Sweden, Gammelstad – Church Town
After we enjoyed walks in Finnish towns of Kuopio and Rovaniemi, we set off to explore another Scandinavian country. This time Sweden, or rather the Kingdom of Sweden.
While travelling on international roads E75, E8, and E4 we saw amazing nature with many lakes and forests and typical Scandinavian architecture mostly with sacral buildings. Upon crossing the border we entered the land of the Vikings. It is Sweden unique for many reasons. Despite Sweden is a member to the European Union it maintains military neutrality. Even in the past the Swedes did not fight in world wars. Until recently, Sweden was the fourth richest country yet due high taxation and expensive social policies it fell down in the chart. Still, it is interesting to know that the Swedes enjoy high natality, living standards, they have Europe’s largest shopping mall in Göteborg, a town well known to the Slovaks. Also Sweden is one of the world’s largest timber and wood goods producers.
We had perceived Sweden rather as the land of hockey, famous pop bands (ABBA, Europe, Roxette...), one of two places of the Nobel prize ceremony, famous "yellow" furniture, phones, or cars. However, this time we visited the historical land of Norrland. We visited the town Gammelstad there we found another wonder of the country.
Sure you wonder what it was. We won’t keep you in suspense. It was church town of Gammelstad. It is located near important port of Lulea (Luleå). The town is interesting from the perspective of urbanism. It consists of uniform red-white wooden houses , built in the circles with church in the center. There were more than 70 towns like this in Sweden. Only 16 exist today, and mostly they are fragments of what they used to be.
Gammelstad is an example of how people coped with situation when they couldn’t visit a church and return home in one day. These small wooden buildings were used as places to stay overnight. Flats were used mostly on Sundays and during church holidays. On such days the church town transforms into social and cultural center in this sparsely inhabited area. Gammelstad has more than four hundred houses is part of the UNESCO world heritage site list.
Seeing the town changed our perspective of Sweden. We enjoyed a walk in the empty yet well-maintained town. Then we movd further following the northernmost branch of the Baltic Sea, more particularly the Gulf of Bothnia - to Stockholm (you can read more ZDE.
Text: Oskár Mažgút
Photo: Beata Firicová
The Kingdom of Sweden, most extensive Scandinavian country, is situated on surface of 449 964 square kilometres and belongs to greatest states of Europe. Sweden temptates millions of visitors, thanks to its marvellous and diverse nature or interesting architecture, especially for the fact that even during tourist saison, the calm.dominates and no busy life is prevailing there.
Last days of travels with Dominika we spent at the city of
Örebro, the history of which dates back to the 15th century.
While travelling along coastal trail from Ljungskile to Uddevalla, we saw Halle-Hunneberg forests, Västergötland region. It was tiresome to carry heavy backpacks which in turn didn’t bring us much joy when travelling. Therefore, we left them at a visitors’ center.
We commenced the hiking part of our Swedish journey “deep in the north”. It was in the territory of Bohuslän which is eleven hours from Göteborg. Prices are same in Sweden as in the Czech republic. Nominally, at least. The most expensive part of our journey is travelling itself (had you your own food from the Czech Republic). However, there are many train and bus lines in the country.
Eighteen kilogram backpack on our backs were bent me and Dominika down at a station. We were looking forward to Swedish dream, a month worth of travelling on our own. A yellow bus was the means of our transport from Brno to Göteborg. After almost 20 hours of comfortable ride we got off the bus to see seagulls, ferry two ferry boats and cranes idling at the port. Visitor centers were buoys giving us always necessary information in the Swede’s second largest city. The first thing we actually did there was a visit at one such a center. Maps, leaflets, information – this is tourist’s fodder. One even doesn’t realize how remote is the land he trod on. Especially when passersby smile at him/her when he/she asks for directions. The smiles were still there regardless where we were.
You can literally cross a bridge from Copenhagen, Denmark to Sweden. But it is quite a long bridge. One may think both cities would be similar due to small distance separating them but you couldn’t be more wrong. Malmö has different feeling – it is calmer, more monumental, and more adult. You will feel its industrial history as well as present high-tech direction.
We travel again. After the visit in the church town of Gammelstad and Sweden’s capital Stockholm we move to Norway. We visit this time Trondheim, a port city on the shore of Trondheim Fjord and the Nidelva River.
Together we go to Götaplatsen square. The city is very quiet. We encounter almost no one. The rain stopped. However, wind still blowed unpleasantly strong. Slowly we approach an interesting statue. It is a revolver with twisted barrel. It was made by one of the foremost personas of modern Swedish art – the sculptor and painter Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd. This artist lived in the US for a while. In the 1980, the shock of the shooting and consequent death of John Lennon inspired him to create this statue which he calls Non Violence. The original one is situated in front of the OSN HQ in New York. Another clones you can find in Berlin, or in the Swedish cities of Stockholm, Malmö, Lund, and Boras, or in Caen, France and Kirchberg, Luxemburg.
Uppsala is one of the largest and most important cities in Sweden. Some interesting things about the city will be revealed in the following article.
Our journey Scandinavian tour will introduce us first the Sweden, where it will be our destination Vasamuseet Stockholm Museum, hiding one of the most beautiful ship the world.
Stockholm belongs synonymously to most beautiful and most green metropolis of the Europe. The lovers of history and arts will be surprised at existence of more that 100 museums, dedicated really to all subjects which would occur to you.
One of the most important Swedish cities is located on the shore of the Baltic Sea – it is Malmö a pulsing artery of Scandinavia, an unusual Swedish city with Danish influence or just a pile of gravel, as locals like to call it.
Scandinavia is extended on a peninsula of the same name in the North of Europe. It is also known as a country of elks, trolls, fjords, high mountains, endless plains or a seat of Santa Claus.This area has, as a consequence of its position, more colder climate and heterogenous countryside, rather few inhabitated (colonized).
The last really comfortable night of our trek in the Swedish Sarek National Park was really expensive. We stayed in our cozy cottage until the afternoon of the next day and then we moved forth to wilderness and we were looking forward to it.