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Gripsholm's Wolves and Swans

Gripsholm Castle offered one unexpected surprise: a pair of famous Russian cannon. Captured by Sweden several years apart in the early 1600s,the massive weapons -- much larger than most cannons of the age -- were dragged back to Sweden as spoils of war. Even though nearly a decade separated the capture of the first from the capture of the second, the Russians named both of them "Wolf." The Swedes, possibly annoyed at the task of dragging such massive weapons through the mud, named them after pigs: the earliest capture is known as "The Boar" and the latter, "The Sow."

While trophies of old wars are inside the castle, outside, in the reeds of Lake Mälaren, two juvenile swans seem more in keeping with Sweden's current, peaceful image.

Photos (c) 1997 Lawrence I. Charters


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Revised October 25, 1997 lic
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