Charles A. (Charles Allen) Sumner.

Notes of travel in northern Europe online

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Copyrighted, 1885,















From London to Gothenburg n

First Objects of Observation ig


Public Institutions 29

The Gotha Canal. — Trolhattan 37

Trolhattan to Venersborg 53


Venersborg to Stockholm 62


Stockholm to Stromsholm Castle 7q

Monktorp to Kolbeck 87


In the Kolbeck Parish loi


The Stromsholm Vardshus Family and Neighbors 113

Stromsholm to Vestanfors 122

At Smedjbacken 134



Delecarlia. — Smedjbacken to Leksand 141

Leksand to Mora 152

At Mora and Utmeland 166

From Mora to Falun 182

At Falun ; and thence to Westeras 190

A Week at Westeras 203

To and in Upsala : 218

At Stockholm 236

King and People 260


From Stockholm to Malmo 274

Copenhagen 298

From Copenhagen to Stettin 310

A Glance at Berlin 316

Berlin to'Dover. A few Notes at Dresden, Cologne, and Paris. 331

List of Illustrations.

♦ ■» ♦- — —


Harbor of Gothenburg. Frontispiece

Steamship "Alaska" 12

Hotel Christiania iq

The Bourse and Ostra Street, Gothenburg 24

Statue of Gustavus Adolphus 26

Mauritz Rubcnson, President of Board of Practical Education. 40

Sidney W. Cooper, U. S. Consul to Gothenburg 45

Canal Locks, near Trolhattan 48

Trolhattan Falls 54

Venersborg 5g

Vadstena Castle 71

Gotha Canal, near Borenshult 73

Brunneby 74

Cloister Church 75

Soderkoping 76

Grave of Baron von Platen 76

Mem 77

Horningsholm 78

Strengnas Cathedral 80

Stromsholm Castle 81

Charles IX. Statue 84

Landlady of Vardshus 121

Skansen Locks 126

Leksand Church 14^

Mora 153

Cottage Scene in Delecarlia 157



Mora-Kulla 162

Gustavus Wasa's Concealment 173

Monument of Gustavus Wasa 177

Rattvik Church 181

Ornas 189

Falun. — View of Market, Cathedral, and Copper Hill Range. . . . 191

B. V. Norstedt I93

The Stoten Abyss 195

Map of Southern Sweden 202

A. P. Erickson, Keeper of Westeras Castle 205

Interior of Westeras Cathedral 208

Statue of Gustavus Wasa 216

Skokloster 221

General View of Upsala Castle and Cathedral 223

Upsala Cathedral 227

Upsala University Library 232

New University Building, Upsala 233

View of Hasselbacken, Stockholm 246

English Church, Stockholm 250

The Royal Palace, Stockholm 252

Riddarholmen Church, Stockholm 255

Interior of Jacob Church, Stockholm 256

King's Theatre, Stockholm 258

National Museum, Stockholm 259

Gustaf Adolph Square, Stockholm 265

Bird's-eye View of Stockholm 269

Norrk oping Public School 275

Linkoping Cathedral 277

Prof. Victor Hugo Wickstrom, of Lund 279

Lund Cathedral 280

Crypt of Lund Cathedral 282

New University Hall, Lund 283

Malmo Castle 286

Malmo City Hall 287

St. Peter's Church, Malmo 289

Kockumska Hus 290

Flat and Side View of Swedish Bread 292



Costumes in Skane 294

Our Malmo Entertainers 297

Map of North Germany 299

Plan cf Copenhagen 303

Stettin 315

KaiserhofT, Berlin ; 318

Royal Palace, Berlin 327

Berlin and Vicinity 329

Central Portion of Dresden 333

Bruhl Terrace 336

Helbig's Restaurant. 337

Ths Belvedere 338

Old Bridge and Cathedral, Dresden 340

Grosse Gardens, Palace, and Lake 344

Royal Museum and Theatre 351

Zvvingcr Court-yard 352

Rev. H. R. Haweis 355

Great Choir and High Altar, Cologne Cathedral 359

Main Aisle of Cologne Cathedral 361

Arcii of Triumph 364

Tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte 366

Palais Royal, Paris 368

Grand Opera House, Paris 369

Grand Stairway of Opera House, Paris 371

The Seven Bridges of Paris 373

Steamship "City of Berlin" 381

Cliffs of Dover 382






Thursday, the 21st of June, was a foggy, drizzly day, in
London; such a day as Englishmen appear to delight in
calling "nasty." The walking in the streets where the mud
was about the composition of the inside of an average loaf
of London baker's bread was declared to be "beastly."
[You must not say that you have been or are liable to be
seasick; you must not employ that term when speaking in
"society" in the metropolis; you must or may admit that
