end of the world
Why on Earth would you give a town the nickname ”the end of the world”?
This is not a modern idea concocted during a brainstorm session at Trosa’s communal office. No the nickname is old but perhaps needs to be explained; as late as in the 1900s there was only one road to Trosa – and back again. So ”End of the road” might have been a more correct nickname.
Trosa is one of the oldest towns in Sweden. The years have been kind, turning her into a handsome old lady, where old age have long since stopped to haunt her and the wrinkles and creeks have brought out a beauty that only years can give. The houses of Trosa are crooked and slanted. The paint is peeling off the walls and in the small alleys leading down to the river the cobble stones have shifted on the roots of the hollyhocks and the trampling of tourists.
Trosa was given township status as early as 1454. But even the oldest houses are not quite that old. In 1719 Russia harrowed the archipelago and burned the town to the ground leaving only the church and the belfry. So a new town was built. The streets of Östra and Västra Långgatan made up the whole town with small houses in a row beside the river. Eighteenth century Trosa was inhabited by people making a living of fishing and farming, leaving the shores during summer to bring both family and live stock out on the islands in the Trosa archipelago to get closer to the fishing.
Boman’s harbour storage was originally a sort of reloading facility for the fish off the waters outside the town. But the town was set on changing.
The change from shanty town to high society quarter went through the phase of artist hang-out. Do you recognise the picture? Old Town in tockholm, Harlem and Brooklyn NY are just a few examples on how the upgrade usually works. Cities and towns in development. From worn down to built up. The artists quickly saw the beauty in the ugly duckling and many prominent artists still remain here today. Reinhold Ljunggren lived and worked in Trosa for over three decades. Sven Delblanc grew up in Trosa. And Albert Engström has portrayed Trosa City Hotel in his stories. And after the artists came high society and royalty.
By the end of the 1900s the steamboat traffic started. It was now easier to get to Trosa. Many towns near the coast became resorts with cold bath houses. And Trosa of course was no exception. At the end of the dock in the harbour lay at that time a cold bath house where summer guests came from the big city. The inspiration came from southern Europe and Venice and houses and bridges were named after their southern counterparts. The Bridge of Sighs for example does not only exist in Venice but in Trosa as well. And legend has it that there was once even a gondola in the same river where that the viking ships once came and where the residents today have their boats. Despite the narrow and rapid current the Trosa River offers.
So what about the town today? Trosa is still a real summer town which springs to life as the leaves go green and the water grows warmer. The Trosa town race is a traditional street fest even for watching couch monkies and when Tommy Körberg’s annual summer concert, held in Boman’s gardens, fills upp the town with song, summer is here!
But Trosa is also a town for business, where average enterprise is higher and unemployment is lower than in the rest of the country. The distance for commuters to Stockholm have shrunk with betters travel possibilities. Trosa is countryside within the reach of the city. At the same time Trosa is a small town with much integrity and its own identity. The residents don’t want to become Stockholm residents or live in a new suburb to the big city. You don’t move here because you want to live in the big city. In a 2013 poll a huge majority voted against changing to Stockholm county, to the suprise of local politicians. One has to honor one’s name. Trosa – the end of the world.
For more information about whats going on in Trosa, visit Trosa Tourism www.trosa.com.