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     Stockholm is built upon both the mainland of Upland and Södermanland, as well as on a number of islands at the junction of Lake Mälar and an arm of the Baltic Sea. The town was first mentioned in 1252. It was built by the Swedish ruler, Birger Jarl, and grew rap9idly. In 1523 Stockholm was liberated from the Danes by Gustavus Vasa, and became the capital of Sweden.
     The original part of the town is Gamla Stan (Old Town), and consists of Stads, Helgeands and Riddar islands. The Royal Palace is located on Stads Island, as are Storkyrkan, the Church of St. Nicholas; the German Church; the House of Lords; and a number of other important buildings. Riddeholm Church dominates Riddar Island. And the House of Paliament and the National Bank are on Helgeands Island.
     The stamp displays a part of Gamla Stan as it was mapped in a bird's eye view in 1989.

SCN 1865


     Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) was an Danish aristocrat. He studied at several universities, and made observations of the weather, the positions of the planets and so on. in 1576 Frederick II of Denmark granted him the island of Hveen rent-free for the rest of his life, and the expenses to establish and maintain a place where he could undertake his astronomical work. Brahe built the Uranienborg on the island and spent the next twenty years making naked-eye observations of the stars and planets. He made a catalog of the positions of over 1000 stars, proved that comets were not objects in the atmosphere, and constructed laws of planetary motion which conflicted with both Ptolemaic and Copernican systems
     The plan of the Uranienborg is based on that in Jan Blaeu’s Geographia, quae est Blaeuianea pars prima, Amsterdam, 1662. "The grounds of Uraniborg [are] viewed from the east. The observatory itself is at the centre, and it is surrounded by ornamental gardens (with some 300 trees) and protected by high walls. At the east and west corners are gates, over which are kennels for watchdogs. At the north corner are lodgings for servants, and at the south corner a printing office."

The Cambridge Illustrated History of Astronomy, ed. by Michael Hoskin
Cambridge University Press, 1997, p. 104.

     Brahe quarreled with the king and left the island in 1597. The castle and the observatory Stjärneborg were destroyed within a few years after the death of Brahe in 1601.

SCN 2149

SCN 140