History of Bridges Interview of stockholmer teenagers : « I take bus-boat everyday »
This month, we are going to study the role of the water in Stockholm, and its impacts on the Stockholmer lives. Let’s remind us that Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden. With it 847 070 inhabitants, it is also the most populated area in Scandinavia. But the particularity of Stockholm, which is the main reason for its difference from many other cities in the world, is that it’s an archipelago constituted of 14 islands. The water occupies a very big place in Stockholm, and has an important role in the lives of the Stockolmers.
THE 50 BRIDGES IN STOCKHOLM To move along Stockholm, we can count more than 50 bridges which link the 14 islands. They are very present in Stockholm : the historical name for Stockholm Old Town was “Staden mellan broarna”(The city between the bridges).
A little point of History :
If you have a walk in the city, as all the Stockholmers, you’ll surely cross lots of bridges. As Isabelle, 18 years old, said, “Every morning, I have to cross four bridges to join my highschool”.
In a urban code dated 1350, King Magnus IV prescribed the bridges leading over Norrström and Söderström to be built and maintained by the city of Stockholm together with six other cities surrounding Lake Mälaren. But these first bridges were simple wooden bridges, and they were no more than a few meters high. In the 17th century, bridges were built in the north and south of Gamla stan, on Norrmalm and Södermalm, and at the end of the century, the number of bridges in Stockholm has grown considerably. In the 20th century, the bridges became more modern, safer, and they were made to let the boats pass under. But still today, if we are looking carefully, we can notice that some bridges are still old and are not tall enough, so that the boats can’t pass under.
The boats Stockholms-Visitors Board They offer excursions to visit the archipelago on boat, to join them : +46 (0)8-508 28 508 They offer touristic visits of the city : VisitSweden, Stortorget 24 SE-831 30 Ă–stersund, Sweden
Because of the water, boats are used a lot in the city : The tourists can discover the city on board of special boats that travel along Stockholm. Many organisms offer to the tourists circuits based on their interest to visit the city, and the archipelago in the suburbs, composed of 30 000 islands. (If you are interested, see on your left the addresses of some organisms).
But the use of the boats is not reserved for the tourists; the Stockholmers often use the boat, like they use metro and bus. They can use the same pass as the metro one. There are many stations so they can go to different places in the entire city. Even if during winter, the frequency is limited, Stockholmers use boats in their everyday life. We recommend you the agency City Discover if you want to discover the bridges by boat. The excusions last 2 hours and you pass under 15 bridges. Itâ€™s free for children under 10. More informations on +46794977564
The unusual things you can do in the archipelago of Stockholm SWIM Yes, it is possible to swim in the centre of the city! In town and surrounding area, there are many beaches where you can have sunbath. As Carl, 17 years old, says, “teenagers of Stockholm go to these beaches which are in downtown to spend good time swimming with friends very often during summer, even if the water is not very hot”. Långholmsbadet Strand, Rålambshovsbadet and Reimersholme count among the most popular beaches. Of course, they are only open in summer. If you want to swim quiet, you can still find a rock just for you, right in town!
SPORTS Even in winter, the presence of water offers many possibilities for the Stockholmers. Indeed, when the waters are iced, they can do many sports, like Ice skating and cross country skiing. Even hiking, on the ice, is done quite often by those who like field sports. NB : These sports on natural ice are very dangerous and require specific knowledge and equipment. If you want to practise them, you have to rent special equipment and follow an experimented guide. You can practise in the center or in one of the stages of the city, and to book a guide, you can call the organism of Kungsträdgården at +4686220431.
Alice, a Stockholm teenager met in Gamla Stan, also told that once, she went to school just walking on the ice of the lake that separated her house from her school !
THE ECONOMIC IMPACTS The presence of water offers to Stockholm very beautiful landscapes, which attract all the nature lovers. For this reason, Stockholm is a very touristic city, with 7 million tourists each year. It’s also a true source of inspiration for the photographers and painters. . In another way, the presence of water makes the Stockholmer buy summerhouses in Stockholm, in small islands far from the center. They buy houses to pass their holidays near beaches, in a peaceful suburb. For this reason, we can say again that the water plays a major role in the economy of Stockholm.
Interview of Lisa and Elisabeth, two young Stockolmers - In your everyday life, what is the place of water ? E: I cross bridges every day to get to school, and I live near a lake. -Do you take the bus-boat often ? L : -Yes,often in the holidays, and sometimes during the year. E : -No I don’t use it very often because I live in the center so I don’t need to. - Do you do something special on ice waters ? L : I sometimes walk on the ice, and my parents go skiing on the ice every week-end in winter. - And in summer, what do you do ? E : -We love to go to beaches with friends and swim ! Our favorite is Reimersholme.
Summerhouse in Vaxholm
Did you know it? The watercourses in Stockholm used to be used as refuse dumps and latrines, which caused the epidemic of cholera and many other diseases. In 1860, things started to change, and the water was purified with special plants. Today, the access to fresh water in Stockholm is excellent.