Stortorget Cannonball – Stockholm, Sweden - Atlas Obscura

Stortorget Cannonball

Several cannonballs of mysterious origins decorate two buildings in Stortoget's main square.  


Many will overlook the cannonball stuck in the wall above the Stortorgskällaren street sign of apartment #7. Many more will overlook the other three cannonballs stuck in the adjacent building. Why are they there and what’s their story?

The most pervasive story told about the first cannonball is that it was shot during the 16th century at King Cristian II of Denmark, also known as Tyrann in Sweden. As the legend goes, the cannon was fired at Cristian during the Stockholm Bloodbath just missing him. It’s believed that it was shot by Gustav Vasa as he laid siege to the city. The projectile lodged into the wall and has remained there ever since.

However, the truth behind the cannonballs is far less spectacular. The ball lodged above apartment #7 is believed to have actually been built into the facade by a furniture merchant named Fredrik Christian Hans Grevesmühl in 1795. He had completely rebuilt the house for his business when an idea struck him. He decided to put the cannonball into the building to create a monument of sorts to honor Vasa’s successful siege; a battle that freed Sweden from tyrannical rule in 1523. 

It’s unsure if the merchant created the legendry tale or it naturally spawned. The other cannonballs on the opposite building are believed to be the work of a contemporary of Grevesmühl, who stated that if the merchant can have one legendary cannonball then he could have three. 

Know Before You Go

The cannonballs are easy to miss when walking around, but a fun detail when you notice them.

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