Of cobbled stones and cannon balls

A while back, I visited Stockholm’s Old Town with my daughter.

(You may remember this story from a previous visit there.)

It was a cold, gray day that did nothing to dampen our spirits or the glowing jewels of the old buildings.

Parts of the Old Town date back to medieval times (the 13th century) and the narrow alleys and winding cobbled streets give a small glimpse of life back then.

A fairly harsh world where the gutters in the streets acted as sewers and where, in winter, the cold winds still blow through the streets and cut through clothes like a knife.

As I enjoyed the faded beauty, I felt grateful for my modern comforts.

As we entered Stockholm’s oldest square, we saw a cannonball lodged in the corner of a building that goes back to the 1500s.

According to popular legend, this cannonball commemorates the Stockholm Massacre in 1520 when the Danish King Christian executed a number of Swedish nobles.

The building has been restored a number of times and the cannonball has always been put back.

Although why it now has a green mustache is a mystery…

For more glimpses into other lives, please visit: Our World.

94 responses

  1. Fascinating! Loved the photos of the old buildings and getting a glimpse into the ancient past.

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 16:02

  2. What a marvelous post and captures for the day, Fiona! The cannonball is amazing! I, too, love the old buildings and getting such a wonderful look into the past! Fascinating history! Hope you have a lovely evening and a great week!

    Sylvia

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 16:25

  3. So wonderfully depicted. Loved going through that bit of history of an old and beautiful city.

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 17:09

  4. My aunt lives in Stockholm and although I grew up in Sweden, I only visited it once about 30 years ago. Everyone who has ever been there loves that city. Perhaps it is time to go back again.;)
    Lovely photography and I enjoyed the story.;)
    xoxo

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 17:09

  5. beautiful view into the past!

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 17:12

  6. I love the old European buildings.

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 17:13

  7. Thank you for showing us such a beautiful place.

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 17:16

  8. it is too long since I was in Stockholm, would love to visit again, these photos remind me why. 🙂

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 17:17

  9. I need to add Stockholm to my “bucket list.”

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 17:42

  10. nice…this is a place i could get lost in…love the old feel and would want to check back alleys and all the nooks and crannies…

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 17:48

  11. Good photos, which are all nice, how much beauty there is in these streets.

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 17:58

  12. gah…… I always anticipate your photos so much and you never fail to amaze!

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 18:10

  13. For me Scandinavian towns are all very special. I love the atmosphere in those places. I always as if I am entering another world in another time. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 18:12

  14. Fascinating. I like the old architecture.

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 18:17

  15. Glowing jewels is right. I love the colors on the buildngs, the light, and the reflection off the street and the story about the canonball. The building may be old but they are well cared for.

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 18:58

  16. I love traveling and have always been curious about Stockholm. The old city does look full of history and very interesting. 🙂

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 19:10

  17. This is different from your usual posts but still as magical! Thanks! You are so making me want to visit Sweden someday!

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 19:30

  18. lovely perspectives!!

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 19:33

  19. Very nice & very cool shots, they’re beautiful!

    Thanks so much for commenting on my post for a Christmas gift for my mother… I’ll definitely check out redbubble.com!

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 19:33

  20. What a beautiful place to explore. I know what you mean about being grateful for modern comforts but I love old buildings. You did a great job capturing the charm and beauty with your camera.

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 19:44

  21. i love your photos, the orange buildings are wonderful.

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 19:50

  22. Bob

    Really nice the old Stockholm buildings.

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 20:21

  23. Looks kinda Italian. 😉
    Oh yes, it’s the Venice in the North, right?

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 20:28

  24. Very interesting. LOL about the mustache. Very mysterious… 🙂

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 21:07

  25. Lovely old buildings! I so agree with you about modern conveniences, like draft-proof windows!! As for the mustache on the cannonball, maybe he thought it was time for a change…

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 21:20

  26. You had great light to capture these old buildings. I like walking old street, pondering the way life was once upon a time.

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 22:03

  27. sandy

    I enjoyed seeing the old city. Do cars actually use the tiny streets?

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 22:03

  28. So beautiful to travel in time Lady Fi
    Your pictures are so beautiful and I love the colors!
    Greetings from Holland,
    Anna :-))

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 22:12

  29. Been there!!! Done that!!! Loved it!!! Stockholm is absolutely beautiful…and of course, since we were there on a Baltic cruise and only had a day, our primary destination was the old town…with a stop at the ice bar!!!

