Nordreport (Northgate) Old Stockholm 1897 exhibition















GS97 includes images of an 3D-model of Nordreport (Nortgate). Can be downloaded from HERE.



The General Art- and Industrial-exhibition, was open at Djurgården in Stockholm, during some months in 1897. Forerunners had existed in 1823,1834,1840, 1844,1847,1851 and 1866. In lesser extent though. Most of them in days more of artisans and guilds. The first one was also named slöjdexposition (slöjd = handicraft).

In 1897 had the exhibition extended into more of amusements. Following foreign pattern, and with a lot of imagination, had some parts of the 16th century Stockholm been recreated. Built to last one summer though, in mainly timber, boards and plaster. It was probably the most appealing, for the great number of people. Basically a coulisse, but also with some interiors. No proper drawings was used. Today remains mostly photos. Some of them have been used to produce this 3D-model of Nordreport (Northgate). It was one of two ways into "Gamla (Old) Stockholm", from the artificial island Helgeandsholmen. The woodenbridge is not included in this model.

The following texts (here translated) comes from from a book which title match the name of the exhibition. Published 1897, author A. Hasselgren (see image below of my own copy). The book also includes a folded map or drawing, showing the whole exhibition area. This can be downloaded (1897.png). It is big enough in size (3339x2744) and resolution, so zooming in details and text (Swedish), will be no big problem.


There are two bridges to chose from, we take the right one, as our intention is to first visit the town (Old Stockholm), before we go to the kings castle. This bridge ends at Nordreport (Northgate). In the real old Stockholm, located at the present Mynttorget. It is defended by a drawbridge and three massive towers. Inside the gate a room for the guards, with an open fireplace. On both sides of Nordreport runs the city wall, with holes for defence. The walls and towers, gives such a solid and genuine impression, as if they have standing there for centuries. So you be almost surprised, when you knock on a wall, and hear the dull sound of wood behind the plaster.

From Nordreport enter we the town itself. In front a picturesque view of a street. This is Stadssmedjegatan (Townsmithystreet) that makes a curve up towards Storkyrkan (church), or Bykyrkan as it was called in older times. From the backside of Nordreport, by a stair, can the upper floor be reached. No entrance for visitors to the exhibition though, used as an barrack room for the guards.


And now to the castle! The entrance guarded by two grand lions, on their pedestals. Seemingly closely related to the ones at the present castle. When we past these beasts, we walk a bridge over the trench. Next comes the grand castle port with its massive vaults. A few more steps and we find our selfs at a tasteful and magnificent courtyard. Of course was this in real life somewhat bigger. But it feels both true to the period, and as a credible illusion. You may almost hear king Johan III and his courtiers coming down the stairs.

Lets make a visit inside. Only the western parts are open for the public, where a couple apartments have been fit up. We may have wished that a greater part was accessible, but the costs of such work would not be justified for one summer. At the entrance a stair leads to Trumpetargången (Passage of Trumpets), which we follows to the right. Soon thereafter a wide stair located closely to a small room. Inside there, a remarkable machine. It has a crank and massive ropes. First we thought of it as been used for torture, but was then told that it was for the grating, protecting the castles gate. Our ancestors had their tricks.

Back and up the stairs, and we reach a great tower room with vaults. Decorated with paintings both on walls and in ceiling. Peculiar are those with astronomical pictures on the latter. Close by is another apartment, which have a rather nice panelwork running along the walls. It also makes a splendid view, with its cieling, green tiled stowe and carved wooden doors. On the walls, paintings of the (up to then) three kings of dynasty Vasa. In a smaller room next door, an enormous open fireplace, which seems to be able to warm a whole family. The walls are here covered by tapestry, with motives from the bible. Some furnitures of value can be found in these rooms. Collected from different sources, for the exhibition.





©Jan Lindström 2023-2024