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Streets of Gamla Stan (Old Town) - Storkyrkan viewed from Storkyrkobrinken.

Sankt Nikolai kyrka (Saint Nicolaus Church), most commonly known as Storkyrkan (The Great Church) is the oldest church in Gamla Stan, the old town in central Stockholm, Sweden. It is an important example of Swedish Brick Gothic. Situated next to the Royal Palace, it forms the western end of Slottsbacken, the major approach to the Royal Palace, while the streets Storkyrkobrinken, Högvaktsterrassen, and Trångsund passes north and west of it respectively. South of the church is the Stockholm Stock Exchange Building facing the Stortorget square and containing the Swedish Academy, Nobel Library, and Nobel Museum.


History

Storkyrkan was first mentioned in a written source dated 1279, and became a Lutheran Protestant church in 1527. The parish church since the Middle Ages of the Nikolai parish, covering the whole island on which the Old Town stands, it has also been the cathedral of Stockholm since the Diocese of Stockholm was broken out from the Archdiocese of Uppsala and the Diocese of Strängnäs in 1942. The last Swedish king to be crowned here was Oscar II in 1873.


Building

The single-tower church is built of brick, covered in plaster and painted yellow with white details. It originates as a 13th century Gothic structure, but the exterior was substantially remodelled in Baroque style ca 1740 by the architect Johan Eberhard Carlberg.


Interior

The most famous of its treasures is the dramatic wooden statue of Saint George and the Dragon attributed to Bernt Notke (1489). The statue, commissioned to commemorate the Battle of Brunkeberg (1471), also serves as a reliquary, containing relics supposedly of Saint George and two other saints. A copy from the early 20th century is found on Österlånggatan just south of the church.

The church also contains a copy of the oldest known image of Stockholm, the painting Vädersolstavlan ("The Sun Dog Painting"), a 1632 copy of a lost original from 1535. The painting was commissioned by the scholar and reformer Olaus Petri, a 19th century statue of whom is found on the eastern side of the church. It depicts a halo display, e.g. sun dogs, which gives the painting its name and in the 16th century was interpreted as a presage.

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Additional Photos by Wlodek Juszczak (wlodas) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 19 W: 1 N: 30] (346)
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