the travel geek

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Brautigams

Bräutigams is new to Stockholm. For 143-years (as of 2013) the chocolaterie/bakery/patisserie has been an institution in the Swedish city of Göteborg but has not had a presence in the country’s capitol. Founded in 1870, it all started with Emil Brautigam who was a German baker who moved to Sweden to develop his skills and start his own business. And now, even after 143-years, the business is still run by the Brautigam family (now in their 5th generation of chocolatiers).

While the business may be new to Stockholm, the building in which it is housed is not. Västerlånggatan (the street) dates back to the middle ages and has seen more than it’s share of murder, mystery and debauchery. Västerlånggatan originally ran outside the city’s western wall, but was absorbed into the core as it grew in size. The street houses one of the world’s oldest blacksmith shops, the former homes of the city executioner and Carl Michael Bellman, the city’s narrowest hotel, and the home of Sweden’s assassinated Prime Minister, Olof Palme.

For the longest time, a café quietly sat at #49, which is now the home of Bräutigams. The building dates back to the 14th century and the cozy cellar has long been used as an eatery. As you descend down into the depths you see a sign that says, “Welcome down to Stockholms oldest middle age cellar vault.”

While waiting for a box or two of chocolates to be put together (and for the shop keeper to resolve a computer issue), I sat in the basement and tried to see if I could pick up any medieval “vibes.” The shop keeper did tell me to “watch out for ghosts” and not “watch out for the steep steps” that lead into the basement.

But instead of finding cold spots and creepy feelings, I found a warm place that has probably seen a lot of revelry and conversation. It was actually kind of fun to explore the large block table, fireplace, and stone/brick walls and floor.

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