1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Stockholm
STOCKHOLM, the capital of Sweden, on the east coast, not far south of the junction of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia. It is celebrated for the beauty and remarkable physical characteristics of its situation. The coast is here thickly fringed with islands (the skärgård), through which a main channel, the Saltsjö, penetrates from the open sea, which is nearly 40 m. from the mainland. A short stream with a fall normally so slight as to be sometimes reversed by the tide, drains the great lake Mälar into the Saltsjö. The scenery of both the lake and the skärgård is similar, the numerous islands low, rocky, and generally wooded, the waterways between them narrow and quiet. The city stands at the junction of the lake and the sea, occupying both shores and the small islands intervening. From the presence of these islands a fanciful appellation for this city is derived—“the Venice of the North”; but actually only a small part is insular. There are three main divisions, Staden, the ancient nucleus of the city, properly confined to Stadholmen (the city island) which divides the stream from Mälar into two arms, Norrström and Söderström; Norrmalm on the north shore of the channel, and Södermalm on the south.
The ancient origin of Staden is apparent in the narrow and winding streets, though the individual houses are not very old, owing to the ravages of frequent fires. A few, Staden. however, preserve antique narrow fronts with gables, as in some of the North German towns. The old market, still called Stortorg (great market) is now one of the smallest in Stockholm. At the north angle of the island is the Royal Palace (Slott). The original building was destroyed by fire in 1697, the body of Charles XI. being with difficulty rescued from the flames. A new palace after designs of Nicodemus Tessin the younger (d. 1728) was not completed, owing to wars and the general distress, until 1754; while a restoration carried out in 1901 included many ornamental details devised by the architect, and executed at the expense of King Oscar II. The palace is quadrangular with two wings towards the east and four (two straight and two curving) towards the west. The style, that of the Italian Renaissance, is noble and refined, the royal apartments rich in treasures of art. In the north-east wing is a museum of armour and costume, one of the finest of the kind existing. West of the palace are the offices of the majority of the ministries, some of them in the former buildings of the Royal Mint. Beyond these, on the west side of the island, is a square named from the palace on its northern side, the Riddarhustorg. The Riddarhus (house of the nobility) was the meeting-place of the Council of the Nobles until 1866, and its hall is adorned with the armorial bearings of noble families. In the northern forecourt is a statue (1890) of Axel Oxenstjerna, the chancellor, by J. Börjeson. The town-hall is also in Riddarhustorg, and a statue of Gustavus Vasa, unveiled in 1773 on the 250th anniversary of his accession to the throne, stands here. South-west of the Royal Palace is the Storkyrka (great church), dedicated to St Nicholas, the oldest church of Stockholm, though greatly altered from its original state. The date of its foundation is 1264; but it was practically rebuilt in 1726-1743. Within it is richly adorned with paintings and wood-carving. Staden is the commercial centre of the city. At the broad shipping quay (Skeppsbro) which flanks the palace on the north and east, most of the sea-going steamers lie; and the exchange, custom-house, numerous banks and merchants' offices are in the immediate vicinity. Riddarholmen (nobles' island), lying immediately west of Stadholmen, contains the old Franciscan church (Riddarholmskyrka), no longer used for regular service, which since the time of Gustavus Adolphus has been the burial-place of the royal family. It contains many trophies of the European wars of Sweden. On one side of it stands the old house of parliament; on the other a statue of Birger Jarl, the reputed founder of the city. On Riddarholm also are various government offices, and most of the steamers for Mälar and the inland navigation lie alongside its quays.