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 22:48

  30. What a spectacular place! Thank you so much.

    And I love the green moustache.

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 23:09

  31. Lady Fi Gamlastan is a great place and I loved it immensely every time I have been there!

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 23:21

  32. Wonderful photos that have really made us want to visit … The Swedish tourist board must love you!

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 23:38

  33. I think you have increased the colors of the old town. They look great. Or maybe it is only me that usualluy visits in sunny summers days. 🙂

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 23:40

  34. imac

    Super shots, I found some like these while cruising too.

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 23:45

  35. I always found Swedish architecture a bit….

    http://thenorthernplights.com/2011/06/10/dispatch-3-2/

    …so thanks for correcting me!

    ~The Dippylomat esq.

    Like

    December 5, 2011 at 23:48

  36. Excellent shots showcasing the old architecture!
    Your images bring me in and make me feel like I’m there – I wish I was. 🙂

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 00:45

  37. Beautiful mellow colours in these lovely old buildings Lady Fi. I enjoyed looking and reading “drop of kindness’ and agree, quite often Aimee and I have been out and about and when we’ve gone forward to have a word and donate, people come forward, it’s almost as if no one wants to be first, or more likely that they just didn’t think and need a jog!!

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 00:51

  38. Enjoyed walking along with you and the information

    Aloha from Waikiki

    Comfort Spiral

    >

    >

    <

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 00:54

  39. Jim

    Beautiful city! Beautiful photos! Great story behind the cannonball too.

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 01:13

  40. Al

    What a beautiful old city, great shots. And I have to agree that I prefer our modern conveniences (and human rights) to the old way of life.

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 01:23

  41. I love this inside look at historic building and enjoyed the history. It does sound like a wonderful place to visit.

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 01:27

  42. Fascinating.

    I can feel the cold air cutting like a knife biting thru my clothing…

    Xx

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 02:37

  43. Great photos and love the angles from which you captured them. Love capturing old streets like this!

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 02:47

  44. These pictures of Stockholm are beautiful. I love the color of the buildings and alleys. We saw some homes with cannonballs in them when we visited Yorktown in Virginia, but we didn’t see any green mustaches.

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 04:01

  45. These are incredible photos!

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 04:02

  46. I want to live in that orange building! With a view of the mustached cannonball of course!

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 04:10

  47. It is like a journey, great captures.

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 05:39

  48. Wonderful shots of ancient parts of city. The canon ball is interesting.

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 05:52

  49. Amber colored town, eighter light or deep color, is fascinating. Your photos are terrific, ladyfi, inviting me to the places as a time traveller feeling back into the medieval streets. I am so attracted by the cobblestone-paths in Europe. Nice to know the architectures have been restored many times to pass on to future generations.

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 05:59

  50. It’s beautiful.

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 06:15

  51. I love that cobblestone street. Gorgeous architecture!

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 06:55

  52. I always tend to fall in love with these quaint looking old towns – it is good to remember how harsh life was back when they were built.

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 07:59

  53. Hi there – I think it has a green moustache so it does not get mixed up with the one across the street!

    Cheers – Stewart M – Australia

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 09:50

  54. Those ochre colours are glorious, and you always seem to find an interesting tidbit to tell us!

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 12:22

  55. Thank you for this live look hack into history. My little country of Latvia across the Baltic Sea was in the path of so many invaders, from the Swedes through Kazaks, Poles, Napoleon , the Russians and Germans and anyone else who wanted to go anywhere.

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 13:02

  56. Amazing architecture and gorgeous captures. 🙂

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 13:23

  57. What a wonderful place to visit. I love historic places. Mickie 🙂

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 15:50

  58. Lovley shots. Makes you really appreciate our modern comforts! I would not have lasted long back then!

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 16:29

  59. That’s a different Stockholm than what I have seen on pictures so far ! I have never been in a Scandinavian country.

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 17:21

  60. I love the cannon ball and the soft colors..beautiful

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 18:26

  61. I feel as if I walked along a cobblestoned alley of this old town! Great photos! I love all of them!
    Best wishes,
    keiko

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 18:35

  62. I love architecture with history. It’s what I love most about the city of my birth, San Francisco. And, of course, you capture it beautifully.

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 18:48

  63. Hi there Lady Fi! Welcome to my blog!

    Läste “Who am I” och har förstått att du talar och skriver Svenska, så låt oss göra det!

