Sweden // The southeast //


Located on the tiny island of Stumholmen at the foot of Kyrkogatan, Karlskrona’s Marinmuseum has a facade like a futuristic Greek temple; a portrait of Karl XI, who had the navy moved from Stockholm to Karlskrona in 1680, features in the hallway, a pet lion at his feet gazing up at the king’s most unappealing, bloated face. Down a spiral staircase from here is a transparent underwater tunnel offering a view of hundreds of fish in the murky depths. The best room, though, contains the figureheads designed and made by the royal sculptor to the navy, Johan Törnström. King Gustav III declared that ships of the line should be named after manly virtues, and so have male figureheads, while frigates have female ones. Among the finest is one made for the ship Försiktigheten (Prudence; 1784) – a metre-long foot, perfectly proportioned and complete with toenails.

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