Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Brace yourselves for some pictures.  The day we met Gunda, we also went to a small, touristy town called Karlshamn.  It kind of reminded me of a Swedish version of Camden, Maine. Obviously, I had to document every inch of it. 

Many Swedes from this area (including my relatives) emigrated to America in the early 1900s.  The statue pictured (above and below) shows Karl-Oskar and Kristina, two fictional characters from The Emigrants novels written by Vilhelm Moberg about Swedes emigrating to America.  As depicted in the statue, Karl-Oskar welcomed the move to America, while Kristina was always looking back to her homeland. 

The above house is an old fisherman's home from the 1700s or 1800s.  It is typical of the houses that were originally built in the area and (I believe) is now part of a museum.

This residential street in Karlshamn was especially beautiful.

Above is the main shopping street in Karlshamn and below are some pictures of storefront details that I found especially appealing. 

After strolling through the shopping area, we entered the church in Karlshamn.  I learned here that my name means Christening in Swedish.  There were all of these pamphlets that just said, "Kristen," on the front.  I never realized I was so religious! What I loved most about this church was how light and airy it felt.  It almost felt like a whitewashed church, except obviously it was much more ornate than images you might conjure of a whitewashed summer house.

Above: every time a child is born in Karlshamn a new fish goes up on the painting above.  Each year the string is cleared so new babies can be welcomed into the community.  When I showed Dan this picture, he wondered why some of the fish were not attached to the line.  Good question, I don't know the answer to that. Also, I was surprised by how many fish were on the painting.  Karlshamn has a small year-round population and I read everywhere that the vast majority of Swedes are not religious.

This model depicts what Karlshamn looked like in the early 1700s.  Around the edges of the model were little plaques explaining who lived in each house and how many people lived there.  In the far right corner, there is only a foundation, because in 1678 a fire burned the structure to the ground.

I found it shocking that people are buried under the church floor.  Of course, you had to have been an important person in the town to get such a primo burial plot, but still.  It just surprised me that people regularly walk over the buried.

That's it for Karlshamn.  Thanks for bearing with me!