Friday, May 11

Day 132: Historical Architecture

There is something comforting to me about centuries old, historical architecture. I don't quite know why but when I see old buildings made of roughly hewn stone, that someone most likely crafted by hand, carefully, arching doorways and curving towers with wind vanes perched atop in the shape of a rooster or a crown, I feel at home. Where I come from in the U.S. there aren't so many old, historic buildings and the ones that are still around are maybe one hundred years old versus thousands of years old. Walking around a city such as Stockholm I see so many buildings that were built as far back as the 1600's and 1700's. In fact, last fall the city did some repair work on our street and when they removed the top layer of asphalt an old cobblestone street was exposed about thirty centimeters below it. I watched over the course of several days as the workers merely removed the stones and discarded them. I was appalled. So one day I asked one of the workers if I could take one of the old cobblestones. He chuckled but said yes so I grabbed it and walked home as quickly as I could before he could change his mind.

Later I did a little research and found that the cobblestone street was built the late nineteenth, early twentieth century, dating it around the early 1900's. Still pretty impressive if you ask me. I don't understand why the city decided to cover this beautiful piece of history with an ugly layer of asphalt but apparently the noise level from driving on cobblestone streets is bothersome and our street, Hornsgatan, has a heavy, traffic flow. Thanks to the street work however we now have a piece of Stockholm's history preserved in our living room.

On the way to my doctor's appointment today I debated whether or not to get off the bus and walk. It was really beautiful and warm out but I was nervous that the forecasted, downpour would start any minute. The sky was black and angry to the north of me and it appeared to be approaching quickly. I finally decided to chance it and got off of the bus a few stops early and walked from there, constantly checking the status of the approaching doom. Rain was forecasted with a seventy percent chance starting at two p.m. and it was now two thirty.

Turns out I got off the bus at the perfect stop. The older neighborhood that I ended up walking through appeared to have been built in a different era. The surrounding neighborhoods mainly consisted of newer, more modern buildings so it was refreshing to find this hidden pocket of history. By the time it dawned on me to take a photo I was nearly out of the neighborhood but I did manage to capture this lovely, arched doorway. Obviously they preserved the older part of the building but installed in it a more modern, wooden door and brass handle.

I really love to see historical architecture preserved and taken care of. It makes me happy and helps to remind me of the fact that I am just a small part of the greater history of the world. 

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