City of Commerce 1720—1860

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Sit down at home at Josabeth Sjöberg on Södermalm. Photo: Mattias Ek.

We visit the gilded city where merchants become wealthy while ordinary people live out their brief allotted time.

The city is filthy and overcrowded and clean water is a scarce resource. Rainwater belongs to the homeowner and may be dispensed as a fringe benefit to employees. The average lifespan is 35 years, shorter than for those living in the countryside.

From the comfort of his home, wealthy merchant Schwan can gaze out over Skeppsbron where tightly moored merchant ships are being loaded and unloaded.

Look in through the window. Here sits Schwan in his dressing gown dealing with his correspondence.

The theatre is a popular form of entertainment and one of the few places where people of different social classes can meet.


Here, you too enter on stage alongside two of the greatest performers of the age, Emilie Högqvist and Jenny Lind.

Uppdaterad