The joys for Americans visiting European capitals include the architecture, history, and statues. This statue in the old town of Stockholm memorializes Birger Jari, the mythical founder of the city. Both my husband and I have Scandinavian heritage, and we really enjoyed our trip there several years ago.
The old town of Stockholm is called the Gamla Stan. It sits on a series of islands, and Stockholm is located in an archipelago of islands, canals, and bays.
The late afternoon glow illuminates the statue of Axel Osenstierna in front of the Riddarhuset in the old town area of Stockholm. Osentierna was a leading Swedish statesman in the 1600's. The building is the Swedish House of Nobility, which in the past was the equivalent of the British House of Lords, but is today a private institution that maintains records and traditions of the nobility. Ironically, the building was designed by a French architect who was killed by a nobleman, and the architect's son finished the building.
The changing of the guard at the Royal Palace in Stockholm was a wonderful ceremony, complete with a military band. The three crowns on their drums is the national emblem of Sweden. My husband especially loved the changing of the guard because he is from St. Louis, Missouri and one of the songs played by the military band was the St. Louis Blues.
Scandinavian architecture uses a lot of wood, not surprisingly. This country church appears to be made of pine, judging from the many knots in the wood.
The buildings in the old town of Stockholm are built on wooden pilings. If the pilings become exposed to the air, the wood will rot. The do maintenance work to keep the pilings in the water, as the salinity content of the water keeps the wood preserved.