|From Baedeker's Norway & Sweden, by permission of Karl Baedeker.||Emery Walker sc.|
Staden is connected with Norrmalm by the Norrbro (north bridge) and Vasabro, the first crossing Helgeandsholmen (the island of the Holy Spirit), on which are the new Norrmalm. Houses of Parliament and the Bank of Sweden. A third bridge connects with the main thoroughfare of Norrmalm, Drottningsgatan (Queen Street). The Norrbro gives upon Gustaf-Adolfs-Torg, where a statue of that king stands between the royal theatre, royal opera house and the palace of the crown prince. Norrmalm is the finest quarter of the city, with broad straight streets, several open spaces with gardens, and handsome buildings. East and north of the theatre royal, the Karl-den-Tolftes-Torg and Kungsträdgård (royal garden) form the most favoured winter promenade. There are a statue of Charles XII. and a fountain with allegorical figures, by J. P. Molin, also a statue of Charles XIII., and in the small Berzelii Park close at hand one of the chemist J. J. Berzelius. Near Drottningsgatan is the Klara church, the burial-place of the poet K. M. Bellman, and west of this, occupying one side of a square, is the central railway station. In the building of the academy of science is the national museum of natural history, including mineralogical, zoological, and ethnographical departments. Drottningsgatan terminates at the observatory, on a rocky eminence, near which are the offices for the distribution of the Nobel fund. To the east the modern Gothic church of St Johannes, with a lofty spire, stands conspicuously on the Brunkebergsås, one of the highest points in the city. To the north is the small Vanad's Park. To the west is the modern quarter of Vasastad, with its park. On the island of Kungsholm, south of Vasastad, are the Caroline medical institute, several hospitals, the principal of which is the Serafimer (1752), the royal mint and factories. Östermalm, lying east, that is, on the seaward side, of Norrmalm, is a good residential quarter, containing no public buildings of note, save the barracks of the Swedish Guards and the fine royal library, which is entitled to receive a copy of every work printed in Sweden. The library stands in the beautiful park of Humlegård (hop-garden), in which is also a statue of Linnaeus. South of Östermalm, and east of the Kungsträdgård and Staden, lies the peninsula of Blasieholm (formerly an island) and, connected by bridges, the islands of Skeppsholm and Kastellholm, the three forming the foreground in the beautiful seaward view from the Norrbro. On the first is the national museum (1866), a Renaissance building, containing historical, numismatic and art-industrial collections, with ancient and modern sculptures, picture-gallery and engravings. The numismatic collection is notable for its series of Anglo-Saxon coins. About 11,000 pieces came from the island of Gotland, some dating from 901-924, but the majority are later. In front of the museum is a bronze cast of the famous group of J. P. Molin (1859), the Bältespännare (belt-bucklers), representing an early form of duel in Scandinavia, in which the combatants were bound together by their belts. On Skeppsholm are naval and military depots, and on Kastellholm a small citadel. East of Skeppsholm an inlet, Ladugårdslandsviken, so named from the proximity of the former royal farm-yard (ladugård), and bordered on the mainland by a quay with handsome houses called Strandvägen, throws off a narrow branch (Djurgårdsbrunnsviken) and separates from the mainland an island about 2 m. in length by ¾ m. broad. This is mainly occupied by Djurgården (the deer-park), a beautiful park containing the buildings of the northern museum, a collection of Scandinavian costumes and domestic and agricultural utensils, and a biological museum housed in a wooden building imitating the early Norwegian timber churches (stavekirke). Here also is Skansen, an ingenious reproduction in miniature of the salient physical features of Sweden with its flora, fauna, and characteristic dwellings inhabited by peasants in the picturesque costumes of the various districts. Both the northern museum and Skansen were founded by Dr Arthur Hazelius (1853-1901). There is a bust of the poet K. M. Bellman, whose festival is held on the 26th of July. Södermalm, the southern quarter, is principally residential. Rocky heights rise to 120 ft. above the water, and two steam lifts, Katarina-Hissen and Maria-Hissen, surmount them.
Environs.—The beautiful environment of sea and lake is fully appreciated by the inhabitants. To the north of the city, accessible by rail and water, are the residential suburbs of Haga and Ulriksdal, with royal chateaux, and Djursholm. Saltsjöbaden. 9 m. east of Stockholm, on Baggensfjörd, is the nearest and most favoured seaside resort, but Dalarö (20 m. south-east) and Nynäshamn (39 m. south) are much frequented. Vaxholm, 12 m. north-east by water, is a pleasant fishing-village where numerous villas have been built. A fortification on one of the islands here was erected by Gustavus Vasa, but has been modernized and is maintained.
Educational and Scientific Institutions.—Stockholm has no state university. A private university (Högskoler) was founded in 1878, and was brought under state control in 1904. The president of the governing body is appointed by the government, while the appointment of the remaining members is shared by the Swedish Academy, the Academy of Sciences and the City Council. The faculties are four—philosophy and history, philology, mathematics and natural sciences, and jurisprudence. The Caroline Institute (Karolinska Mediko-Kirurgiska Institut) is a medical foundation dating from 1815, which ranks since 1874 with the state universities of Upsala and Lund in the right to hold examinations and confer degrees in its special faculty. Special and secondary education is highly developed; there are schools of agriculture, mining and forestry, military schools, technical schools, a veterinary school, a school of pharmacy, &c. Among the public colleges under state control, one, the Nya Elementarskolan, was founded experimentally in 1828, after the Education Committee of 1825-1828, among the members of which were Tegner and Berzelius, had reported on the want of such schools. This school retains its separate governing board; whereas others of the class are under a central board. The control of the primary schools in the parishes is similarly centralized; whereas in Sweden generally each parish has its school-board. Stockholm is the seat of the principal learned societies and royal academies (see Sweden). There are schools of painting, sculpture and architecture under the direction of the Royal Academy of Arts; a conservatory of music under that of the Royal Academy of Music; and experimental gardens and laboratories under the Royal Society of Agriculture. The Natural History Museum, the observatory and meteorological office, and the botanical gardens are under the supervision of the royal academy of sciences. Minor collections deserving mention are the museums of the geological survey and the Caroline Medical Institute, and the archives in the record office (Riksarkivet).
