History of the Churches in Stockholm City

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General History


1200 - 1300

There was a village church called Nicolai (built around 1250) that was built on to several times and is now known as Storkyrkan (Stockholm Cathedral). There were rows of chapels around the main nave that had their own priests who were supported by private individuals or various guilds. In addition to the most important chapels, Själakorset and Helga lekamen, there were at the end of the Middle Ages about 30 chapels or altars in the Stockholm area.

On Magnus III´s initiative, the Franciscans (the Gray Friars) built an abbey on Riddarholmen, of which the church is still standing. The establishment for the nuns under the Poor Lady of Clare´s (the Franciscan Order's female branch), built in the 1280´s, also on the initiative of Magnus Eriksson, was situated slightly south of Klara kyrka (The Church of Saint Clare), which was rebuilt during the reign of Johan III.

1301 - 1400

In 1336 Magnus Eriksson bestowed a plot of land in the southern part of the city on the Dominicans (the Black Friars), together with funds to build the abbey that was consecrated in 1344. The church is no longer there, and only a few basement ruins remain of the monastery that was situated above Järntorget. It is this abbey that gave its name to the street Svartmannagatan, which used to lead down to the abbey.

1401 - 1500

1501 - 1600

The Knightly Order of Saint John, in actual fact a branch of the main abbey in Eskilstuna, settled in the 1330's on the northwestern part of Helgeandsholmen. Due to defense logistics, they relocated to an empty plot between present day Johannesgränd and Pelikansgränd, where they in 1514 consecrated S:t Johannes kyrka (The Chapel of St. John), which was demolished after the reformation.

S:t Görans spetälskekoloni (The Leprosy Colony of St. George) also had a chapel.

In 1558, Gustav Vasa gave the Germans in Stockholm the right to hold their own church services. In 1571 they were given permission to build their own church and set up a cemetery. They and Finska församlingen (the Finnish Church) shared the guild hall of S:ta Gertrud (The Church of Saint Gertrude), a church from the Middle Ages, until 1607.

Finska församlingen was established in 1533 and was given worship premises in Svartbrödraklostret (The Abbey of the Black Friars). After the abbey was demolished in 1547, services were held in various places. The City Archives has published a DVD titled Finnar i Stadsarkivet (Finns in the City Archives).

During the reign of King Johan III (1537-92) Klara kyrka (The Church of Saint Clare) was the first one to be constructed in 1577-90, followed by Jakobs kyrka (The Church of Saint Jacob) in 1588-92. Construction started for Maria Magdalenas kyrka (The Church of Saint Mary Magdalene) in 1588.

1601 - 1700

The population of Stockholm in 1630 is estimated to have been 9,000 maximum. Stockholm became independent in 1634 under a Governor. At that time the city districts (malms) lacked proper street systems and structured settlements. The earliest dates for birth, marriage or death records in preserved parish registers are listed in the first column below and the second column refers to the first year for household examination rolls.

In 1656, Katarina kyrka (The Church of Catherine) was built. The parish was founded in 1654 when the parish of Maria Magdalena was split. Kungsholmen’s Parish was originally a part of Solna Parish, but became its own in 1671. Klara Parish originally covered all of Norrmalm, but was in 1643 divided up into Jakob and Klara Parishes. In 1671 Kungsholmen was separated out. Svea livgardet (Guards) originated out of Gustav Vasa’s guards. In 1655 the guards were organized with both cavalry and footmen. The guards were lost at the battle of Poltava on June 28, 1709, but were reinstated by and by. During the Middle Ages, abbeys and chapels were used as care centers for needy children. In 1633, Barnhuset, a public care institution for poor father- and motherless children was established.

Parish Earliest Birth, Marriage or Death Husförhör Begins
Sankt Nikolai 1546 1667
Riddarholmen 1636 1689
Sankt Gertrud (German) 1639 --
Jakob 1643 1672
Johannes (removed from Jacob) 1643 1672
Hovförsamlingen 1648 1692
Katarina 1654 1707
Finska [Finnish] 1664 1783
Hedvig Eleonora 1668 1730
Kungsholmen 1672 1689
Maria (Magdalena) 1678 1737
Klara 1680 1787
Fransk-Lutherska [French Lutheran] 1690 --
Holländska [Dutch] 1693 --
Svea Livgardes södra bataljon 1694 1735
Svea Livgardets norra bataljon 1697 1772
Barnhuset 1697 1753

1701 - 1800

1801 - 1900

1901 - 2000