Norrmalm’s district area, Stockholm, Sweden

Norrmalm’s district area is a district area in Stockholm’s inner city that includes the districts of Norrmalm, Skeppsholmen and Vasastaden as well as a smaller part of Östermalm. The area is bounded by Norrström in the south, Brunnsviken in the north, Birger Jarlsgatan and Valhallavägen in the east, as well as by Klara lake, Karlbergssjön and the border with Solna in the west. The number of inhabitants in the district area was 70,263 in 2016. Parishes in Norrmalm’s district area are Adolf Fredrik, St. John, St. Matthew and Gustav Vasa as well as parts of the Cathedral Parish and Engelbrekt Parish.

Stockholm’s inner city, is the central part of Stockholm municipality as opposed to the Outer city, which consists of Västerort and Söderort. Within Stockholm’s inner city, and especially in Stockholm’s city on lower Norrmalm and in the Old Town, is home to most of Sweden’s parliamentary and political institutions, most of Stockholm’s historic buildings of dignity and a significant representation of the country’s financial and banking activities.

The spread of urban development within the city of Stockholm in 1913, where the area largely corresponds to the broader significance of the Inner City. The inner city, according to the city’s definition, is mostly bounded by water.

The meaning of the term inner or central city has changed with the city’s expansion over time. During the Middle Ages, it referred to the area inside the city walls on Stadsholmen. During the great power era, it referred to the Old Town (“The city between the bridges”) and the area around Klara Church and Jacob’s Church on today’s Norrmalm and the area around Mary Magdalene’s church on today’s Södermalm. The ore concept that was established then designated areas outside the city center and with rural buildings as ore farms.

During the latter part of the 19th century, the ores were built with multi-family houses in stone and this whole area was then considered part of the inner city, which view still partly survives. Finally, during the 20th century, the city’s expansion spread further – mainly in the south and west – where the demarcation to the inner city was then perceived to consist of the waters, Årstaviken and Tranebergssund, which formed a natural boundary between the older more central city and the newer suburbs.

There is also a narrower demarcation, which coincides with the older concept of the City within the customs and which includes the parts of the Inner City that are within Stockholm’s old city customs. City customs were decided in 1622 for Swedish cities. At that time, high fences with customs stations were built around many cities at the major entrances and exits. Regarding Stockholm, the customs fence was moved during its active time (1622-1810) gradually outwards in step with the city’s expansion. The term City within the customs then usually refers to the customs as they were at the end of this period.

The city within the customs consists of dense buildings and, with few exceptions, classic neighborhoods and straight streets. This area can sometimes also be called the stone city or the neighborhood city. In Hammarby lake town, it was the first time in a long time that the city made an active attempt to build the inner city outside the customs.

Districts in Norrmalm’s district area:
The Norrmalm’s district area consists of the districts Norrmalm, Skeppsholmen, Vasastaden and Östermalm.

Norrmalm
Norrmalm is a central district in Stockholm’s inner city. It is included, along with Skeppsholmen and Vasastan and a small part of Östermalm, in Norrmalm’s district area. The southern part of Norrmalm is also usually called Stockholm’s urban city. The Norrmalm district is often confused with Norrmalm’s district area. Norrmalm (the district) is only a small part of Norrmalm’s district area.

The name Norrmalm already appears in 1288. In 1602, Norrmalm became its own city, Norra Förstaden with its own mayor and magistrate and its own seal. But in 1635 it re-emerged in Stockholm, that is, the current Old Town.

In the 17th century, the district was divided into two parts by Brunkebergsåsen, which fell steeply in Norrström and stretched north along the current Malmskillnadsgatan. Nowadays, lower Norrmalm is quite low-lying because the ridge has largely been excavated over the years. Further north, the ridge remains, for example around St. John’s Church.

