July 13, 2015

0526, 1739 SWEDEN (Uppsala) - Uppsala Cathedral

0526 Uppsala Cathedral

Posted 25.02.2013, 13.07.2015
Situated at 67 km north of Stockholm, on a fertile flatland, Uppsala is better known for its university, the oldest centre of higher education in Scandinavia and one of the most prestigious institutions of this kind in Europe. But only few know that Uppsala was also the main pagan centre of Sweden, and since 1164 it became the ecclesiastical centre of the country. It was originally located a few kilometres to the north, at a location now known as Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala), today's Uppsala being then called Östra Aros.

1739 Gustav Vasa's sepulcre in Upssala Cathedral

In 1274, Östra Aros overtook Gamla Uppsala as the main regional centre, and when the cathedral of Gamla Uppsala burnt down, the archbishopric was moved to Östra Aros, where was erected the impressive Uppsala Cathedral, one of the largest in northern Europe. Inaugurated in 1435, this Gothic church was of course Roman Catholic (dedicated to Saint Lawrence, highly cherished in Sweden, to Saint Eric, the patron of Sweden, and to Saint Olaf, the patron of Norway), but since the Protestant Reformation, it has been controlled by the Lutheran Church of Sweden.

Between 1885 and 1893 the architect Helgo Zettervall oversaw the restoration of the cathedral, intending a French Gothic revival appearance, popular in the late 19th century. It was the coronation church for many of Sweden's kings and queens, until the end of the 17th century, and also a number of kings and notable people were buried there, as Eric the Saint, King Gustav Vasa (1498-1560) and his three wives, John III and his wife, or the world-renowned botanist Carolus Linnaeus.

The cathedral's largest chapel, the Vasa Chapel, was originally known as the Chapel of the Virgin Mary. It later became a burial monument for Gustav Vasa and his family. Completed in 1583, it is decorated with the national arms of Sweden as well as with some of the oldest known Swedish and Finnish coats of arms. The biggest bell in Sweden, Thornan (taken from Toruń, Poland), hangs in the northern tower of the cathedral, replacing the bells destroyed in the fire of 1702.

In the same tower there is the Treasury, a museum with one of the world's finest collections of medieval textiles, Queen Christina's golden chalice and King Gustav Vasa's funeral regalia. The world's only preserved medieval ball gown (dating to the early 1400s) can be seen there, as also the clothes of the three victims of the Sture murders (1567). During the renovation work carried out in the 1970s, many of the medieval frescoes which had been whitewashed over after the Reformation were uncovered and restored.

About the stamps

Sweden Post has issued summer stamps for many years, and the theme for 2011 was the ice cream. The stamps on the postcard are part of this series, consists of five stamps designed by Eva Liljefors and Paul Kuhlhorn, which were issued on May 12, 2011.

Uppsala - Wikipedia
Uppsala Cathedral - Wikipedia
Uppsala Cathedral - Cathedral's website

Sender 0526, 1739: Ona Frantz and Michael Haulică
Sent from Uppsala (Uppsala / Sweden), on 02.08.2012
Photo 0526: N. Almesjő (Uppsalafoto.se) 
Photo 1739: Anders Damberg

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