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May 2008 Archives

May 1, 2008

Jarlabankes bro runestones

Not far from Broby Bro are the Jarlabanke Runestones, marking the causeway crossing the marsh.

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U164 "× iarlabaki × lit × raisa × stain × þisa × at sik × kuikuan ×× auk bru × þisa × karþi × fur ont × sina × auk ain ati × alan × tabu × kuþ hialbi ont hans"
"Iarlabanki let ræisa stæina þessa at sik kvikvan, ok bro þessa gærði fyr and sina, ok æinn atti allan Tæby. Guð hialpi and hans."
"Jarlabanki had these stones raised in memory of himself while alive, and made this bridge for his spirit, and (he) alone owned all of Tábýr. May God help his spirit."
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U165 "ia[r]labaki × li- ---sa × staina × þisa × at sik × kuikuan × auk bru þis(a) [× karþi fur ont ×] si-- --- × ati + (a)lan × tabu +"
"Iarlabanki le[t ræi]sa stæina þessa at sik kvikvan, ok bro þessa gærði fyr and si[na ...] atti allan Tæby."
"Jarlabanki had these stones raised in memory of himself while alive, and made this bridge for his spirit ... owned all of Tábýr."

May 2, 2008

Jarlabankes bro runriket

Next to the Jarlabankes causeway there are a number of modern interpretations of the inscriptions found on some of the Jarlabankes runestones. More information.

