"The Atlantic Crossing" in Stockholm

Norwegian Church with statue of Crown Princess Märtha

I thought I would do something a little different for this post. You have to be creative these days! I just finished watching the Norwegian miniseries "Atlantic Crossing". It was recently on Swedish television and I know that it is now being shown in the United States on PBS (as well as being shown in several other countries). I am a sucker for historical dramas, especially ones based on real people. The series is set during World War II and is basically about how the Norwegian royal family fled when the Nazis invaded, with the King and Crown Prince going to London and the Crown Princess going to the US, where she was taken in and helped by President Roosevelt. 

You are probably thinking... what does a Norwegian World War II drama have to do with Stockholm? Well, for starters, the main character is from Stockholm. Märtha was a Swedish princess before she married the heir to the Norwegian throne and became the Norwegian Crown Princess.  As I was reading up on her, I discovered that there are a few places around Stockholm named after her or places where she spent time as a child. And as there has been a trend in recent years with literary/cinematic tourism (where people visit places from their favorite books, TV shows and movies), I thought maybe a post about these places would be interesting for some people. 

Two of the main sites are actually on Södermalm, in the vicinity of Hotel Rival. The first is Crown Princess Märtha's Church (Kronprinsesse Märthas Kirche), which is run by the Sjömannskirken (the Norwegian Church Abroad). It is located on Södermalm, very near the street Fjällgatan (popular due to the views over the harbor and quaint old buildings). What makes this church of special interest, for this post, is the statue of Märtha just outside the church. It is a replica of the statue located outside of the Norwegian Embassy in Washington DC. Another replica can be found outside of the Royal Palace in Oslo. 

The other main site near the hotel is the boat M/S Kronprinsesse Märtha. This ship was originally launched in Norway in 1929 and named after Märtha. It is now permanently moored on the shoreline of Södermalm, just a 10 minute walk from Hotel Rival, and functions as a hotel these days. But, perhaps one of the most popular legacies of Crown princess Märtha in Stockholm isn't a place but a... cake. One of Sweden's most popular, traditional cakes is the Princess Cake (prinsesstårta). This cake is named after Märtha and her two sisters. I had no idea about this!

Princess cake

If you are out visiting the beautiful park island Djurgården, especially around the museum Thiel Gallery, you also have a small country lane named after her: Prinsessan Märthas väg. The reason, I believe, is that this lane is near the Villa Parkudden, a mansion where she spent her first six summers growing up. You can even find a plaque outside of the mansion dedicated to her. One final point of interest in Stockholm with connections to Märtha is Arvfurstens Palats, a palace located near the Royal Palace, where Märtha spent many of her early years. 

M/S Kronprinsesse Märtha

Arvfurstens Palats (today the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)


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