Thursday, July 12, 2012

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 47

Djurgårdsslätten and Alhambra, ca early 1900s

Djurgårdsslätten is a street in Stockholm that ended in a large open space like a meadow or garden somewhat similar to an amusement park perhaps.  The meadow is mentioned on maps as early as 1690 with the various types of trees in the area identified.  At that time the meadow was undeveloped but it now has hotels and restaurants.  Described as a place that lent itself to “Cupid’s unabashed games,” it was a popular area frequented by a colorful group of individuals and where well-known people went in disguise (masks and costumes) to meet one another.  One such individual was said to have been the king of Sweden Gustav III (born 1746, king from 1771 until his death in 1792). 

Axel Eliasson published the card in Stockholm, Sweden in the early 1900s and the original does show the number #3673 at the lower left even though it may be a little difficult to see on the scan.  It does not look as if any of the people pictured here are in costume or masks but I liked seeing the hat and clothing styles, the bicycles and the two sailors shown on the right side of the card.  The building in the center is the Alhambra a restaurant that was probably fairly new when the card was printed.  Another source described the meadow or plain as a “lively” or a racy area and said there was a circus located there too.  That conjured up visions of penny arcades and rides more than sideshows and daring acts under a big top—more like Tivoli than Ringling Bros.  

This card is unused so no messages on the reverse side, however, it is interesting to note all the different languages at the top indicating that these cards were popular all over the globe and not restricted to one or two countries.

There is a little more information and additional pictures on the Swedish Wikipedia site:

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