Gamla Stan

Gamla stan, meaning Old Town, is a neighborhood located in Stockholm, Sweden. The area known as Gamla stan stretches over the island of Stadsholmen, and also includes Riddarholmen and Helgeandsholmen, earning it the nickname, “the town between the bridges”. Dating to the 13th century, Gamla stan Stockholm has in recent years become a somewhat popular place for tourism.

Gamla stan Stockholm still features many cobbled streets, taking travelers down medieval alleyways and historic roads. For many decades, Gamla stan was widely known as a decrepit area and a bit run down. A major refurbishment in the 1980’s, however, has breathed new life into this ancient neighborhood. Many of the medieval buildings have been restored and can be toured in Gamla.

At the center of Gamla stan Stockholm is the large town square, known as the Stortorget. Today the Stortorget is surrounded by old merchant houses and the current Stockholm Stock Exchange Building, and tourists will find this to be a pleasant place to stroll or get a bite to eat in one of the area restaurants. Life in the Stortorget was not always so pleasant, however. Throughout the 16th century, the Stortorget was the scene of one of Sweden’s most notorious blood bath’s, known officially as the Stockholm Bloodbath, which involved the mass killing of the noblemen of Sweden by Danish King Christian II. A long revolt and civil war followed the massacre.

Along with the town square, Gamla is also host to some other great attractions geared toward Stockholm for tourists. The Stockholm Cathedral, the Noble Museum and the Riddarholmskyrkan (the Riddarholmen Church) are all historic buildings found in Gamla. Another great attraction in this part of Stockholm for tourists to visit is the Royal Palace, which was first constructed in the 17th century and can be toured inside and out. The oldest restaurant in the world, according to some sources, can also be found here in Gamla, and is called the Den gyldene freden. This is a great place in Stockholm for tourists to eat, and has been serving food since 1722.

Travelers can spend an entire day in Gamla enjoying the food, the statues, the buildings and the great medieval attractions, or they spend a portion of their day in Gamla while spending the rest of the day touring other sites. The Liseberg theme park, located near the popular Avenyn street is located somewhat nearby, as is the island of Skeppsholmen, which can be reached by traveling on the Skeppsholmbron Bridge. The Vasa Museum is also a great activity for an afternoon after spending the morning strolling through Gamla stan.

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