you are not a good traveler; but "nasty" and "beastly"
are words frequently used by ladies and gentlemen in con-
versation at a fashionable dinner-party. The former is pro-
nounced with a breadth of accent on the "a" that is of itself
at first almost medicinal to a stranger from Yankeeland.]

We are glad to get on board the Belle at G o'clock at
night — out of the rain. And such a long carriage-ride as it
is from Eussell Square to the steamer-landing; no end of
streets, and ever-changing variety of trades and inhabitants.
The incomprehensible immensity of this tremendous city
again fairly oppresses ais.

The Gothenburg steamer starts from Mill wall Docks,
London, at 1 o'clock in the morning. You are requested to
be on board not later than 9 o'clock, the evening before
sailing. And we found that most of the passengers were
at the suppei'-table, which was spread at 8 p. m




The J^elle, Captain C. A. Petterson, is of 1400 toDS register
and a thousand-horsepower, capable of maldng 300 miles a
day in g'ood weather. Wiiat further is to be joroperly re-
corded in this connection should be the fact that the vessel
is very neat, and the food most excellent in material and
cooking", and the service "all that conld be desired." We
coiild not refrain from mutual confessions of a sense of
"cramped conditions,"' — though in no manner or degree
complaining — after oiu' accommodations on the mammoth


You have a suggestion of Swedish proximity before the
supper-bell rings; you are invited to help j'ourself at the
side-shelf or smorgersbord, on which is spread a plentiful
supply of bread and cheese, and cold fish and cold meats,
cooked or cured in various forms. Admonished by the ex-
perience which Du Chaillu so vividh' describes, I tasted
with great caution, lest I should bite a morsel that re-
quired an educated appetite before it became entirely pal-
atable. But I found everything not only eatable on first
acquaintance, l.^ut decidedly delicious. O, what a blessed


cliange from the pasty bread and unsavory meats of tbe
London restaurant! I do believe that the true genealogy
of the New-England kitchen, as I knew it in my boyhood, is
to be traced not to our Plymouth forefathers' hearths, but
to the ovens of the Scandinavians, who, in a still somewhat
undetermined century preceded the Mayflower immigration
to the coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Precisely
how this happened can not be told : but there are strong
grounds — such as are called in philology "inherent" — for
this sincere conviction or faith.

We are welcomed by the Captain himself, saluting in his
native tongue, and then speaking in that charming broken
English for which his kinsmen — and more especially his
kinswomen — are renowned. And when he learns that we
are from California, he comes again to us from the fore-
hatch, where he had been Avatching the stevedores load his
vessel, and talks rapidly and earnestly with us about "the
land of gold," and incpiires respecting his people there.

He says he never had any inclination to quit his native
land for good. In fact, he never leaves her shores without
a pang of regret. He has mingled with the inhabitants of
many nations; gone among them in their own homes as
well as in their places of domestic trade. He has seen
nowhere that mutual love and affection that is always to be
observed, he says — and he utters this in a very pleasant,
kindly way — in his dear old Sweden. He thinks that it is
well, — in truth, he knows that it is well — that multitudes
should leave Sweden to settle in America; and he rejoices
that there is such a country for them to go to, — under the
circumstances. But he alwaj-s looks with pity upon the
poor emigrants, who must go far, far away from their be-
loved kingdom. All this he says without ostentation or tlie
slightest sign of affectation. He means what he says; and
he does not intend to offensively disparage any other
country. His frank, straightforward manner of speech, and
his entire freedom in it are delightful, to the point even of
being deserving of the title of charming.

