Happy Valentines Day 2013
Valentines Day isn’t highly recognized in Sweden. I have seen a few hearts on things here and there. There is no passing out the valentines at school, but I did notice 4 people with obvious roses and gift bags with valentines hearts as I was walking around town today.¬†Maddy’s class is hosting a dance tomorrow night, which has been fun trying to find the valentine themed things to contribute.
To honor this day of love, I was going to share one of my “loves” of this great city, the area of Gamla Stan, and more specifically Stortorget, the Great Square. On one of our many walks early on we came into this square and I just loved the colors of the buildings. Stockholm has a color scheme, if you would call it that, of beige, ochre colored buildings, with a deep, maroon red trim and black metal rooftops. It is lovely. But this square provided greens and deep reds, and grey and bright yellow and copper rooftop(far right facing below). It is a colorful square. So I started a painting a long time ago….and at some point I will finish it.
Without bogging this down with lots of historical facts, which anyone can look up if that is your fancy, I actually couldn’t find a lot of information on these buildings. The Great Square was developed with patrician houses during the 17-18th century. The red ornate house in the middle, decorated with a porch and figures of Roman Soldiers, occupied by King Karl X until 1650, then the Secretary to King Karl X, ¬†Johan Eberbard Schantz occupied the home and hence the house is called the Schantzska Huset.
There is a myth regarding the stones that are placed around the windows. Some text say 82, some say there are 92 stones in all placed around the windows. It is said that they were incorporated to remind us of the (82) people who were beheaded in the Stockholm Bloodbath in 1520. And to account for the other 10 stones, making 92, those ten would represent hangings.
Next to the red house(Schantzska Huset) is a home built in the 1520′s with a stepped gable. In 1620′s this house was occupied by author Hans Seyfridzt. When he died, his wife Mary remarried the man next door, Johan Eberhard Schantz. It did not mention which house they ended up living.
Below is where I was on 12/12/12, at 12:12pm!!
A little more about The Great Square….Stortorget,
And another view of the Schantzska Huset and Seyfridtzska Huset below, in a warmer season with the outdoor cafes.
And, I got all the kids a little something…candy basically for a little valentine love! And thought this was the perfect opportunity to gift Greg some “rubbers”. Sssssshhhhh!!! Haven’t given the gift yet! But with all his walking, and spring weather around the corner(gosh I HOPE), I really thought this brilliant! Happy Valentines Day, with love from Sweden!