The origin of the Stockholm Syndrome

Stockholm is an amazing capital to visit, a perfect city-break destination for every season. The city is divided into well-defined areas, including for example the famous Gamla Stan, the medieval part of the city, Djurgården, the green oasis or Södermalm, the hipsters paradise. I’ve talked to you about what we could do in these areas previously, and today, I will finish my Stockholm series by this borough, Norrmalm, the downtown part of Stockholm.

It is is connected to the Royal Palace through the Norrbro bridge, the first bridge in Stockholm built with stones. Norrmalm is a busy and commercial city centre, full of restaurants, hotels, antique shops,…

The best way to enjoy and discover this part of the city is to join a free tour. We had so much fun, it was so nice ! I learnt that H&M was from Sweden (I honestly thought it was from Holland) and the highlight of the tour was when our guide explained to us the origin of the Stockholm Syndrome ! To understand it, you have to go back in 1973. There was a bank robbery, known as the Norrmalmstorg robbery, where a man took 4 people as hostages. The guy locked himself in the bank vault, with an accomplice and 4 hostages. It ended well, the robbery was prevented and no one was really hurt. What is really strange, is that the hostages repeatedly claimed they were more frightened of the policemen than the bad guys during their six days of confinement…. !! They had empathy for their captors and even sympathized with them… Our guide told us that one of the hostages even invited the captor to her wedding a few years later. This is the origin of the Stockholm syndrome, and it was just fascinating. If you want more details, I invite you to read the full story on the wikipedia page.

There are a lot of interesting buildings in Norrmalm, and of course, a lot of museums, like everywhere in Stockholm ! We visited a few of them…

Kungliga Operan

The Royal Swedish Opera building is stunning and the staircase looks very impressive. The grandiose neoclassical front façade was under restoration but we managed to have a quick look at the marble staircase leading to the foyer. It is apparently based on the famous grand staircase of the Garnier Opera in Paris. Unfortunately, it was impossible to join a tour and our visit stopped there as it was busy with performances and the access was restricted.

The City Hall

The city hall is famous and well-known as the venue of the Nobel Prize banquet (held on 10 December each year). It can only be visited with a guided tour. And since the City Hall is open only when a tour is available, there are no general opening hours..We were there around new year, not the best time to visit it as it is often closed for holidays ! We were a bit disappointed but we enjoyed the surroundings, and had a look around. The views of Gamla Stan were amazing ! That was such a nice light :-)

Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities

It’s a bit randomly that we decided to visit this museum, as part of our Stockholm card. It contains collections about Asian archaeology, classical arts, …. I have mixed feeling about this museum. I wouldn’t spend an entrance fee on it, but as part of the Stockholm card.. why not. It opens until quite late (on the contrary to the other museums) but it’s a bit cold and old-fashioned, dusty with a lack of information. The shop was interesting though.

Naturhistoriska riksmuseet

I’m always very interested to visit natural history museums, and of course, we didn’t miss it ! We arrived there for lunch. The food was really nice, such good quality for such low price. After a wonderful lunch, we visited the exhibits. We really appreciated the way the animals were stuffed. It looked very natural ! We also loved the geology exhibit, it was very well displayed.

This trip was full of good memories, we really enjoyed ourselves ! And I hope you enjoy the virtual visit :-)

Packing my Suitcase

53 responses to “The origin of the Stockholm Syndrome

  1. Oh I do love a good story about what something means… I can’t believe the hostage asked her captor to a wedding?? Strange world. Stockholm is high on my list of places – it looks so stunning. Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes


  2. Thanks Gin have really enjoyed my virtual tour of Stockholm with you – the winter light is just so pretty too and you’ve got some great photos! I especially love the Royal Swedish Opera building so stylish! I’ve heard about the Stockholm syndrome but not the exact story so was very interested to read about it. Hope you’ve had a good week and enjoy the weekend :)


    • It was very interesting ! they also had a cinema inside the museum, but the entrance fee was quite expensive, it was an extra 10 euros to the entrance for one film, so we didn’t go.. must have been amazing though..


  3. More interesting places to see in Stockholm. Now I think I have to stay many days there, my list on what to see is getting long ;)
    I have heard the story about the Stockholm Syndrome, but did not know it so in detail. That was very interesting to read as well :)


  4. Wow – heard of Stockholm Syndrome obviously but never knew the story behind it – so intriguing! Really enjoyed this trip – always wanted to visit Stockholm, having read your posts I think we should do it sooner rather than later!!


  5. What a lovely end to your Stockholm visit. Once I enjoyed the view from the City Hall too and I totally agree with you: the view is amazing. Thanks for sharing the story about the Stockholm syndrome. I’ve never asked myself why they call it so. Now I know. It’s very interesting.
    Have a great day! ;)


    • I think it’s the best view of Stockholm ! Very iconic. I didn’t thought the origin of the Stockholm syndrome was… in Stockholm to be honest ! I thought it was a random name.. I’ve never asked myself why they call it like this :D Thank you ! You too !


  6. Love it! Love the shot at the Far East museum with someone (you?) doing cute arm moves in the shadows!
    I love natural history museums! Always such fun exploring…
    Great post and great pics as usual!


  7. I have enjoyed your Stockholm tour so much, and enjoyed today’s segment, especially the story about the Stockholm Syndrome. Also, great photos, liked seeing the Nobel Prize City Hall. Thank you! :)


    • The story about the Stockholm syndrome is quite interesing , I wasn’t expecting that at all ! I thought maybe the guy who described the syndrome was from Stockholm or something like that :D
      Thank you ! I’m glad you enjoyed yourself ! Have a nice week

      Liked by 1 person

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