In his intercourse with his officers and men and the pas-


sengers, throughout the voyage, he endears himself to us
all ; and as we came in sight of land the last day out, his
"guests," as he called them, caught each other halfway in
expressions of regret on account of our separation from
such a master — "Just what I was going to say." If you
should ever chance to make this trip, my dear reader, I
advise you to seek a passage on the new ship that is being
built under the orders of this model and "popular com-
mander." His new and larger boat will be ready in October,

At two o'clock Friday morning we are aroused by the
noise of departure. Looking out of the cabin-window we
appear to be sailing down the center of a street. We are, in
fact, passing through the basin that connects Millwall Docks
with the Thames. At six o'clock we are at the mouth of the
great river. We pass close alongside of two wrecks "of
recent manufacture" as one of the sailors explained; and
a steamer with a shifted cargo, signaling for a pilot, is seen
as we turn the corner of the British Kingdom, and begin
moving uji in the direction of Y:;rmouth. But we are not
going to hug the shore so far up as the home of Peggotty
and little Em"ly. O, for even a brief telescoi^ic squint at
the veritable fishing-grounds of Ham and his guardian.

The offing is crowded with sail: we counted thirteen steam-
ers with the prows pointed toward London; and the brigs
and schooners are literally uncountable. Nor does the clus-
ter thin out rapidly; but up from the vasty deep new incom-
ers seem to rise, for some time after we had "northered," al-
most as fast as the score of crafts we met at the mouth of
the river descended from our sight. We were disappointed
in not meeting as many vessels as we expected to see near
Liverpool : contrariwise, we are content on this side of John
Bulls dominions. It is a busy part of the Earth's surface:
these waters are daily vexed at every angle.

The sea is not rough at the beginning of the voyage, and
it grows more calm and smooth as we approach the Swedish
harbor. All proved to be "good travelers" on this trijD.
There is a party of four Englishmen and Scotchmen on


board, under care of a professional guide, J. G. Bergquist,
who are "})rogrammed" for Norway and Sweden, and perhaps
a part of Russia. They go from Gothenburg to Christiana,

"and so."

"So," simple "so," declaratively and inteiTogatively, is a
favorite expression witli the Swedish population hereal)outs,
for '-That is so," and '-Is that soT' At first I imaginedthat
it implied incredulity. Not so. "So," solus, may, with a
heavy emphasis or sharp rising inflection, indicate great sur-
prise at your words, but has no signification of disbehef.
At times it appears to convey, and I am confident it does
mean, hearty satisfaction and profound gladness on account
of that undoubted statement which you are making— about
America, for instance — to your Scandinavian friend.

We hugged the English coast up as far as the line of
Harwich, when we turned and pointed for the northern cliffs
of Denmark. As the land fades out of sight I count the
sail within our horizon, and find that we have the goodly
company of twenty-three vessels. Although the sea is smooth,
and it is not an uncomfortable occupation to simply sit on
the bridge-deck and watch the motion of the boat, and listen
to such bits of conversation as drift toward you, we feel
anxious to get a closer acquaintance with some of our
fellow-passengers, — knowing that that can not be a difficult
task if we once set aggressively about it.

We have for one of our companions a gentleman of about
60 years of age, whose benevolent countenance would be a
passport into cheerfully inclined company anywhere. He
opens communication with the youngest-member of our do-
mestic circle, and at once establishes relations of a most
cordial character. It transpires that he is a Scjtchman, — a
practical mechanical engineer. His card shows us the name
of J. Jackson, of 27 Walbrook, London. He very shortly im-
proves the occasion to announce himself an uncompromising
Liberal, an ardent admirer of Gladstone and John Bright,
and a missionary for free trade. He can quote at length from
Bright's recent speeches at Birmingham, and is never tked


of speaking of Gladstone as a -wonderful man, a wonderful
man, a wonderful man.

He asked me about the general feeling in America on the
Irish land question ; and when I assured him that the large
majority of our people deeply sympathize with the peasants,
he said with vehemence that they ought to, — that Ireland
•was most outrageously oj^pressed.

On the second day out the passage was like a trip up the
Hudson or the Sacramento River with respect to the smooth-
ness of the water and the motion of the steamer. During
the entire voyage we were rarely out of sight of sail. As we
approached Jutland the number of vessels in sight raj^idly

Denmark land is seen at 2 p. m. of the second day from
London on this tri^^ ; and it rises and lengthens out until we
swing around its northern promontory.

We pass by and in among scores of fishing-boats in the
vicinity of the upper lighthouse, and the boys in their skills
hold up Specimens of their catch for us to examine. They
spread their nets on steamer-days with a view of getting the
benefit of a '•scare" toward the shore, created by the beat-
ing of the screw.

