Sweden’s Forgotten Treasure
The walls are covered with over 18 million pieces of mosaics which are composed of either glass or gold and which were assembled by the artist Einar Forseth. That’s why you have an interior that gleams with an amber like color. A Byzantine style of mosaics is used to portray allegories of events and historical figures in Swedish history.
For instance, on the northern wall of the hall, you have the “Queen of Lake Maelaren”. It depicts Stockholm, figuratively represented as the Queen of Lake, being honored and courted by the East and the West. Strangely, the queen’s hair has a Medusa-like design.
The southern wall shows the Katarina Lift, a Stockholm Harbor, and the Riddarholmen Church.
The Katerina Lift is an elevator that connects the central part of the city to the heights of an island in Stockholm called Södermalm. Artists found it imperative to decorate the hall with its image since during its first month of operation in 1883, it transported approximately 1500 passengers. Nowadays, the lift is temporarily closed down. However, it is undergoing renovation to become operational again in 2019.
As for the depiction of a Harbor, it simply served as a reminder of how important the capital city’s natural ports were during the 17th century. Massive number of foreign visitors used to navigate the waters while passing through the harbors. Due to their strategic location, Stockholm had a fairly large trade territory.
The Riddarholmen Church mosaic assemblage, is a representation of a structure that still exists in the city. In the past, the church was used for the burial of Swedish Elites such as Gustavus Adolphus, Charles VIII, and Magnus III. However, since the congregation was dissolved in 1807, Riddarholmen Church has been used for commemorative purposes. Today it is run by the Royal Court and the Swedish government.
In addition to these three sites the image of the City Hall itself is assembled on the wall. After all, it is the building of the city’s Municipal Council which caters to a wide variety of purposes. Also, it symbolizes, in a way, Gustav Vasa’s (who was known as the Protector of the realm) arrival into the city on June 23.
Next to the other mosaic representations, Saint Erik riding a horse is illustrated. He was a king who consolidated Christianity during his time and helped it spread into Finland. However, there is something of great interest here. Due to an error in construction, his head cannot be seen when standing in the lower hall. One should go a floor upwards (to the roof) to see it. At the same time it has been thought that there was no mistake; it was done on purpose. The legend states that after attending a certain mass, he was attacked by rebels that injured him severally. After taunting him several times, they beheaded him. As such, researchers still struggle to find the real reason behind this unusual alignment of the mosaics
Also, you can find mosaics located at the fifth floor of a 106 meter high tower. Here are some pieces found in the town hall, as well as fragments of gold mosaic of the Golden Hall.
I hope you enjoyed this article about this country’s mosaic pieces.
Truly, they are an extension of beautiful Byzantine mosaic art.
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