The History of Stockholm, Sweden - Written by Amanda Wisner Stockholms historia, Sverige - Skriven av Amanda Wisner
Upon coming across this article, you may have thought: “Isn’t this an article in an earlier issue?” And, yes, it is practically the ‘sister article’ to The History of Gothenburg, Sweden, which I wrote about a year ago, but I chose to venture into a different city. This city is the capital and most populated city in Sweden. This particular city is Stockholm, Sweden, and the city that will be featured in this article. Stockholm dates all the way back to the thirteenth century, as time was nearing to the end of the Middle Ages, which had taken place from 1201 to 1300. At the time, trade and commerce were popular all across Europe, and many new towns were founded throughout these years. In the year 1252, Birger Jarl, (the regent of Sweden at the time) had founded the Stockholm.
Fast forward to 1289, Stockholm had been described as the largest place in Sweden, despite it seeming small to people today. 211 years later, Stockholm was a small city with a population of approximately 6,000 people.
However, not all good things last forever, right? In this case, that’s correct. In 1519, the King of Denmark had invaded Sweden, and a year later he had seized Stockholm and had over eighty Swedish nobles executed for not sharing the same beliefs as he wanted the city to have, which is known as heresy. This series of events had been known as the “Stockholm Bloodbath”. Contrary to the terrible turn of events, in 1523, the Swede Gustav Vasa had recaptured the city. Moving forward to the seventeenth century, Sweden was a great power to Europe. Stockholm had begun to flourish. By the end of the seventeenth century, the population was approximately 50,000 people. Between 1641 and 1674, Riddarhuset, The House of Nobility was being built. But as quickly as everything had begun to thrive, through 1710-1711, plague had torn through the city, and an abounding amount of people had died. Not lowering its reputation as a city, Stockholm had recovered and flourished once again in the eighteenth century.
Following the plague, Tullgarn Palace was built in 1720, the Royal Palace was opened in 1754, the Obelisk was created in 1799, and the statue of King Gustav III was also sculpted in 1799. Throughout the mid-nineteenth century, Stockholm had been an extremely unhealthy city. With a lack of sewers and no piped water supply, there were most likely smaller illnesses and all types of ‘colds’ that, without a doubt, would have spread like wildfire. However, in the late nineteenth century, Sweden had transformed from an agricultural society to an industrial society. (In 1850, Stockholm held a population of 93,000, and by the twentieth century, it had grown to approximately 300,000).
As Sweden had begun to flourish as an industrial country as a whole, many inventions had cancelled out the poor plumbing systems and other issues that were apparent (especially in Stockholm). For example, Stockholm had gained gas light in 1853, then a piped water supply was introduced in the 1860's. Following this, the National Museum was created and built in 1866, Stockholm Central Railway Station was constructed in 1871, horse drawn trams began running in Stockholm in 1877, followed by the first electric trams, which were introduced in 1901. While transportation and business were growing rapidly, the educational and historic parts of Stockholm were also brought into the light. Stockholm University was founded in 1877, the Swedish Army Museum was opened in 1879, Skansen Open Air Museum was introduced in 1891, the Biological Museum was introduced to the public in 1893, and Stockholm Music Museum had been founded in 1899. As a reader, you may be thinking “Wow, Stockholm flourished faster than anything!” And really, it had. As it continued to grow, the extremely successful city hadn’t brought disappointment, and continued to thrive throughout the twentieth century.
Here’s a list / timeline of many more successes (with a minor downfall or two) that took place in Stockholm: 1628 - The Vasa (a Swedish ship) sinks 1905 - The Parliament House is constructed 1906 - The Postal Museum is introduced to the public 1907 - The Nordic Museum is built 1923 - City Hall is constructed 1943 - The Museum of National Antiques opens Approximately Mid-Twentieth Century - Stockholm escapes damage by bombing in World War II; a program is created to modernize the city (This program included many old homes being demolished and replaced) 1953 - The Museum of Dance opens 1961 - The Vasa is recovered and put on display in a museum 1986 - The Medieval Museum is introduced to the public
Throughout the years of its existence, Stockholm has overcome several obstacles on the way to becoming a wonderful, successful city. Nonetheless, from new inventions being put into use for the sake of the citizens’ health and safety to many museums celebrating the history of Stockholm, the city is now an unbelievably stunning and impressive city. The capital of Sweden is a popular tourist attraction, in which the industry shares its part in the city. From starting at a population of approximately 6,000 people in 1300, Stockholm is now the most populated city in the Scandinavian region, holding a population of about 960,031 people as of 2017.