Stockholm's Cathedral, the Storkyrkan or "Great Church", houses a remarkable sculpture dating to 1489 which depicts Saint George and the Dragon.
It shows a knight in gold armor slaying a dragon whose hind leg cleverly supports the weight of his rearing horse. It is a typical theme of the time, representing the triumph of good over evil, but many guides also claim it marks a victory over the Danes in 1471. The sculpture has been attributed to German artist Bernt Notke, and is the basis of his fame, although some art historians point to an Antwerp origin.
The statue, made of oak and elk horn and richly painted, hints at the priceless treasures swept away from many other medieval churches in the Reformation. This one was spared due to Sweden's more tolerant attitudes and its patriotic associations. A bronze copy of 1913 stands on Stockholm’s Köpmansbrinken plaza in Gamla Stan.
The Storkyrkan is the oldest church in Gamla Stan and parts are more than 600 years old. It is used for major national events, such as the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria in 2010.
The church’s plain Baroque exterior hides a glorious Gothic interior. Besides the statue of St George, you can also see a 17th century French baroque-style pulpit and the Vädersolstavlan (“Sun Dog Painting”) that is the oldest depiction of Stockholm in color. It shows an atmospheric phenomenon seen in 1535 when six “sun dogs” were seen over the city.
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