When I walked from the subway station in the direction of Karatina Kyrka, or Katarina Church, I passed a modern mosque. Somehow, it underlined the development of this European nation: where many foreigners now populate this Scandinavian country, bringing with them religions not originally found here, Sweden once was battleground for wars between Vikings themselves. Actually, the hill on which Karatina Kyrkan is located, was the site of a massacre in 1520 during which king Christian II of Denmark slaughtered tens of prominent Swedes in the Stockholm Bloodbath, among them clergy and other defenceless people who opposed the Danish invasion - a betrayal of the promise of amnesty by the Danish king. Nowadays, it is hard to imagine wars between these countries, they once were arch enemies. To commemorate the brutal feat, a church was built on the hilltop, which I found after only a few minutes walk.
Karatina Kyrkan, or Church of Catherine, is surrounded by a small park. As it was November, the trees had all but shed their last leaves, the few remaining ones a bright yellow - but most leaves were already spread all over the grass and lanes of the park. The grey sky promised rain - but for the time being, it was still dry. Somehow, it provided an appropriate setting for visiting the cemetery. Actually, there is no organized cemetery as such - graves can be found in various parts of the park, mostly in the corners. The yellow autumn leaves proved a nice frame for the tombstones. At the far corner of the park, I noticed a beautiful gate with royal weapon.
When the rain finally started to come down, I entered the church proper. From the outside, it looks imposing and perfect - in fact, even though a first church was built here in the mid 17th century, it burnt down twice and was rebuilt in the 1990s, hence the new look. Inside, as is often the case in Lutheran Scandinavian churches, I found the interior to be quite bare. At the same time, there were various beautiful objects, like bronze bells, an enormous organ, and an ornate chandelier hanging down from the ceiling. After exiting the church, I looked for the grave of Anna Lindh, the former minister of Foreign Affairs who was murdered in 2003 and was laid to rest close to Karatina Kyrkan. Rain was still trickling down, but the trickle had subsided.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Katarina Kyrkan (). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Katarina Kyrkan.
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