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View from rocks of Södermalm to Old Town, Stockholm

Södermalm (often shortened to "Söder", South), is an island that forms the southern district of central Stockholm.
Until the early 17th century Södermalm was mainly a rural, agricultural area. Its first urban areas were planned and built in the mid 17th century, comprising of a mixture of working class housing, such as the little red cottages among which some are still to be seen on the northeastern side of Södermalm, and summer houses and pavilions of wealthier families, such as Emanuel Swedenborg's pavilion, which is to be seen in the outdoor museum Skansen.
Södermalm is often poetically referred to as "Söders höjder", the Heights of 'Söder', which reflects its topography of sheer cliffs and rocky hills. Indeed the hills of Södermalm still provide remarkable views of Stockholm's skyline. In the 18th century, the working class cottages that clung to Mariaberget, the steep cliffs facing Riddarfjärden, were replaced by the large buildings that are there to the present day. It was not until the beginning of the 20th century that urbanisation grasped the entire width of Södermalm. However, even today parts of Södermalm have rural feeling to them, as for instance the landscape of tiny allotments that climb the slopes of Eriksdal. For long Södermalm was mainly known as a working class area, renowned for its poverty and regarded as a slum.
While there has been a romantic air about Södermalm for many decades, its slow ascendancy toward better reputation began as late as in the 1970s or 80s. Today it is considered a fashionable place to live or to go to, and it boasts prominent shopping districts and a wide range of cafés, restaurants and bars. Greta Garbo grew up in this distrtict.

Gamla Stan (Old Town)

Gamla stan is the old town of Stockholm. It consists mainly of the island Stadsholmen, but also covers Riddarholmen and Helgeandsholmen. Gamla stan is also referred to as the "town between the bridges".
The town dates back to the 13th century, and consists of medieval alleyways, cobbled streets, and archaic architecture. North German architecture has had a strong influence in the Old Town's construction.
Stortorget is the name of the scenic large square in the centre of Gamla Stan, which is surrounded by old merchant's houses including the Stockholm Stock Exchange Building. The square was the site of the Stockholm Bloodbath, where Swedish noblemen were massacred by the Danish King Christian II, on November 7, 1520. The following revolt and civil war led to the dissolution of the Kalmar Union and the subsequent election of King Gustav I of Sweden.

The Riddarholmskyrkan (on the right), or the Church of Riddarholmen, is the burial church of the Swedish monarchy. It is located on the island of Riddarholmen, close to the Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden. The congregation was dissolved in 1807 and today the church is used only for burial and commemorative purposes. Swedish monarchs from Gustavus Adolphus to Gustav V are entombed here, as well as the earlier monarchs Magnus Ladulås and Karl Knutsson Bonde.
It is one of the oldest buildings in Stockholm, parts of it dating to the late 13th century, when it was built as a greyfriars monastery. After the Protestant Reformation, the monastery was closed and the building turned into a Protestant church. A spire was added during the reign of John III, but burned down following a stroke of lightning on July 28, 1835 after which it was replaced with the following one. (Source: Stockholmtrvel & wikipedia)

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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