Well, I wish I could say that I went to Sweden because I was receiving a Nobel Prize for a world-changing scientific discovery. Although that was not the case, I got the chance to stand in the same great hall as many of the greatest minds in the world – a close second.
Founded in 1252, Stockholm is the main city in Sweden with a population just under 1 million people. If you are travelling there, it is helpful to know that the local language is Swedish, although English is spoken widely and the currency is the Krona. When visiting Stockholm, be sure not to miss the City Hall, which is home of the Blue Hall, where the infamous Nobel Prize banquet is held, as well as the gold hall which is made up entirely of 18 million gold mosaic tiles and is quite beautiful to see. Just outside City Hall is a terrace that provides stunning views of the city.
Gamala Stan (Old Town)
The oldest part of Stockholm is called Gamala Stan (or Old Town), was established more than 800 year ago. Gamala Stan is home to many 16th to 19th century buildings, fine restaurants, the Nobel Museum and the Swedish Academy, where the Nobel Prize for literature is decided upon each year. In this area, you will also find the 17th century Drottingholm Palace which is the permanent residence of the royal family and is a World Heritage Site. If you arrive at the right time you will be able to see the changing of the guard – an interesting and impressive thing to witness, but be sure to stay out of their way!
One of the most impressive and interesting things to see is the Vasa museum, which is actually one of the most visited museums in Scandinavia. The museum was built to house the Vasa, a 226-foot long warship that sank in the middle of Stockholm in 1628 after sailing for only 20 minutes. The ship was too tall and too thin, causing it to sink where it remained in the mud of the Stockholm Harbour for more than 300 years. The ship was raised in 1961 and was over 95% intact. Definitely an amazing site to see!!
So, if you are a science nerd like me and are excited about the Nobel Prize, or if you are a war ship buff, Stockholm should definitely be on your list.
See the world, make it better.
~ Earthly Traveller