Gamla stan

Gamla stan, until 1980 Staden mellan broarna, is the old town of Stockholm, Sweden. Gamla stan consists of the island Stadsholmen, but not colloquially, Gamla stan includes the surrounding islets Riddarholmen and Strömsborg. The town dates back to the 13th century, consists of medieval alleyways, cobbled streets, archaic architecture. North German architecture has had a strong influence in the Old Town's construction. Stortorget is the name of the scenic large square in the centre of Gamla Stan, surrounded by old merchants' houses including the Stockholm Stock Exchange Building; the square was the site of the Stockholm Bloodbath, where Swedish noblemen were massacred by the Danish King Christian II in November, 1520. The following revolt and civil war led to the dissolution of the Kalmar Union and the subsequent election of King Gustav I; as well as being home to the Stockholm Cathedral, the Nobel Museum, the Riddarholm church, Gamla stan boasts Kungliga slottet, Sweden's baroque Royal Palace, built in the 18th century after the previous palace Tre Kronor burned down.

The House of Nobility is on the north-western corner of Gamla stan. The restaurant Den gyldene freden is located on Österlånggatan, it has been in business, since 1722 and according to the Guinness Book of Records is the longest operated restaurant with an unchanged environment and is one of the oldest restaurants in the world. It is now owned by the Swedish Nobel Academy. A statue of St. George and the Dragon can be found in the Stockholm Cathedral, while Riddarholmskyrkan is the royal burial church. Bollhustäppan, a small courtyard at Slottsbacken behind the Finnish Church, just south of the main approach to the Royal Palace, is home to one of the smallest statues in Sweden, a little boy in wrought iron; the plaque just below the statue says its name "Järnpojken". It was created by Liss Eriksson in 1967. From the mid-19th century to the early-mid 20th century Gamla stan was considered a slum, many of its historical buildings left in disrepair, just after World War II, several blocks together five alleys were demolished for the enlargement of the Riksdag.

From the 1970s and 80s, however, it has become a tourist attraction as the charm of its medieval, Renaissance architecture and additions have been valued by generations. While the archaeology of the 370 properties in Gamla stan remains poorly documented, recent inventories done by volunteers have shown many buildings dated to the 17th and 18th centuries, can be up to 300 years older; the name Stockholm referred to Gamla Stan only, but as the city expanded, the name now refers several suburban areas and the metro region. The name Stockholm means "log island" in Swedish; the previous capital of Sweden was located in Sigtuna. A thousand years ago Sigtuna had problems with armed gangs attacking the city; the situation became untenable and there was a need to find a new location for the capital city of Sweden. According to legend the leaders in Sigtuna took a log of wood, cut out all the wood inside, filled it with gold, let it float on the water; the log was floating on the water for several days and hit land on the island where Gamla Stan today is located.

The island was named log island, meaning the place where the log had hit ground. This is; the island of Stockholm had the advantage that it was an island, easy to defend from armed gangs that could be thought to want to attack the city. It had the advantage from a trade point of view, that it was situated just at the inlet of Lake Mälaren, a big lake important to contemporary trade, from the Baltic. A sculpture symbolizing the old log is today found at the Stockholm City Hall; until the mid 19th century Gamla stan was referred to as själva staden, which must have made sense since the areas surrounding it were still rural in character and referred to as malmarna. On maps and in literature from the mid 19th century it started to be called staden mellan broarna or staden inom broarna, a name which remained official until 1980, from 1934 included the islets Helgeandsholmen and Strömsborg; the name Gamla stan dates back to the early 20th century used colloquially. "Gamla" means "old." The word stan is a contraction of the word staden, meaning "the town."

In 1957 a station of the Stockholm metro was opened here with the name Gamla stan. Though the official name was changed to Gamla stan in 1980, modern Stockholm is called "The city between the bridges". Stockholm derives its mythological origin from a dwelling place called Agnefit; as the second element fit means'moist meadow', this place was located on the western shore of today's Stadsholmen. The first element of this name is, explains the historian Snorri Sturluson, derived from King Agne, a mythological king who, in a dim and distant past, encamped here after having raided Finland, his intentions were to marry the daughter of the defeated Finnish chieftain. The young woman, tricked him to arrange a celebration including prominent guests which turned into a boozing party, while Agne slept in a drunken stupor, Skjalf had him hanged in his gold necklace before escaping


Philomena known as Saint Philomena, was a young consecrated virgin whose remains were discovered on May 24/25 1802 in the Catacomb of Priscilla. Three tiles enclosing the tomb bore an inscription, Pax Tecum Filumena, taken to indicate that her name was Filumena, the English form of, Philomena. Philomena is the patron saint of infants and youth; the remains were moved to Mugnano del Cardinale in 1805. There, they became the focus of widespread devotion. John Vianney attributed to her intercession the extraordinary cures that others attributed to himself. In 1833, a Neapolitan nun reported that Philomena had appeared in a vision to her, had revealed that she was a Greek princess, martyred at 13 years of age by Diocletian, Roman Emperor from 284 to 305. From 1837 to 1961, celebration of her liturgical feast was approved for some places, but was never included in the General Roman Calendar for universal use; the 1920 typical edition of the Roman Missal included a mention of her, under August 11, in the section headed Missae pro aliquibus locis, with an indication that the Mass to be used in those places was one from the common of a virgin martyr, without any collect proper to the saint.