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"Ingefast had this stone raised and the bridge built for Jarlabanke. His father Joruns son. Kättilö had the stone raised for her husband. Öpir engraved"
The dragon weaves across Jarlabankes memorial stone bearing runes about a father, son and husband. The stone was raised north of the stream and bridge in Fällbro beside the road which linked the farmsteads around the lake Täby - Karby - Broby - Såsta - Hagby - Fällbro - Skålhamra - Kragsta - Lindö
One thousand years later we can take the same road by following the Fresta and Skålhmra Road. A twisting route + like the rune stone dragon.
In Fällbro the road went between two carved rocks runes telling of older bridges across the stream in Fällbro. The stream marked the boundary between two properties and rune stones were raised at the boundary between properties "Fällbro" + was the bridge build to be felled as needed? Perhaps, but not in Jarlabankes day. Fällbro then may have meant a "distant bridge" or Fäll may have come from a mans name.
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"Östen and Estrid raised the stone in memory of Gag, their son"
Östens and Estrids son Gag was dead and was buried on the family property in Såsta. Östen fitted out a ship for a pilgrimage destined for the Holy City of Jerusalem. There he would pray for the soul of young Gag. However Östen died and was buried far away. At home at Såsta beside the grave of Gag a mound and a bridge were built in Östens honour. The bridge then gave the village its name - Broby (bridge village).
Then came the day when Estrid died. She was buried beside Östens mound and Gag - the boy who was her first-born son. This archaeologists could see during excavations. She was now made ready for the Day of Judgement. The family assembled with children and grandchildren - Jarlabanke saw his fathers mother in a linen shroud.
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"Gudlog had these stones raised after Holm, her son, and for herself. He died in Lombardy"
Holme had died in Italy in the 11th century and soon after Gudlog had the run stone engraved. She must have been content in her heaven when her stone was walled into Täby Church 200 years later. The stone church perhaps replaced an older wooden church. Jarlabanke may have financed the first chapel and it is reasonable to suppose that he was buried there. He ordered the inscription that he alone owned all of Täby, an area as big as todays Täby church village.
The first Christians were buried at their farmsteads and nearby their family raised their rune stones. The stones were engraved by masters such as Öpir. With church construction new masters arrived who instead painted heavenly pictures. In the 1480s Täby Church was decorated by the religious painter Albertus Pictor.
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"...Ulvkel and Arnkel and Gye made this thing site. No memorial shall be bigger than that which Ulfs sons made for him, able lads remembering their father..."
The three brothers belonged to the Skålhmra family which owned land on the other side of the lake. They built a thing site on the eastern side - on neutral ground between different families. In the past they had been able to lead sacrifices and cult worship in the region but now they had become Christian. At the thing subjects were judged and punished perhaps also forcibly baptised? A thousand years later the thing places are empty but the stones of Arkels thing site remain.
Ulf of Skålhamra had left this life. Two runes stones were raised to his memory. They face west where Skålhamra lay. But the days of the Skålhamra family were numbered. Jarlabanke soon took over in the region and let it be known that he had built a new thing site.
(A 'thing' here is an assembly point - much like Tynwald on the Isle of Man)
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"...and Ingeborg in memory of her husband, he drowned beneath Holms sea, shipwrecked was he, none were saved but three"
Only three men came home from the voyage. They had survived as if by a miracle. God help the souls of the dead men. Ingeborg raised a rune stone to one of them. She saw it as an act of true Christianity. Almost 1000 years have passed since then. We can see the rune stone in Vallentuna Church. The rune stone was walled into the church when it was built at the end of the 12th century.
The mens boat sank in Holms Sea, whose location nobody knows for certain. It may have been the waters around Bornholm or perhaps further east in the Gulf of Finland. The knarr was the vessel of the Viking Age. But who could fit out such a vessel? It was the leading figures of society those who raised rune stones to show their status.
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"Ulvs heirs in Lindö had these stones raised after their father and brother and built the bridge Visäte carved."
Ulf of Lindö had acquired much land and now a new generation was to uphold the heritage. And the Lindö family was a family to reckon with. They raised rune stones and built Gullbron Bridge - a bridge which may have looked like Jarlabankes. Today it is gone, but a rune stone remains.
The Lindö family belonged north of the lake with the Skålhamra family ruling to the west. East of the lake lay a forested no-mans land and in the south the Jarlabanke family property sprawled out. In an era when the goal was to gain in strength only one family could dominate. Jarlabanke soon ruled the entire area and therefore he had built a new thing site. This is written on a rune stone at Vallentuna Church.
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"Halvdan and Tobbe had this stone raised after Udde their father Torbjörns sone. Öpir engraved the runes"
The stones formed exclamation marks in the landscape - powerfully painted so that the runes would be seen. In Uppland in an intensive period of 150 years over 1000 rune stones were raised. It took place as more and more became Christianised.
Runes were shaped by hammer and chisel 16 characters forming the messages. Öpir carved many rune stones in the area. He was active around the year 1100 after which a new form of writing was introduced. The language in the churches of Europe was Latin and it was put down in letters. In AD1198 a missal was written in Latin showing when Mass was held in Vallentuna Church. It is the oldest preserved book in Sweden.
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"Ulv of Bårresta carved the stone after Ulv of Skålhamra, his good friend. Ulvkell had it carved"
The local chief Ulv of Bårresta was Christian as was his powerful friend Ulv of Skålhamra. The runemaster Ulvkell was asked to carve two crosses, one of them oddly with crosses on the arm ends. They were typical of sourthern Russia - had Ulv seen such crosses on a pilgrimage? The shape bore a symbolic message: Christianity was in all four corners of the world. The northern corner contained Bårresta and Skålhamra. Incidentally - does the cross seem familiar? The shape is seen in the Täby coat of arms.
The rune stone stands in Risbyle, north of Skålhamra, where the Skålhamra family lived for generations. Ulvs son Arnkel had built a site for a thing. It lay nearby - just across the lake. Those who lived around the lake got there by boat as did the representatives of the Skålhamra family.

May 3, 2008

Vallentuna Kyrka runestones

Vallentuna church is home to a number of rune stones, some have modern interpretations.

There are a number of runestones in the churchyard here, though a couple of them are not in the traditional style.
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U219 "Andorr/Arnþórr shaped this fair stone ..."
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U212 "× iarlibaki × lit × raisa × stan + þina × a... ... ...kuan + han × ati ain × tabu × alan × -... ... ont hans +"
"Iarlabanki let ræisa stæin þenna a[t sik kvi]kvan. Hann atti æinn Tæby allan. [Guð hialpi] and hans."
"Jarlabanki had this stone raised in memory of himself while alive. He alone owned all of Tábýr. May God help his spirit."
Unfortunately I didn't notice the B-side of this stone, nor could I get inside the church because there was a service in progress and I didn't want to disrupt it looking for a rune stone.
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U220 "Dávið shaped."
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U221 "... in memory of Sigfastr(?)..."
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May 4, 2008

Rosendal runestone

Not far from Vallentuna there is another rune stone by the roadside.
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U236 "Ulfr's heirs í Lindey have raised these stones and made the bridge in memory of their father and brother. Véseti cut."