The zoning plan for Norrmalm is one of the oldest in Stockholm and was started in 1637 below Hötorget. In the 1630s to 1640s, under the Admiral and Governor Clas Larsson Fleming, the first regulations were developed on Norr- and Södermalm, all under the supervision of his boss Axel Oxenstierna. The ideas came from the Renaissance, it would be regular and rectangular grids of streets and neighborhoods.

Norrmalm is today considered to be the center of Stockholm, even though it was not so before. It was when the railway came in the 1860s that this development took off. The old town had become too small and outdated to be the center of the fast-growing city. The fact that the central post office and all newspaper editorial offices were located here also accelerated the development.

Albert Lindhagen’s street regulations and city plans from the second half of the 19th century did not affect Norrmalm significantly, apart from Sveavägen, which was to be led all the way down to Gustaf Adolf’s square. However, Sveavägen stopped at the height of the Concert Hall and Kungsgatan. The extension of Sveavägen to the south would characterize the discussion in connection with the next major city plan change in the middle of the 20th century, the Norrmalm regulation. The 1946 city plan determined the major redevelopment. With City 67, the area was expanded to include the neighborhoods around Tunnelgatan and on Blasieholmen. With city plan 1977the redevelopment of Stockholm’s inner city was completed prematurely. Tunnelgatan and Blasieholmen remained untouched.

In 1866, a city planning commission led by the building politician Albert Lindhagen presented a general plan (the Lindhagen Plan) to give the district air, light and greenery. During the 1870s and 1880s, a large part of the old 18th century town was subsequently demolished, which many mourned, but for example Strindberg said that they demolished “to get air and light”.

Since the 1930s, politicians had presented various plans for the so-called Norrmalm regulation with the aim of building a new modern Stockholm city. During the 1950s and 1960s, much of the older buildings were demolished.

During the post-war period, extensive regulation of Norrmalm was carried out and today’s center was created. The houses that were built during the 1960s, 70s and 80s were characterized by the city plan ideal of the time and a desire to manifest the successful Sweden. Many of the houses were very lavish, with expensive facade materials such as the PK building’s pink sandstone and the Riksbank’s black granite.

The buildings have been classified into four categories with regard to their cultural-historical value. The City Museum uses a color system to classify buildings, blue, green, yellow and gray.

Since the 1990s, various constellations of property owners have collaborated with the City of Stockholm with the goal of removing unsafe steps, making the ground floors more lively with shops and bringing more homes into the city. Some results of these efforts in 1998 were the glazing of Sergelgången and the T-centralen’s redesign with a new entrance to the street level.

After many years of very low construction activity on Norrmalm, Västra city has developed with several new buildings and with Stockholm Waterfront, the cityscape has been given a new landmark. In 2009 it was decided that Salénhuset from 1978 will be rebuilt. Salénhuset will have five new entrances, the facade will be refurbished and new retail space on three floors will be built for about 60 stores.

Skeppsholmen
Skeppsholmen is an island in Saltsjön in central Stockholm and is next to Kastellholmen part of the district Skeppsholmen. On Skeppsholmen are the museums Moderna museet, Arkitektur- och designcentrum and Östasiatiska museet as well as the exhibition hall Bergrummet and is therefore also called Stockholm’s museiö. From Skeppsholmsbron you can see Skeppsholmskyrkan and the Admiralty House’s pinnacles and towers as well as the full rig of Chapman which is moored on the west side of the islet.

Skeppsholmen was the navy island for about 300 years. During this time, several of the current buildings were erected, designed by the then leading architects such as Nicodemus Tessin dy, Johan Eberhard Carlberg and Carl Hårleman. The military functions remained until 1968/1969. After that, the business was moved to the Muskö base and the old buildings were leased to museums, schools and cultural institutions.

In 1634, the so-called Admiralty College was formed when the naval staff moved out of the current Blasieholmen to Skeppsholmen, which became Stockholm ‘s naval base. Around the same time as the navy’s shipyard moved out to the island, the name was changed to the current Skeppsholmen. Skeppsholmen’s use as a shipyard and mooring place for the ships was partly due to the shipyard’s need for more space, but probably mainly because Queen Kristina (1626-1689) wanted beach areas visible from the castle not to look like construction sites, where Blasieholmen with extensive shipyard operations lay in the middle of the eye-catcher.

