The King’s City 1527—1630

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A visit to the Russian merchant Petr Belous. Photo: Mattias Ek.

The small city is a hive of feverish activity as the armed forces equip themselves; tax collectors, soldiers, the mayor and Russian merchants offering their wares.

We visit the wealthy widow Bökman in her bed chamber. In fact, she is so rich that she can afford a ceramic stove. Meanwhile, Gustav Vasa seizes control of the Church and its wealth; monasteries are torn down and the monks disappear from the city’s streets.


Hush! The widow Bökman is sleeping. Photo: Mattias Ek.

On the outskirts of the city, an unknown individual buries their riches: two children will discover the treasure 350 years later. Some of this is displayed in the exhibition.

On Ryssgården, the same street we can see from the museum’s windows, a Russian merchant displays his wares. He has the right to do so here, although under stringent control. And should war break out, her may instead find himself in a Swedish jail.

We temporarily travel forward in time to 19 June 1759, the day on which fire breaks out at fishmonger’s premises on Besvärsbacken (now Brännkyrkagatan) in Södermalm. The fire spreads rapidly and three hundred house burn to the ground. As a result, the King decides that timber houses should be replaced by stone in order to reduce the risk of fire. We carefully extricate ourselves from the inferno.

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