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Photographer's Note

In September l2009 I posted a photo of the statue of Carolus Rex in Kungträdgården, a park in central Stockholm. Many people liked my composition where the king looked out of the frame while others were more hesitant if they liked it or not. I have returned to Kungsträdgården a couple of times to see if it was possible to take pictures with a different composition. In the evening both the statue and the church are illuminated. This photo is taken when the sky was very milky (close to fog) and the light of the city was reflected in the low clouds.
Karl XII (Latinized to Carolus Rex), king of Sweden from 1697 to 1718,.The statue is in bronze and designed by the Swedish sculptor and proffessor Johan Peter Molin (1814-1873). It was cast in Kungsholmen in central Stockholm by German art caster Georg Heroldt from Nürnberg, Germany.

The coming into being of the statute was an initiative of the publicist August Sohlman and the liberal politician and author August Blanche to honor those Swedes that were killed at the battle of Poltava, Russia in 1709. Money to finance the project was collected at party in Mothander’s Circus and a competiton was proclaimed. Molin that was working on his fountain in Kungsträdgården won the competition.

The order for the statue was that it should be a statue without a horse and that king should not wear any headgear in order to show his noble forehead. The king is portrayed with a rapier in his hand and the other hand is pointing out the battlefield, i.e. pointing towards Russia. The reason for this was to keep the heroic reputation of the king alive. Molin used the uniform Karl XII worn on the day he was killed at the Fortress of Fredriksten, Norway in 1718 as a model for the clothing of the statue.

The statue is sourrounded by four mortars (could not be seen in this picture) that were cast in Dresden, Germany and were conquered by Karl XII when the Swedes took back the fortification Neumünde at Riga in present Latvia from the Saxons on 11 December 1701. Reliefs on the mortars depict of the abduction of Greek godess Proserpina by Pluto. A mortar is a muzzle-loading artillery piece with a short barrel.

The statue was unveiled the 30 September 1868, 150 year after Karl XII’s death.

Karl XII was the son of Karl XI and at the age of 15 he became the king of Sweden after his father’s death.
At the age of 18 he embarked on a series of battles oveaseas. He fought Denmark-Norway, Russia, Saxony and Poland. After a number of successful battles Karl XII was defeated at Poltava Russia (in today’s Ukraine) in 1709 and the king fled to the Ottoman Empire.

The defeat at Poltava is considered to be the start of the downfall of the Swedish empire. His last efforts to reinstate the Swedish empire were to invade Norway in 1716 but he was forced to retreat. In 1718 he made a new attempt to invade Norway but then he was killed at the Fortress of Fredriksten.

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Additional Photos by ulf eriksson (UlfE) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2516 W: 81 N: 3653] (14641)
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