In connection with the war against Denmark in the years 1675-1679, the so-called Scanian War, it was decided that the naval base would move to the newly founded city of Karlskrona. The decision was mainly due to the fact that they wanted to guard the recently conquered southern parts of Sweden with a strong naval base in the immediate area. Skeppsholmen’s glory days as the navy’s headquarters for Sweden were thus over, but other military activities remained on Skeppsholmen for a long time. Some facilities were sold while others were rented out.

Still in the middle of the 19th century, a large number of new buildings were built for the Navy, such as the Crafts Barracks (1832), the Barracks Commander’s Residence (1849), the Ministry of Construction (1864), the Old Naval Academy (1879) and the Water Tower (1872).

Despite its limited space, Skeppsholmen has a long list of interesting buildings designed by many famous architects over several centuries. Most of the buildings have been designed by the Navy’s own architects such as Fredrik Blom (Riddarholmskyrkan, Amiralitetshuset, Hantverkskasernen) and Victor Ringheim (Båtmanskasernen, Byggnadsdepartementet, Sjökarteverket, Östra kanslihuset)

The architect for Bern’s salons, Johan Fredrik Åbom, designed the barracks commander’s residence and the oldest preserved buildings were created by the castle architect Nicodemus Tessin dy at the turn of the century 1700 (Östra och Västra boställshuset and Flottans Tyghus, where the East Asian Museum has its premises since 1963). The Spanish architect Rafael Moneo was responsible for the architecture of the newest building, he designed the Modern Museum, which was inaugurated in 1998.

The functionalist architect Paul Hedqvistwas hired in the early 1950s for the conversion of the Boatman Barracks to premises for the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. The curatorial store is unique in Stockholm because it is the only preserved monumental building by the city architect Johan Eberhard Carlberg. Even Carl Hårleman, one of his era’s most influential architects, was involved in the 1750s for a fundamental reconstruction of Raw Sailing house.

Due to the hostels in af Chapman and in the Crafts Barracks, Skeppsholmen attracts many young domestic and foreign visitors. Like Kastellholmen, the island has been managed since 1993 by the Swedish Property Agency, which has the task of preserving and developing the area for the future. Both islands are part of Ekoparken.

Some military functions remained on Skeppsholmen until 1968, but already earlier cultural institutions began to move into the old buildings. Among the first were parts of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts that took over the Boatman Barracks as early as 1953, followed by the Modern Museum which was inaugurated in 1958 in the exercise house and the East Asian Museum which opened in the early 1960s in the old fabric house. In 1998, the Modern Museum got a new building designed by the Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, which now also houses the Architecture and Design Center. Other cultural activities on the island are Teater Galeasen and Moderna Dansteaternin the old Ministry of Torpedo, a photo art gallery in the former Ministry of Remembrance and Svensk Form which is located in the Swedish Maritime Administration. Skeppsholmen’s rock chamber, which is located below Skeppsholm Church and the East Asian Museum, has been an exhibition space since 2010.

An annual event that has been recurring since 1980 is the Stockholm Jazz Festival, which takes place in July each year in the area of the old naval shipyard below the Modern Museum.

Skeppsholmen has been mainly associated by the public with the large full rig of Chapman, which has been moored on the southern shore of Holme since 1949 and functioned as a hostel. Together with the hostel in the adjacent Hantverkskasernen and all schools on the island, Skeppsholmen attracts many young people. Along Östra Brobänken’s wooden decked quay there are now about thirty private, older vessels moored, everything from old trawlers to lightships.

