Thursday, 16 August 2012

Gärdslösa: Runes and Royalty

It's time for some culture. We don't know about you, but after yesterday's frivolous post we at the Privy Counsel yearn for some intellectual content. Let's get medieval!
We happened to visit the church of Gärdslösa on Öland, an island off the east coast of Sweden.  Gärdslösa is the best preserved medieval church on Öland, and boasts possession of two runic inscriptions. One is on the wall near the door, and reads, "Jón/Jónn has crafted" (read all about it at the University of Aberdeen's Scaldic Poetry Project site).  The other is on a fragmented stone, and says, teasingly, "Gunnbjǫrn and Sveinn ... and Jóhan ... Thorkell(?), their very(?) good father, ... Oddvarr(?) carved the runes ... stone ... " (details here or, if you're so inclined, here).

The runes that Jón carved. Image from Schleugerhard.

Gärdslösa Church. Image from Wikipedia.

Now for the toilets. Gärdslösa Church generously provides hygiene facilities in a charming little building in a corner of the graveyard. The whole ensemble is exceptionally neat and charming, if slightly '70s in design.

Note the wheelchair ramp: disability-friendly as well as decorative!

The soap smelled extremely nice

Disability-friendly and clean

Funky seventies tile-lookalike linoleum

To continue the royalist content of a previous post (we're telling you this because we know you secretly love royalty), we may mention in passing that Margaretha, sister of the King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf, was married in Gärdslösa. Wikipedia, informative as ever, tells us that Margaretha is number 196 in the British royal succession. We imagine her sitting at home in a  dark room, dabbling in voodoo to set off a plague epidemic. As another aside, here's a charming rendition of a song mentioning the King of Sweden:

Festive video: Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry, Minnie the Moocher

Related Reading
Some of our favourite royal-themed posts:
By the Sea - A Toilet Blogger's Holiday
Toilet Hurling - the Sport of Kings
The Royal toilet at Kronborg - "A Fould and Pestilent Congregation of Vapours"
Blogging Something Rotten
Waltzing Around Amalienborg

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