Names of streets of the cities we live in and visit do not only help us navigate through these cities but are also a popular way of recognizing and commemorating important persons from all different fields. However, we rarely think of the figures who gave their names to important streets in our cities, and their work and achievements. In this post, I show you a few interesting streets in Stockholm named after influential figures who lived during the most prosperous era in the history of Sweden.
The street connecting two impressive avenues in the exclusive Östermalm district, Strandvägen and Vallhalavägen, has been carrying the name of the longest serving Lord High Chancellor of Sweden since 1931. Axel Oxenstierna left a great legacy in Stockholm including his former residence and you can even find a statue depicting him outside of the House of Nobility. Apart from beautiful streets on both ends, Oxenstiernsgatan offers some nice urban sights, too.
Gyllenstiernsgatan is a street which could have gotten its name after many important members of the Gyllenstierna dynasty. It was Johan Göransson Gyllenstierna whose name was given to this short street located only a stone’s throw from Oxenstiernsgatan, though. He was a member of the Privy Council during the reign of Karl XI and at the time of his death, in 1680, only a handful of other men had more power in Sweden than he did.
Linnégatan, named after the Swedish scientist Carl von Linné, is a long street parallel to Karlavägen and Vallhalavägen. It is lined with interesting historical buildings on both sides. Among other things, you will find the building of the Stockholm University of the Arts (Stockholms konstnärliga högskola) and Kvarteret Krubban there. There is also Elverket – separate stage of the Royal Dramatic Theatre – and the street ends at the popular Humlegården.
Near the western end of Linnégatan, you will meet a perpendicular street known as Brahegatan. It is unclear after which member of the Brahe dynasty this street was named but the most likely candidates are Per Brahe the Older and his grandson Per Brahe the Younger. Especially the younger of the two is known as a person that gave his name to many places in both Sweden and Finland.
Another street named after a famous noble dynasty located in the western part of Östermalm is Sturegatan. Among the most notable members of the dynasty were Sten Sture the Older and Sten Sture the Younger who led Sweden in the wars against Danish kings preceding the Stockholm Bloodbath that took place in 1520. This street will lead you to the exclusive Stureplan, famous for its shopping possibilities and vibrant nightlife.
6. Gustav Adolf’s Square (Gustav Adolfs Torg)
Gustav Adolf’s Square is one of the central points in the historical city centre of Stockholm located at the northern end of the Norrbro bridge, which connects it with the Royal Palace. Gustav II Adolf, whose statue dominates the square, is best known as the emperor who turned Sweden into a European superpower.
Moving to the Kungsholmen island, we can explore Pipersgatan named after Count Carl Piper, whose splendid garden was bordered by this street. The street has been carrying Piper’s name in some form for centuries but it received the current one during the big street name revision in 1885.
Gyllenborgsgatan surely is not the most monumental street on this list but the pretty, colourful facades that you can observe from the Thorildsplan subway station are certainly worth seeing. The Gyllenborg dynasty were members of the Swedish nobility since the 1600s until the latter half of the 19th century when the last family member passed away.
9. Wollmar Yxkullsgatan
The first street located on Södermalm on my list has been named after the Marshal of the Court Wollmar Yxkull since 1661. On this street, you will find several interesting buildings including the Reenstierna Palace (Reenstierska palatset) built in the 1670s and Mariaskolan, one of the school palaces in Stockholm.
10. Renstiernas gata
Last on our list is a major street in the eastern Södermalm, which coincidentally carries the name of the original owners of the aforementioned Reenstierna Palace. Since the street forms the border of the White Mountains borough, you will get the chance to admire the monumental Sofia Church or experience the trendy area surrounding Nytorget on the other side of the street.
This was my first selection of Stockholm streets named after influential historical figures. Hopefully, you will not only like what you see on these streets, but also be able to appreciate the legacy that they carry.
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