Six impressive historic buildings, three charming streets, and an unusual brick structure. That is what we discover in this episode of Place of Interest. All of these are located in the area known as Katarinaberget located in the north-eastern part of the Södermalm Island in Stockholm.
If you have already learned the whole story of the neighbourhood, let’s dive right into my list of the most noteworthy places to visit there.
1. Southern City Hall (Södra Stadshuset)
Starting from Slussen where you can easily get by many different forms of public transport including two metro lines, we explore one of the two foremost 17th-century buildings in the area. The Southern City Hall (Södra Stadshuset) was built between the 1670s and 1680s and is likely best-known today as the home of the Stockholm City Museum. While the museum is, unfortunately, closed for reconstruction at the moment, this beautiful piece of historical architecture must not go unnoticed.
Many would argue that Götgatan is the only one of Stockholm’s historic ‘main streets’ that has preserved its character to this day. Particularly if we talk about the northern part of this long street crossing the entire island of Södermalm, its unique feel highlighting the hip character of the area is undeniable. In addition to many small boutiques, this part of Katarinaberget is the home to many nightlife venues.
3. Mosebacke Water Tower (Mosebacke Vattentorn)
The water tower standing next to the Mosebacke Torg Square is perhaps the most original structure on my list. It was designed by the renowned architect Ferdinand Boberg and built in 1896 to help increase the water pressure at Katarinaberget. Since 1960, only the adjacent pump station has been in use and to make the tower even more interesting, its premises were rebuilt into private residences.
4. Southern Theatre (Södra Teatern)
If you are looking for entertainment while at Katarinaberget, the Southern Theatre is the place you do not want to miss. Even if you are not a fan of art performances, you can take advantage of a popular terrace with a bar, a multi-floor club, and a rooftop venue. That is not all, though. The Southern Theatre is also considered the most impressive 19th-century building in the neighbourhood.
5. Klevgränd 3A
At first sight, the house standing at Klevgränd 3A might appear as one of many. That has never really been the case, though, as even in its day, it was one of only about ten stone houses in Södermalm. As the only remaining house from the period before the introduction of the first city plan in the 1640s, it is even more rare today. Although the exact age of this historic site is unknown, the wall anchors visible on its façade suggest that it was originally erected between 1580 and 1630.
6. Katarina Kyrkobacke
After Götgatan I presented above, Katarina Kyrkobacke is another street at Katarinaberget that I think you would enjoy. As a street in a somewhat difficult terrain which prevented past generations from altering its looks much, it represents the eldest part of the area in the best light possible. Personally, I can never resist the narrow streets lined with small colourful facades and the beautiful views of the city from the heights of this hill.
7. Katarina Church (Katarina Kyrka)
If I were to pick my favourite building at Katarinaberget, I would have to choose Katarina Church with its intriguing life story. First built in the latter half of the 17th century, the central-plan church has burned down twice. Both times, it grew up from the ashes again to still enchant the area today with its massive silhouette and elegant white-yellow exterior.
8. Katarina Norra
Standing right on the edge of the churchyard surrounding Katarina Church, Katarina Norra is one of the most impressive school buildings erected in Stockholm around the turn of the twentieth century. Although I believe it is fair to say that its monumentality does not quite achieve the levels of some of its fellow school palaces, such as Södra Latin or Mariaskolan, it is easy to imagine why one would want to spend their school days behind the desks in this building.
I have one more street that I wanted to show you up my sleeve. At Stigbergsgatan, you will find both some subtle historical houses and massive buildings from the last couple of centuries. The atmosphere changes as you walk down the street from the west to the east and you become more and more immersed in the diverse structures on both sides of the road.
10. Ersta Church (Ersta Kyrka)
If you continue only slightly further east from the end of Stigbergsgatan, you will get to admire an unusual church building of the Ersta Church. This unique building with a bright façade and extensive windows was designed by architect Per Ulrik Stenhammars in 1871 and completed as soon as the following year. Today, it is not only a place of worship but also a lively cultural venue.
This was the selection of my 10 favourite places at Katarinaberget. If you still have energy left after exploring these, you will be happy to know that you can find many other charming streets and buildings in this area.
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