The Cuckold of Skeppsbron – Stockholm, Sweden - Atlas Obscura

The Cuckold of Skeppsbron

A man has revenged his true love's betrayal through tears and stone genitalia. 


For all the people who have processed their heartbreak through art of questionable taste, no one’s ever done it quite like the patron of a histrionic carving in Stockholm’s Old Town. 

If you peek above the door of Skeppsbron 44 in the Old Town of Stockholm, you’ll see a stone face sporting an exaggerated expression - a potent mix of despair, disgust, and rage. And below the grimace, if you look carefully, you’ll spot…something else. Is that..? Oh yes. Yes it is. 

While no one really knows where the stone vagina came from, according to legend, it is the work of an aggrieved 20th century man named Carl Smitt. Carl owned the building and found out that his wife had been cheating on him. In revenge, he had her genitalia sculpted and mounted on the wall, so that all the world could see her betrayal. Above her lady bits, he installed his own tormented face.

But Carl wasn’t done. Not only did he have an axe to grind and a sculptor on the payroll, he also had some, erm, dynamic artistic vision. Wanting to take his gross public retribution to the next level, he requested that the sculpture be built so that on rainy days, the water would fall from his face like tears, showering the labia he loved and lost. Don’t you wish he’d just written some bad poetry and called it a day?

Know Before You Go

The carving is just a short walk from the Slussen metro station, on the red and green lines. From the metro stop, it's just a few minutes' walk to the north along the east shore of Gamla Stan (Stockholm's Old Town).

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