and sizes. Stockholm was actually strategically placed as a keep to protect the heartlands around Lake Mälaren from pirates and brigands entering from the Baltic Sea. This was about a millennia ago, so as far as European capitals concern Stockholm is just a toddler. The core of Stockholm is of course the Old Town. The city has spread out from here to the adjacent islands in a pretty unplanned manner. I guess city planners where in short supply in those days.

The upside is of course that wherever you go, you’re always close to water. And most waterfronts have grand and picturesque buildings, all of which makes pretty postcards. Most tourists flock to a couple of streets in Old Town, which is really a shame because Stockholm has a hell of a lot more to offer. More on this in my upcoming posts!

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