S/S Orion, former service vessel for the Pilotage Authority, built in 1929 and taken out of service in 1979, is now a museum vessel. S / S Orion has been k-marked since 2003 and is today moored approximately 50 meters northeast of the Skeppsholm Bridge. Those who are interested in old boats can look at about 40 older private ships located along the eastern and northern quays. Here you will find everything from trawlers to lightships and the smell of real wood tar hangs in the air.

Between the years 1997 and 2005, the Stockholm bridge Tre Kronor af Stockholm was built on Skeppsholmen. The bunk bed was laid next to the building Norra foundationet at Östra Brobänken and Stockholmers could see how the ship slowly grew and contribute money for the construction. In the Northern and Southern foundations, there is also Skeppsholmen Folk High School. The school, whose principal is the Skeppsholmsgården foundation, has room for 100 course participants and offers, among other things, music and boat building courses.

In connection with the State Property Agency having quays and diving valleys around Skeppsholmen repaired, an interesting ship find was made at Östra Brobänken in June 2017. The find consists of large wreckage, nails, dowels and utensils. According to an initial assessment, the relatively large remains of wood date from the early 17th century and may have belonged to a warship of up to 30 meters in length. Several of the occupied wooden poles have letters or signs engraved that marine archaeologists on site have so far been unable to decipher. The ship’s hull may have been laid on site to be used as part of a bridge bench.

Vasastaden
Vasastaden (informally Vasastan) is a district in Stockholm’s inner city and Norrmalm’s district area. Vasastaden is bounded on the west by Barnhusviken / Karlbergssjön, on the south by Tegnérgatan (north of Tegnérlunden), on the east by Birger Jarlsgatan – Roslagstull – Roslagsvägen and on the north by Brunnsviken and the municipal border with Solna (Norrtull – Norra Länken). It borders the districts of Norrmalm, Kungsholmen, Östermalm and Norra Djurgården and the municipality of Solna.

The area that came to be known as Vasastaden was for a long time part of the countryside. The Lindhagen plan established a street regulation of the area in 1866. Odengatan and Sveavägen were examples of streets that had ideas and plans to widen. At the end of the 19th century, Stockholm’s population grew sharply over a short period of three decades. This contributed to a large housing shortage in the city and more than 150 properties were built during the 1880s. Different areas emerged as time went on in Vasastaden, for example Sabbatsberg, Röda Bergen, Birkastaden, Rörstrand, Siberia and the Atlas area.

Vasagatan was named after the new bridge Vasabron, which in turn was inspired by Gustav Vasasstatue found at Riddarhuset. The name Vasastaden was a name for the northern parts of the city but mainly the area between Observatorium north and Sabbatsberg. Vasagatan was and still is a very central and important street that reached all the way down to the southern part of western Norrmalm. Vasagatan was the gateway to the new district that would later be called Vasastaden.

The middle class settle in Vasastaden, there were opportunities to build a lot because it was an undeveloped area and part of the countryside. The residential buildings had relatively small apartments because you would have room for several homes. The houses build the corners with a large dome or a patio tower. Most of the houses had plastered facades and were symmetrically built. The facades were often equipped with floor moldings that ended withcornices, pilasters and corner chains as well as different types of window frames on all the different floors of the houses. The property gates were provided with various sculptures and decors. The style that dominated other styles was the Neo-Renaissance.

Many of these facades have been altered or simplified over time while other properties have been preserved with the original details that existed when the house was built. There are still some streets that are strongly influenced by the 1880s and the apartment buildings that were going on in Stockholm during this time.

City Libraryis one of Vasastaden’s most famous buildings. The library was designed by the architect Gunnar Asplund and opened in 1928. The city library became a major highlight and an end to a neoclassical era in architecture. The library is built on geometric shapes and the cube that encloses the cylinder. The 24 meter high rotunda, the cylinder, in the core is surrounded by four lower and shorter rectangular properties. These are connected together with strings or wings. The city library has a simple façade, which was common in Nordic 1920s architecture. However, also inspired by the new antiquity. The outer walls are plastered over brick walls. The City Library’s main entrance is a large and mighty staircase down to Sveavägen. The staircase is a donkey staircase, which is characterized by long steps and is very wide. Below the library there are terraces with various shops below.The city library and its main hall hold over 40,000 different books.