On May 24, 1802, in the Catacombs of Priscilla on the Via Salaria Nova, an inscribed loculus was found, on the following day it was examined and opened. The loculus was closed with three terracotta tiles, on, the following inscription: lumena paxte cumfi, it was and is accepted that the tiles had not been positioned in the sequence of the words, that the inscription read, with the leftmost tile placed on the right: pax tecum Filumena. Within the loculus was found the skeleton of a female between thirteen and fifteen years old. Embedded in the cement was a small glass phial with vestiges of what was taken to be blood. In accordance with the assumptions of the time, the remains were taken to be those of a virgin martyr named Philomena, her name means'daughter of light'. Philomena is the patron saint of infants and youth; the belief that such vials were signs of the grave of a martyr was still held in 1863, when a December 10 decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites confirmed a decree of April 10, 1668.

But this view has been rejected in practice since the investigations of Giovanni Battista De Rossi. In 1805, Canon Francesco De Lucia of Mugnano del Cardinale requested relics for his oratory, on 8 June obtained the remains discovered in May 1802; the relics arrived in Mugnano on August 10, were placed in the Church of Our Lady of Grace. A new Church of Our Lady of Grace was built, containing a chapel where the sacred relics were moved on September 29, 1805. In 1827, Pope Leo XII gave to the church in Mugnano del Cardinale the three inscribed terracotta slabs, taken from the tomb. In his Relazione istorica della traslazione del sagro corpo di s. Filomena da Roma a Mugnano del Cardinale, written in 1833, Canon De Lucia recounted that wonders accompanied the arrival of the relics in his church, among them a statue that sweated some liquid continuously for three days. A miracle accepted as proved in the same year was the multiplication of the bone dust of the saint, which provided for hundreds of reliquaries without the original amount experiencing any decrease in quantity.

Devotion includes the wearing of the "Cord of Philomena", a red and white cord, which had a number of indulgences attached to it, including a plenary indulgence on the day on which the cord was worn for the first time, indulgences that were not renewed in Indulgentiarum doctrina, the 1967 general revision of the discipline concerning them. There is the chaplet of Saint Philomena, with three white beads in honour of the Blessed Trinity and thirteen red beads in honour of the thirteen years of Philomena's life. A sacramental associated with the hallow is the Oil of Saint Philomena, used by Christians for the healing of the body and soul. On December 21, 1833, the Holy Office declared that there was nothing contrary to the Catholic faith in the revelations that Sister Maria Luisa di Gesù, a Dominican tertiary from Naples, claimed to have received from Philomena herself. According to Gesù, Philomena told her she was the daughter of a king in Greece who, with his wife, had converted to Christianity.

At the age of about 13, she took a vow of consecrated virginity. When the Emperor Diocletian threatened to make war on her father, her father went with his family to Rome to ask for peace; the Emperor "fell in love" with the young Philomena and, when she refused to be his wife, subjected her to a series of torments: scourging, from whose effects two angels cured her. The Emperor had her decapitated; the story goes that the decapitation occurred on a Friday at three in the afternoon, as with the death of Jesus. The two anchors, three arrows, the palm and the ivy leaf on the tiles found in the tomb were interpreted as symbols of her martyrdom. In the Neapolitan nun's account, Philomena revealed that her birthday was January 10, that her martyrdom occurred on August 10, an

Thomas Coke (privy counsellor)

Thomas Coke of Melbourne Hall, Derbyshire was an English courtier and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1698 and 1715. Although a Tory on paper, he was prepared to support the Whigs in order to keep hold of his public offices. Coke was the son of John Coke and his wife Mary Leventhorpe, daughter of Sir Thomas Leventhorpe, 4th Baronet, he was born at Melbourne, Derbyshire where he was baptised on 19 February 1675. His father was MP for Derby. Coke lost his parents when under age and was educated abroad under Monsieur Chauvais of Rotterdam in 1688, he matriculated at New College, Oxford in 1693 and travelled abroad in the Netherlands in 1696 and 1697. Around June 1698 he married Lady Mary Stanhope daughter of Philip Earl of Chesterfield at Repton. Coke was elected Member of Parliament for Derbyshire at the 1698 English general election and sat until January 1701, he was re-elected MP for Derbyshire in December 1701. In March 1702 he was appointed Commissioner of Public Accounts. At the 1702 English general election he was returned unopposed as MP for Derbyshire.

He anxiously seeking public office and was appointed Teller of the Receipt of the Exchequer in May 1704. He was returned unopposed again at the 1705 English general election and supported the Court candidate for Speaker. In December 1706, he exchanged offices with Peregrine Bertie to obtain a court place as Vice-Chamberlain of the Household, a position he held for the rest of his life, he was returned again for Derbyshire at the 1708 British general election and was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1708. By the end of the parliament, his voting record in support of the Whigs, in particular his vote for the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell, alienated his Tory constituents. At the 1710 general election, he declined to face a contest at Derbyshire and was returned instead as MP for Grampound, he was more comfortable in maintaining a Tory stance in this Parliament and was listed as one of the ‘worthy patriots’ who detected the mismanagements of the late ministry. He was returned again at the 1713 British general election, but did not stand at the 1715 British general election or thereafter.

He managed to retain his post in spite of misgivings among the Whigs. When Coke came into possession of Melbourne Hall he extended the house, he is credited with creating the gardens at Melbourne. This created a financial strain. On 15 October 1709, he married as his second wife Elizabeth Hales, daughter of Richard Hales of King's Walden, one of the Maids of Honour to Queen Anne. Coke died on 16 or 17 May 1727 after a few days illness at the age of 52 and was buried at Melbourne, he had two daughters by a daughter and son by his second wife. He left most of the estate to his son George Lewis Coke, with provision for his daughters