On the highest place in the Old Town, between the Royal Palace and the town square (Stortorget), it has been a church since the Middle Ages.
It is believed that the first church was founded on the Birger Jarl's time in the mid-late 1200's. It was first mentioned in 1279 and therefore usually this year counts as the Church's year of birth.
The first church was probably built of wood and is said to have burnt to the ground. In 1304 the St. Nicolai Church opened, and has since then been extended several times during the 1300s and the 1400s. The name St Nicolai Church comes from seafaring saints. Long known as the village church and first in the 1600s began to be known as Storkyrkan (the Great Church).
Year 1336 was the first crowning here. It was King Magnus Eriksson and his wife. In the 1500s crowned kings of Uppsala, but from the Queen Kristina, who was crowned in 1650, has almost all the kings and queens crowned here until Oscar II and Queen Sofia. Since then, the Swedish kings and queens are no longer crowned.
Storkyrkan has throughout history been used as a wedding church. It was here king Gustav Vasa and St. Catherine of Saxony-Lauenburg in 1531 was consecrated. Here also King Erik XIV and Karin Månsdotter was consecrated year 1568 This was very remarkable since Karin not was from any high-ranking family. The day after the wedding Karin Månsdotter of the Queen was crowned here in the church.
Thereafter it took until the 1800s before the royal wedding was held in Storkyrkan again. It was Crown Oscar (I) and Josefina of Leuchtenberg which was ordained year 1823 Latest in a line of the royal wedding King Carl XIV Gustaf and Silvia Sommerlath was ordained here June 19, 1976 and Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling on 19 June 2010.
One of the main attractions of Storkyrkan is the sculpture of St. George and the dragon is carved in oak. It was made by sculptor Bernt Notke, commissioned by Sten Sture the Elder in thanks for the victory of Brunkeberg against the Danes. According to legend, the dragon has been cast unto the earth, and lay siege to a city. First, he gets hurt then he would have living children and the tour has now come to the princess to become food for the ferocious dragon. Knight of St. George will and kills the dragon and rescue the princess. After this leads Princess in St. George in the city which then turns into Christianity.
The sculpture refers to how Sweden (St. George) is killing Denmark (Dragon). The statue was inaugurated with great ceremony on New Year's Eve 1489th It had then been dragged through the town on a sleigh.
Entering Storkyrkan you will find the famous Vädersolstavlan to the right. The design is from 1535, the board is a carefully executed copy from in 1636. The background to Vädersolstavlan was that Gustav Vasa had taken from the church a large part of its property, which of course was not popular. When a weather phenomenon appeared in the sky in 1535 interpreted the Olaus Petri this as a warning and a sign of God's wrath. He then ordered this painting. Today it is especially interesting because it shows how Stockholm was like during this time.
Olaus Petri, was a preacher in the Cathedral and the main leader of the Reformation in the 1500s, when Sweden became Protestant and broke with the Roman Catholic Church. Olaus Petri was married to first Swedish clergyman. He translated the Bible into Swedish and wrote hymns. The first gudstjänsen in Sweden in Swedish was held in the Cathedral in 1525.
Olaus Petri is buried in the Cathedral. The gravestone in the pulpit is always fresh lilies. He also stands statue at Castle Hill outside the church.
Nearly 300 years later, there was another great preacher of Storkyrkan. Johan Olof Wallin was in 1818 appointed pastor primarius (the chief pastor) in Storkyrkoförsamlingen Assembly. He was extremely popular and the church was bursting when he spoke. He had experienced disease and poverty and really had something to share when he stood in the pulpit. Johan Olof Wallin also wrote many hymns. One of the hymns is called "Where is the Friend, as everywhere I look."
In Storkyrkan there is a group of sculptures by Milles showing three generations of Tessin: Tessin the Elder, Tessin the Younger and Carl Gustaf Tessin. Nicodemus Tessin the Elder came to Sweden in the mid-1700s and was the chief architect of his time in Sweden. Among his greatest works are Drottningholm Palace, Skokloster castle and Wrangel Palace. His son Nicodemus Tessin the Younger is primarily known as the architect of the Royal Palace.
At the front left of Storkyrkan you can find the largest painting of Sweden. It is called "The Last Judgment". It is interesting that the painting was painted the year before the castle was burned down in 1697.The painting was rescued out of the church by being cut into several narrow strips that wew rolled up.
Later the painting was being put together again, and if you look closely you can see the traces of the long, narrow strips. The photo below shows only the upper part of the painting, which actually stretches almost to the floor.
In Storkyrkan there is a modern sculpture of Mary. It is made by Lena Lerviksvägen.Earlier there was also an equivalent for Joseph, but it was broken and its place now is empty.
Our last picture is one of the chandelier in the Cathedral. Anyone can come here to light a candle.