Another famous building in Vasastaden is Gustaf Vasa Church which is located in the middle of Odenplan. Gustaf Vaasa Church was built when the parish Adolf Fredrik split in 1906. On June 10, 1906, the new church in Vasastaden was inaugurated. There were several different architects who were interested in designing Gustaf Vasa church. The person who eventually got to draw the church was Agi Lindegren who used to draw castles in ordinary cases. Lindegren had ideas for a church in Italian neo – baroque style, which it also eventually became. The huge dome, which is over 60 meters high, was considered very grand. Gustaf Vasa Church became and is one of the largest congregations in Stockholm.

Stockholm’s old Observatory was built by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1753. It is one of the few department buildings built during the Enlightenment that still exists today. Carl Hårleman was the person who was the architect of the Observatory. The activities carried out in the Observatory were mainly research in astronomy, geography and meteorology. Later, astronomy was moved to Saltsjöbaden in 1931 and the Observatory became a geographical institution..

Östermalm
Östermalm is a district in Stockholm’s inner city. Östermalm is associated with exclusive residential areas such as Strandvägen, Karlaplan, Villastaden, Lärkstaden and Diplomatstaden. Most of Östermalm is part of Östermalm’s district area, while a smaller part (at Roslagstull) belongs to Norrmalm’s district area.

Östermalm was formerly called Ladugårdslandet, which indicates that there were four royal barns: Medelby, Kaknäs, Unnanrör and Vädla. Of them, only the name Kaknäs survives. The first city plan for Östermalm, made in 1640, mainly included the streets around Östermalmstorg. At that time, Östermalm was a popular excursion destination and the farms were mostly used as summer places.

Over time, an increasing proportion of the area’s population became military. Ladugårdsgärdet became known as a poor and dirty district. In the middle of the 19th century, the district was extensively rebuilt, after which the number of wealthy people increased. The old name was thus considered inappropriate and in 1885 the new name Östermalm was adopted.

Östermalm east of Sturegatan is built according to a strict grid plan where wider east-west streets cross narrower streets going from south to north. In order for the plan to be followed, Tyskbagarbergen north of Karlavägen was blown away at the end of the 19th century. The grid is only interrupted by the esplanade Narvavägen and the circular Karlaplan.

Most of the buildings date from the period 1880-1930, but both older and newer buildings are interspersed among the turn-of-the-century houses. The houses are usually five storeys high and made with elegant facades in stone, plaster or brick. The most magnificent houses are found along Strandvägen, Narvavägen, Valhallavägen andKarlavägen. Behind the facades are usually relatively large apartments, often made with rich carpentry, furniture and stucco. The district was only moderately affected by the 1960s urban redevelopment.

Northeast of Karlaplan, the buildings are more modern and mainly function-inspired. Between Sturegatan and Engelbrektsgatan, Villastaden spreads out, where most of the houses are drawn from the street with courtyards, a remnant from the time during the 19th century when there were mainly villas in the area. West of Engelbrektsgatan, the terrain is more hilly, which has resulted in Lärkstaden’s irregular street network lined with national romantic residential buildings.

On southern Östermalm, also called Nedre Östermalm as it is closer to the water, are Hovstallet, Army Museum, Historical Museum, Dramaten, Performing Arts Museum and Diplomatstaden. Other important buildings in the city’s television and radio buildings, office complex Garrison, shopping center Fältöversten, Östermalms market hall, Sturegallerian, Fredrikshovsgatan Castles and Engelbrektskyrkan, Hedvig Eleonora Church, Oscarskyrkan and Gustaf Adolf Church.

During the 20th century, Östermalm has developed into an area that is often considered to have a high social status and which regularly has Sweden’s highest apartment prices. Many leading figures in business, administration and the entertainment industry live here.

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