Sunday w^as Midsummer-day; which would be only re-
stating a fact of the calendar for the northern hemisphere
in any other country but Sweden or Norway. Here it im-
implies a great deal: hei'e this is the red-letter day of all the
year, as may be noted from one item in my diary: —

"On Board Steamship Belle, Sunilay Morning, June 24, 5.30 o'clock.

"We are on the bridge deck, looking through the Cap-
tain's glass for land. The second officer points out where
the lighthouse will ''stick up his nose" when we shall have
arrived at the point of the globe where it can be seen by the
incoming traveler. The air coiild not be clearer. It is so
pure that it seems as though j-ou could look very far beyond
the line of the horizon of the sea. — far away into the illim-
itable sky before us. Now we will try our eyesight again.
* * * One of our English fellow-passengers has just cried
out that he has detected the yellow speck that must mean.


being proi^erly interpreted, the sail of a pilot-boat. The
discovery is confirmed by the officer on deck, and ho imme-
diately told us where to look to see an unusually white
perpendicular line on the edge of the ocean. His vision is
keenest after all. And this is the first taper that by night,
or this is the first object that by day is beheld by the visitor
or the returning Swede, who comes on this path to this
northern country. * * * The little shaft-cloud rapidly
developed into an unmistakable pillar of stone, and the
coast-line has risen up beneath and round about it. And
this is Sweden! — the ragged edge of it, at least — that we
have read and dreamed so much about, and so often and
so devoutly wished to see.

" One year ago to-day a good Scandinavian friend asked
me where I would be twelve months from date, provided a
certain thing happened; and I jokingly replied that I would
be in Sweden. I have not thought of the pleasant prophecy
from that time to this hour. And here I am about to enter
the harbor of Gothenburg, — a most unexpected fulfillment
of jocose, conditional foretelling. The pilot has just come
on board, direct from the pilot schooner, and not as with us
transported to the ship by a small boat. * * * 'We are in
the archipelago — in an intricate channel between barren,
rocky islands. We are meeting many gayly dressed little
steamers, crowded with people, who greet us with cheers."

Not without a dry vein of humor is Capt. Petterson. Sev-
eral passengers, in an eager manner, withoiit due considera-
tion for his proper devotion to his still remaining duties of
watchfulness, — although the local pilot is in navigating
charge, — began exclaiming in the Captain's presence, and
with an inquiring inflection, with respect to the little treeless
and sodlcss islands on either hand. As we 2:)assed along up
the naiTow channel the Captain is evidently bothered some-
what by these interrogating remarks ; but he does not "bluff''
any one, and seeks to avoid showing any annoyance. He
finally replies, in a most natural and genial fashion, "Yes,
they are entirely l)arren, l)ut that is not the 2:)eculiarity that
distresses our folks the most." So be starts a curiosity that


works on the minds of a half dozen men and maidens with
increasing- torment. They appeal to other native Swedes on
the bridge. ''What is the peculiarity to which the captain
refers?" No one can tell; or if they have ever heard — as I
think some have heard, judging- afterwards from the quiet
smile that appeal begets on their countenances — they will
not tell: they evade the question. Finally the anxious in-
quirers must be aj^peased ; although by this time it is evi-
dent to all on board that the master would not be disturbed
with imjiertinent or unnecessary questions.

" What is the peculiarity about those Islands that most
distresses your people?" With a bow and a most benignant
expression of the eyes and face, the commander responds,
'•They are harder than the bottom of a ship." The ques-
tioners turn aside and take sweet counsel together over
that revelation, — admitting that this information is good, —
very, very good.

With cunning piloting — and an expert steersman is re-
quired, no doubt — we wind into the buoyed haven of Gothen-
burg, and at 8 o'clock Sunday morning our boat is fastened
directly alongside one of the granite wharves of the city.
The custom-house officials are polite, but very thorough, in
their work of examination. They go down to the bottom
of the trunks, and they sift the ''duds" of the passengers —
as one English lady called her clothing — with great delib-
eration and care. But the ordeal is not a very severe and
lengthy one, and in half an hour after our vessel is tied up
we are on our way through the streets in the omnibus of the
Christiana Hotel.