May 5, 2008


I took the train toward Saltsjöbaden, but got off at Lillängen, about half way along the line.

May 6, 2008

Forum Nacka

Over the hill from Lillängen is Forum Nacka, a modern shopping centre.

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May 7, 2008

Nacka Strand

North of Forum Nacka is Nacka Strand, the start of the city lights on the boat back from Vaxholm. From the boat this looks like a fantastic futuristic part of the city, with new offices nestled amongst old, now converted, warehouses. That impression is somewhat deceptive, the hillside the area is built upon gives it a much greater impression of scale than when you are there. Thats not to say its a boring place, just not quite so interesting as the view from the boat at night suggests it should be.

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May 8, 2008

Saltsjö Järla station

After exploring Nacka Strand I walked back to find a different station on the Saltsjöbanan. This one is nearby what appears to be a factory outlet style shopping area, which perhaps warrants further investigation at some point in the future.

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May 9, 2008


I took the train toward Hässelby Strand but changed at Alvik onto the Nockebybanan - a tram/light rail line that wiggles its way through the suburbs to Nockeby.

Nockeby itself is another new suburban area near Mälaren lakeside.

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May 12, 2008

Drottningholm Slott

Following the road across the bridge from Nockeby over the small island of Kärsön you get an impressive view across the water to Drottningholm Slott, the official residence of the Swedish royal family. Indeed, as I was there a pair of Canadian tourists were nearly run over by a very enthusiastic chap in an understated but clearly extremely powerful Merc who was driving along the promenade like he owned the place.

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May 13, 2008

Drottningholm Chinese pavillion

At the bottom of the garden of Drottningholm Slott is a Chinese pavillion (not a very exciting page at the time of writing, hopefully it'll get filled out a little over time).

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May 14, 2008

Drottningholm gothic tower

Hidden elsewhere in the palace gardens there is a gothic tower.

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May 15, 2008


At the southern end of the green line is Hagästra, predictably another concrete wasteland of suburbia, with little in the way of redeeming features except for a shop selling delicious strawberries.

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May 16, 2008


Taking the narrow guage railway from Mörby, Näsby Park looked like an interesting place to visit. Its not. The Näsby Slott, although rebuilt after its fire in 1897 now houses a conference centre and has the air of somewhere with attack dogs roaming the grounds on weekends. So I didn't explore inside the razor wire fence.

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May 17, 2008

Djursholms Örsby

Coming back from Näsby on the Roslagsbanan I changed at Djursholms Örsby to explore a different branch.

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May 18, 2008

Täby Centrum

A few stops from Djursholms Örsby is Täby Centrum, another part of the sprawling suburbia of Stockholm.

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May 19, 2008

Roslags Näsby

Just south of Täby Centrum the Roslagsbanan splits into two different lines at Roslags Näsby.

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May 20, 2008

KTH Univesitat

Around the back of Valhalla Avenue, just by the terminus of the Roslagbanan is the Kungliga Tekniska högskolan.

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May 21, 2008

Univesity art

The University is full of art. Some of which makes more sense than others.

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May 22, 2008

University snowmobile

I found a snowmobile at the University.

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May 23, 2008


Along Valhalla Avenue is the old Olympic Stadium from the 1912 games.

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May 24, 2008

Saab on Valhalla Avenue

On Valhalla Avenue there was a classic old Saab.

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May 25, 2008


I took another walk along the waterfront, and over to Djurgården.

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May 26, 2008


We went to the Re:Publik festival at the university. The highlights of the day were Restricted Area, [grendel] and Covenant. It was smaller and less busy than I had expected for a free festival, and slightly odd to see Covenant on their home ground.

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May 27, 2008

Rosendalsvägen on Djurgården

On the island of Djurgården, over the water from Strandvägen, is the road leading to Rosendals Slott.

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May 28, 2008

Rosendals slott

At the end of the road is Rosendals Slott itself.

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May 29, 2008


Over Djurgårdsbrunnsbron from Rosendals Slott is the area of Ladugårdsgårdet, including a variety of historically and scientifically interesting places.

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May 30, 2008

Djurgården Volvo

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May 31, 2008


Between Norra Djurgården and Strandvägen is Embassy town, an area containing a number of embassies for various countries.

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About May 2008

This page contains all entries posted to Stockholm and beyond in May 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

April 2008 is the previous archive.

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