Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Northern Cemetery

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Certainly no Woodland Cemetery, but in parts absolutely beautiful and very impressive in its very own way - the Northern Cemetery. Situated, perhaps as an always present reminder of our mortality, just below one of Stockholm's major hospitals, Karolinska University Hospital.

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The cemetery was inaugurated in the beginning of the 19th century, and there are quite a few wellknown Swedes been laid to the last rest there. To name but a few; lovely actress Ingrid Bergman, film director Victor Sjöström and Alfred Nobel, the founder of the Nobel Prize.

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The cemetery is also situated just beside one of Stockholm's major approaching highways as well as being seen from the c-train when approaching the city. Oh, I've been meaning to visit the place for many years, but as often is the case one has a tendency to postpone visiting, doing all sorts of things that are fairly easy accessible. Seeing, talking to people that will always be around. But of course there's no such thing as always in this frail existence called life...

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But then, finally I did have the opportunity to wander around this vast stretching graveyard the other week. It was a crisp winter day with a faint sun, and yet it felt like spring with all the tiny birds happily chirping of a brighter season to come. It was such a lovely walk, with time for both memories, contemplating life and death. Discovering withered beauty everywhere, as well as *rather* distasteful signs of pompous and quite misplaced superiority feelings.

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Exploring a place of unusal monuments, sculptures, tombs as well as more than eerie places of morning. And in midst of all this, suddenly four shy deers ran over the path just a few metres in front of us, disappearing just as fleetingly as they had appeared. Alas I was too slow with the camera, only got a very blurry capture of that magical encounter in what is actually somewhat in the middle of quite a busy city.

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Dispiriting though, was the fact that some of the newer parts of the cemetery showed appalling signs of anything but the pleasingly aesthetic and special ambiance that most parts of the cemetery have. Such a pity, and where's the Beauty Council when Stockholm is in dire need of it...?

Other than that, it's a place well worth a visit for many reasons, and I've also heard of guided tours which I'm definitely going to take one of these days. Since there isn't such a thing as always, I'm planning for it in not such a far future...

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2 comments:

Per Stromsjo said...

Never been there, thanks for reminding us.

Pia K said...

go, more than well worth a visit, per.

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