    Intressanta bilder från Gamla Stan, roligt att se andra som uppskattar arkitektur och stämningar…man blir så lätt hemmablind!
    Brukar aldrig skriva kommentarer efter att så många redan varit inne, men gör ett litet undantag!

    Ha det gott!
    Best wishes,
    G

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 19:08

  64. Hej igen!
    Jag bor på Värmdö…2km utanför Gustavsberg…25km från Gamla Stan, Österut!!

    Vi hörs!

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 20:10

  65. this is an amazing post…all three shots are fab!

    the second shot has a beautiful perspective of an uphill street and all blurred. and i dono but the first shot appears 3d if u gaze at it for a while. its amazing!

    Cheers,
    My Third Eye

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 20:15

  66. Beautiful old buildings with some great details. I love the angle of your pictures.

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 20:19

  67. So many comments, I am am never the first with a comment on your Blog 🙂
    beautiful series, very nice photos well done

    RE: Is that gingerbread?
    Yes it is, always on 5 dec we traditional celebrate “Sinterklaas” with candy and presents for the children

    Greetings, Bram

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 20:32

  68. Gorgeous post!
    Loved those old buildings!

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 20:42

  69. what dreamy shots! love the texture and the composition!
    simply fantastic!

    Like

    December 6, 2011 at 22:10

  70. The colours are so warm such a contrast with the biting cold of winter….love the cannonball story!

    Like

    December 7, 2011 at 01:12

  71. I love all your photos of old town Stockholm.

    Like

    December 7, 2011 at 06:25

  72. I love the angles you chose to photograph from….and the cobblestones and wonderfully coloured buildings.

    Like

    December 7, 2011 at 06:31

  73. Your photos are wonderful.

    Aren’t there two cannonballs?

    Like

    December 7, 2011 at 09:02

    • Apparently not – the other one is only a decoration. Maybe that’s why the actual cannonball has a mustache – so that you know it’s the ball and not the decoration.

      Like

      December 7, 2011 at 09:04

  74. The green mustache is a riot! I’m happy to see these fabulous photos as they show a side of Stockholm I’ve never seen. It’s funny, I don’t see this city in ochre hues in my mind’s eye and I enjoy being surprised.

    Like

    December 7, 2011 at 09:14

  75. Great shots of the old town, nice work. 🙂

    Like

    December 7, 2011 at 09:44

  76. You live in a fairy tale!

    Like

    December 7, 2011 at 13:24

  77. I love old towns and old buildings. Thanks for taking us along!

    Like

    December 7, 2011 at 14:06

  78. Mildred

    So beautiful! The colours are wonderful!
    Thanks for sharing:o)

    ***
    Happy day****

    Like

    December 7, 2011 at 15:03

  79. Oh, what a cold place that must have been. All those hard surfaces…

    Pearl

    Like

    December 7, 2011 at 15:12

  80. Gorgeous old building which are obviously well looked after. I admit the “plastic” green mustache looks very strange.

    Like

    December 7, 2011 at 15:41

  81. Nice shots! Something about cobblestones, they take me to the past!

    Like

    December 7, 2011 at 17:38

  82. Reminds me of old London high streets! Nicely captured 🙂

    Like

    December 7, 2011 at 19:13

  83. JM

    What a gorgeous street! The building colours are fabulous.

    Like

    December 7, 2011 at 20:23

  84. Such wonderful scenes…the streets look so interesting~

    Like

    December 7, 2011 at 23:32

  85. Jeanie

    The colors and angles of the old buildings make a really fascinating picture…..very beautiful.

    Like

    December 8, 2011 at 02:23

  86. Lovely town, love the antiquity that it holds within itself…

    My Yatra Diary…

    Like

    December 8, 2011 at 09:00

  87. This is an interesting blog Fi. That cannon ball is an interesting curio – Dave

    Like

    December 8, 2011 at 09:45

  88. superb frames….lovely compositions…

    Like

    December 8, 2011 at 15:36

  89. Lovely photos bringing back many happy memories of our visit there.

    Like

    December 9, 2011 at 09:52

  90. The streets are so narrow and the buildings so tall..I suspect it was a man who had a sense of humor..the flashy green really shows up..perhaps it was the skier:)

    Like

    December 9, 2011 at 15:29

  91. I love that you noticed the green mustache! I actually had to search for it for a second…

    Like

    December 9, 2011 at 20:17

  92. nice compositions… I think you like orange…!

    Like

    December 11, 2011 at 16:41

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