Recreations.—Among places of entertainment, the royal theatre is managed by a company receiving a state subsidy. The Dramatic Theatre (Dramatiska Teatern), in Kungsträdgårds-Gatan, the Swedish (Svenska) theatre in Blasieholms-Gatan, and the Vasa theatre in Vasa-Gatan may also be mentioned. The Djürgård is
the principal place for variety entertainments in summer. Several of the leading sporting clubs have their headquarters in Stockholm. An annual regatta is held early in August by the Royal Swedish Yacht Club (Svenska Segelsällkapet). A harbour much frequented by yachts is Sandhamn in the outer skärgård. The Stockholm General Skating Club (Almänna Skridskoklubb) is the leading institution for the most favoured winter sport. A characteristic spectacle in winter is the tobogganing in the Humlegård on holidays. The principal athletic ground is the Idrottspark (Sports Park), on the north side of Östermalm, with tennis courts and a cycling track, which may be changed into a skating-rink in winter. There is a similar park at Djursholm.
Commerce.—The industries of Stockholm are miscellaneous. The value of the output of these is nearly thrice those of Malmö or Gothenburg, the next most important manufacturing towns, and the industries of Stockholm exceed those of every län (administrative division) except Malmöhus. The iron and steel industries are very important. including engineering in every branch, and shipbuilding. Factories for articles of human consumption (e.g. breweries and tobacco works) are numerous; and cork, wood, silk and leather works may also be mentioned. Fine ware is produced by the Rörstrand and Gustafsberg porcelain works. In addition there are various government works, as the mint and printing works. Stockholm is the first port in Sweden for import trade, but as regards exports ranks about level with Malmö and is exceeded by Gothenburg. The imports average nearly 30% of those of the whole country, but the exports only 9%, Stockholm having proportionately little share in the vast timber export trade. Vessels of 23 ft. draught can go up to the city (Skeppsbro and Blasieholm quays), and there is an outport at Värtan on the Lilla Värtan channel to the north-east.
Government.—Stockholm is the centre of government and the usual residence of the king; in summer he generally occupies one of the neighbouring country palaces. The city is the seat of the high court of justice (Högsta Domstolen) and of the court of appeal for the northern and midland districts (Svea Hofrätt). It is one of the two Swedish naval stations (Karlskrona being the principal one), and the headquarters of the fourth and fifth army divisions. As regards local government, Stockholm is a län (administrative district) in itself, distinct from the rural län of the same name, under a high governor (öfverstäthållare) and deputy, with departments for secretarial work, taxation and police. The city is in the diocese of Upsala, but has a separate consistory, composed of the rectors of the city parishes, the president of which is the rector of St Nicholas (Storkyrka).
Population.—The population of Stockholm in 1900 was 300,624. In 1751 it was 61,040; in 1850, 93,070; and in 1880, 176,875.
History.—Before the rise of Stockholm, Björkö, Sigtuna and Upsala were places of great importance. Björkö (“the isle of bitches”), by foreign authors called Birka, was a kind of capital where the king lived occasionally at least; history speaks of its relations with Dorestad in the Netherlands, and the extensive refuse heaps of the old city, as well as the numerous sepulchral monuments, show that the population must have been large. But though situated at a central point on Lake Mälar, it was destroyed, apparently before the beginning of the 11th century (exactly when or by whom is uncertain); and it never recovered. Sigtuna, lying on the shore of a far-reaching northern arm of Lake Mälar, also a royal residence and the seat of the first mint in Sweden, where English workmen were employed by King Olaf at the beginning of the 11th century, was destroyed in the 12th century. Stockholm was founded by Birger Jarl, it is said, in or about 1255, at a time when pirate fleets were less common than they had been, and the government was anxious to establish commercial relations with the towns which were now beginning to flourish on the southern coast of the Baltic. The city was originally founded as a fortress on the island of Stadholm. The castle was erected at the north-eastern corner, and the city was surrounded with walls having fortified towers on the north and south. It came to be called Stockholm (“the isle of the log,” Latin Holmia, German Holm); the true explanation of the name is not known. During the middle ages the city developed steadily, and grew to command all the foreign commerce of the midlands and north, but it was not until modern times that Stockholm became the capital of Sweden. The medieval kings visited year by year different parts of the kingdom.
See P. R. Ferlin, Stockholms Stad (Stockholm, 1854-1858); C. Lundin and A. Strindberg, Gamla Stockholm (Stockholm 1882); C. Lundin Nya Stockholm (Stockholm, 1890); G. Nordensvan, Mälardrottningen [“the queen of Mälar”] (Stockholm, 1896); E. W.
Dahlgren, Stockholm, Sveriges hufvustad skildrad (Stockholm, 1897, issued by the municipal council on the occasion of the Stockholm Exhibition, 1897).