Stortorget Square is located in Gamla Stan and is the oldest square in Stockholm. It has a long and interesting history, and it is also a very popular place for hungry tourists and Stockholmers alike thanks to the many restaurants and enticing terraces to be found here.

    Several of the buildings which currently sit around the square date back to the Middle Ages even if their visible facades are often somewhat younger. The south-east end of the square is home to a popular café and patisserie run by local charity Stockholm City Mission (Stockholms Stadsmission). The building is known as Grillska Huset as it was owned for many years by the super-rich merchant family, the Grills.

    The new Stock Exchange Building (Börshuset) was inaugurated in 1776. It was originally a commodities exchange but in 1863 it was expanded to become a fully blown stock exchange. Ever since 1786, its upper floor has also housed the Swedish Academy and Nobel Library and from 2001 onwards it has been the site of the Nobel Prize Museum as well.

    Stortorget Square in Stockholm - one of the highlights of 10 Best Things to Do in Stockholm and 13 Best Christmas Markets in Europe (Read all about Stockholm here)

    What are the highlights of Stortorget Square?

    One of the biggest attractions on the square is the Nobel Prize Museum. The museum houses exhibitions and puts on programs, lectures and talks all related to Nobel Prize categories such as peace, literature and science. You'll also be able to learn more about Alfred Nobel and previous prize winners on a guided tour. The museum is also home to a research library.

    The Stortorget Christmas Market is a firm favourite in the month of December. This traditional market has a long history stretching back to the Middle Ages, although over the years it has both changed location and gone on hiatuses. The market has been held annually at Stortorget ever since 1915. It is a popular event which attracts vendors from all over Sweden, who come back year after year to sell their handicrafts, traditional sausages and mulled wine (or glögg as the Swedish variation is known) from the class and comfort of their traditional red wooden stalls. The square also boasts a number of restaurants including the distinguished Stortorgskällaren, which occupies a 500-year-old wine cellar.

    The history of Stortorget Square

    The square likely began to take shape towards the end of the 1100s or the beginning of the 1200s, around the time when the city was first settled. It was initially a market square full of wooden stalls, and in many respects it was the most important place in the city up until the year 1523. Besides all the trade that went on, it was also the site of one of the city's most important wells. Also on the square was Rådstugan, an old town hall and prison from which laws and decrees were proclaimed.

    Residents of the square were among the richest and most powerful in the city. All of these factors combined to make the square the city's commercial and financial centre until 1682, when a Central Bank Building was erected on Järntorget Square. The significance of Stortorget Square as a marketplace diminished gradually over time as more and more squares were built and from 1849, only milk was allowed to be sold there. Today, the annual Christmas Market recalls a time when the square was the commercial fulcrum of the entire city. The square was also the location of the gruesome and infamous Stockholm Bloodbath of 1520.

    Good to know about Stortorget Square

    Just outside the Stock Exchange Building (Börshuset) sits a well-known landmark, the Stortorget Well (Stortorgsbrunnen), made from sandstone and cast iron. The current well dates back to 1778 but there has been a well located at the square ever since the Middle Ages. The water which comes from the well is exceptionally pure and a great thirst-quencher on those warm summer days.

    On the western side of the square lies some of its most photographed buildings, Schantzska House and Seyfridtzska House. These tall, narrow buildings were designed in a German-Dutch Renaissance style and are exceptionally well-preserved both inside and out. You can also grab a bite to eat in one of their cellars which, just as tradition dictates, are designated for hospitality.

    Given its location in Gamla Stan, Stortorget Square is easy to reach either by foot or by bicycle. Parking is not permitted on any of the roads or pedestrian streets of Gamla Stan. If you want to come down by public transport, get off at Riddarhustorget which is a 5-minute walk from the square.

    Stortorget Square in Stockholm

    Lokalizacja: Stortorget, 111 29 Stockholm, Sweden

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