The little church at Dalarö was closed the last time we visited, just before Christmas. Mirinda had read somewhere that it was going to be open to visitors today. I was given the task of finding out if this was true. On the church website, the calendar claimed it was going to be open from 12:00-14:00. Mirinda took the girls for a walk around the block then we set off.
And, the church was open.
We were warmly greeted by the lady who looks after it. She wasn’t sure of the English word for her title, so we all agreed that she was The Guardian. There was another lady there as well who helped with Swedish to English when The Guardian became stuck for a word.
The original church was built in 1652 while the current building was constructed in 1787. The whole place had a bit of a restoration job done on it in 1936. Simple and beautiful is how I’d describe it.
Back in 1719, the Russians burned down a lot of Dalarö during the Great Pillage. It seems that, while they destroyed whole towns and villages, and killed lots of people along the coast, the Russians were a bit superstitious and left the churches and chapels standing.
I do wonder about people who fear an invisible god’s wrathe at burning down one of his houses but not the fact that they’ve just slaughtered a whole bunch of his children. Seems a bit cock-eyed to me.
Still, that was 1719 and the Swedish people were desperately waiting for the British to come and help. For whatever reason, the Brits didn’t want to and so the Swedes saved themselves. There’s a lesson there for so many conflicts going on in the world.
But, as I said, the church at Dalarö survived and, in 1787 was rebuilt to a large extent. Originally, Carl Christian Gylderner had donated a massive amount with the express instruction that the money should be used to build a new church. The people who decide these things thought not to follow Carl’s wishes (given he was dead, and they didn’t care) and, instead, did a massive refurb of the original building.
Inside, the church is just gorgeous. Warm and welcoming and delightfully decorated.
Along the edge of the gallery, there’s a series of six paintings depicting various scenes from the history of the church and Dalarö. In the photo above, the painting to the right of centre depicts the burning of the town. In the middle distance of the painting, you can clearly see the detached belfry and to the right of the belfry is the little white chapel. Unscathed.
Here’s a cropped, zoomed in, close up of the painting from the photo above:
There’s also two votive ships in the church. One is Swedish while the other is Danish. Both models are of ships which were wrecked off the coast. According to the brochure from the church, the Swedish model is of the Göteborg, and was made in 1652. The Danish ship model is the Josefina wrecked in 1887.
I have been unable to verify either claim. But the models are beautifully made.
Also, according to the brochure, one of the five survivors of the Josefina wreck was Carl Holmberg who built the model, donated it to the church and served as the harbour pilot, dedicating his life to protecting other ships. What a guy.
It was a lovely outing for my nearly healed foot, so much so that we ventured up the hill for some soup at the café.
The drive home was uneventful but, having reached home, it was obvious the soup had had potato in it as we both crashed in a carby induced stupor for a couple of hours.
Having recovered, and given my new mobility, we headed to Toscanini’s for dinner.
We were greeted like old friends by the main guy. He told us that it was difficult with the new restrictions, but they were fighting! I have to say, it was the most full I’ve seen it, so maybe the fighting is going well. I hope so.
Dinner, as usual, was superb.