The i^assage-price, including your cabin accommodations,
from London to Gothenburg by this line is £3 3s ; half-fare
for children under 12 years of age.





The drive np town from the Stora Bommens Haniu,
where our gangplank is put down, is through the principal
street of the city — the Stora Hamngatan — in the center
of which is the Stora Hamn Kanal, and on either side of
which are elegant three-story and four-story stone and brick


Your first impression of Gothenbui'g, or Goteborg. is very
pleasant, and I can now say that the favorable opinion 3-011
take on the hotel 'bus, on the morning of your arrival, is


augmented b}- all your subsequent walks and rides through
the city. It is cleaner than London, far; even cleaner than
that much belied town of Liverpool ; as neat, in every part,
as is our own beautiful New York City, in the neighbor-
hood of Union and Madison Squares, in the month of May.

The two principal hotels, of w^hich the "Christiana" is the
lesser, may be said to be situated on a square formed by
the intersection of the Sodra Hamngata and Drottning-
torget. Haglund's Hotel and Gota Kallare are one and the
same institution. The rooms here are commendable for
their neatness, and their heavy, massive furniture, — including
single beds all around. I have observed that the accommo-
dations are in all respects about the same in the two or three
hotels mentioned, while the "tone" and high prices are at
Haglund's. Both are kejit, of coiu-se, on what is known
among us as the European plan. Everything in the way of
accommodation and service is separately charged for; and
even as far north as Sweden the much-talked-of imposition
of an item for candles, whether burned or not. is on the daily
rendered bills — at some hotels which friends have visited.

The service up stairs is exclusively by girls. In the res-
taurants we find at each j^lace one "English boy" on whom
you must frequently expend more ti'ouble, for the purpose
of making understood that which you wai:it. than when you
are left to extemporized deaf-and-dumb signs and the com-
pendious phrase-book.

The first peculiar article that requires investigation is the
porcelain stove that sits in one of the corners of each room.
It reaches from the floor nearly up to the ceiling of rooms
that are fully eleven feet high. Some have very handsome
cornices, and many are adorned by statues, or busts, or fig-
ures of reindeer or bears. On our corner furnace is set
the bust of a lady, which I take to be the representation of
Dido — head-di-ess and all — just before she mounted that fu-
neral pile of which our schoolboys are reading. At this
moment, at 10 o'clock p. m., she is looking down upon me
with a countenance that sometimes seems to shaj^e itself
into one of inquiry; which I fancy asks me now and then


what I think about this writing without the aid of artificial
light at this hour of the day. And she will insist, I can
imagine, now and then, on an answer — a mental considera-
tion^'of her quer}^ and an inaudible response, at least.

In the center, half-way up, in these porcelain pillars for
fire, is a cupboard with thin brass doors, in which you can
place anything that you wish to keep warm or hot during
the day or night. The fire, of hard wood, is kindled at about
a foot and a half from the bottom of the stove-shaft, which
is about two feet in diameter ; and it is said that two fires
will last abundantly during twenty-four hours. The door-
knobs are egg-shaped — a decided improvement on the round

The face of the buildings on the principal streets is mostly
of a light-brown color. The roofs are all covered with tiles,
which are reddish, or black, or yellow, according to the taste
of the owners of the different buildings, — which seems to
alternately and it might be said fortunately change, and so
give a pleasing and regular variety and relief, so to speak,
to the complexion of the housetops. A few houses, like the
Gota Kallare Hotel, have flat roofs; and in such instances
the structures are usually of that woodboxy description so
familiar to us in the architecture of some of the hotels in
San Francisco.

xVs soon as possible after our arrival we hastened to the
Cathedral, where services were about to begin. The building
is cruciform in construction, and will hold probably over
2,500 persons. There are four galleries, exclusive of the
organ-loft. The organ is a magnificent instrument, — nearly
the size of the one at St. George's Hall, Liverpool.

Of course this is a Lutheran cathedral, but it is also an
Episcopal cathedral, — the Swedish church differing in this
respect from the German Lutheran. There is an altar, with
the communion-bread upon it; and back of the altar is a
large, richly gilded cross, with cherubs in gilt flying round
about it. On each side of the altar is a full-sized angel, with
enormous wings, — disproportionately long wings, T thought;

Online LibraryCharles A. (Charles Allen) SumnerNotes of travel in northern Europe → online text (page 1 of 30)