January 3, 2015
1395 SWEDEN (Stockholm) - The old town hall in Sigtuna
Located not far to Stockholm, at the bay Skarven, Sigtuna is a locality with only approximately 8,500 inhabitants, but, although less significant today, it has an important place in Sweden's early history, because is the oldest inhabitat town in the country, founded in 980. It operated as a royal and commercial centre for some 250 years, and was one of the most important cities of Sweden. During a brief period at the end of the 10th and beginning of the 11th century, Sweden's first coins were minted here. St. Mary's Church, built in the 13th century by the Dominican order, still remains largely intact.
In 1187 Sigtuna was attacked and pillaged by raiders from across the Baltic Sea, possibly Karelians, Curonians and/or Oeselians. Sigtuna grew and prospered, but around the year 1300 it was surpassed in significance by Stockholm and Uppsala, and has remained a small town. According to a legend, it was once the Royal seat, but this can't be confirmed. In the late 19th century, it still only hosted about 600 people, and was the smallest town in Sweden. The town remained insignificant until the second half of the 20th century.
Many church and monastery ruins still stand, and the old town structure has not been remodeled, as happened in many Swedish cities during the 19th and 20th centuries, so Sigtuna has a picturesque medieval town centre with restaurants, cafes and small shops. The old church ruins, runic stones and Stora gatan, the old main street, are popular attractions for tourists especially in the summertime. The small streets with the low built wooden houses lead up to several handicrafts shops and the old tiny town hall, Sigtuna Rådhus (in the postcard), in nowadays used as a museum.
About the stamp
The stamp, depicting Baltic Hawker, is part of a series with insects,about which I wrote here.
Sigtuna - Wikipedia
Sender: Ona Frantz and Michael Haulică
Sent from Stockholm (Stockholm / Sweden), on 23.07.2014
Photo: Linus Hallgren