Stockholm, like many other major cities, is full of monumental churches, which show the best of historical architecture. Thanks to the long history of the city, you can admire varying architectural styles from different eras, sometimes even at the same church. Now, let’s have a look at the list of my favourite churches in the Swedish capital.
1. German Church (Tyska kyrkan)
The origins of Stockholm are closely related to the German inhabitants invited to the city by its founder, Birger Jarl. Especially in certain parts of the Old Town (Gamla stan), their historical presence remains very clear to this day. The German Church originating in the 14th century is located in one such place and with its tall tower and stunning portals it belongs to the most decorated buildings in Stockholm’s Old Town.
Riddarholm Church located on the Riddarholmen island is one of the oldest buildings in the ‘Venice of the North.’ It dates back to the late 1200s when the Franciscan monastery was founded on the island with the permission from King Magnus III. The church has later become the official burial place of the Royal Family, whose members use to be buried there for more than three centuries before the current burial place at Haga Park was established in the early 20th century.
The church surrounded by many historical places, including the Royal Swedish Opera (Kungliga Operan) and the Kungsträdgården park, is a perfect example of a place of worship that was developed during an extended time period. Because of that, you can now observe many different architectural styles such as Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque all at the same building. The present-day appearance of the church comes mostly from the 19th and 20th century.
Klara Church and its predecessors have seen Stockholm change more than almost any other place in the city. Prior to the church, there used to be a monastery officially known as the Saint Clare Nunnery, which was established in the late 13th century. The current church was built in the latter half of the 1500s when the surrounding area had vastly different looks. Today, the Klara Church is surrounded by modern buildings in the heart of Stockholm.
Adolf Fredrik Church located in the busy urban area bordered by the major avenue Sveavägen was completed in 1774 after King Adolf Frederick (Adolf Fredrik), whose name the church carries, himself had laid the foundation stone in 1768. Today, the church with its surrounding cemetery adds some welcome variety to the urban scenery at the Norrmalm district.
The story of the St. John’s Church sitting on the hill between two major avenues, Sveavägen and Birger Jarlsgatan, is truly intriguing. It started with a wooden church built in 1651, which was meant to be replaced by a stone building soon after. Although the foundation stone was laid by King Gustav III in 1783, the current church was not completed before 1890.
If you are looking for a true gem among churches in Stockholm, Oscar’s Church is the one you do not want to miss. From the very beginning, the idea for the church was to be as noble as possible. This idea also influenced the choice of materials, which is why, unlike many other buildings from the era, Oscar’s Church was built using natural stones, mostly marble and limestone.
Leaving the immediate city centre, we come to Kungsholms Church located near Stockholm City Hall on the Kungsholmen island. The church is especially attractive to visit during summer months thanks to the surrounding greenery, which creates a beautiful contrast with the church’s façade that is in near-perfect condition after the fairly recent reconstruction.
Högalid Church located on a hill in the western part of Södermalm is a massive building built in National Romantic style popular in Sweden around the turn of the twentieth century. It was completed in 1923 and it has been an impressive place to visit ever since. With its two characteristic towers and a couple of decorated portals, this church is more than worth seeing.
In the south-eastern part of Stockholm’s Södermalm, you can find a unique church from the first decade of the twentieth century. Although its design has been controversial ever since the monumental structure was completed, this church is not only a place of worship but also a symbol of change for the neighbourhood around the White Mountains (Vita Bergen).
This was the selection of my most favourite churches located in Stockholm. As you can see, they come from many different time periods and, therefore, represent different ideas and styles. Some of them were constructed as much more than places where believers could practice their faith and have become indispensable parts of the city landscape.
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