Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Ystad and Church of St. Mary

Ystad in the south of Scania on a grey day.

A long desired first visit with pictures of:
- The harbour area
-The city centre
- Church of St. Mary
- Engelska Bryggan (the Pier of England) 

Christs Nativity Scene at Mariakyrkan (Church of St. Mary)

We have seen much of Scania's countryside and special attractions so far, but some of the larger cities have been left waiting. Ystad has been long on our visiting list so despite poor weather conditions and the fact that days are growing shorter this time of the year now was the time for a first visit to Ystad, a 90 minute drive along route 19 south.

Courtesy: Google Maps.

The Harbour Area

Ystad was a Danish city and mentioned as Ystath in the 12th century in times when the Hanseatic League started trading in Northern Europe. Apparently a trading post for fish was established at the mouth of river Vassa, Ystad (Wikipedia). When I arrived at Ystad harbour the day was not only grey but also very windy by the sea making the tripod shake. Taking a good grip of the camera made both the gear and the photographer feel more steady when resisting the fierce winds. And if it was not drizzling then the stormy waves burst in over the protective pier walls wetting things down. The harbour scene had to be dealt with swiftly! I decided to shoot in HDR to get more interesting pictures that matched the weather conditions, too.

Ystad harbour area with fishing vessels.

There was not much traffic in the harbour on a day like this, but this did not scare off a photographer and a fellow Santa Claus up in the light house. There was someone else with him up there. Looks like they where contemplating on a specific route that would offer the lowest risk for wind deviation.

Flagpoles for the fishing nets securely fastened.

This is the new harbour area where fishing boats and ferry boats load and unload today. On the other side of Ystad is the old harbour pier called Engelska Bryggan (see the last picture). There is also a separate Marina next to the new harbour where you can walk along "Wallanders foot prints". This famous, but fictive, person was created by the author Henning Mankell and describes a police detective working in Ystad. Several films have been released in this theme. In "The Joker" a woman is murdered outside Chez Moi restaurant (in reality Marina's) in front of her daughters eyes. In another, "The Cellist" someone is hiding from Russian Maffia in a boat ending in a violent showdown ( People in Ystad live in a mixed reality with many actual places and addresses now known from the films under fictive storytelling. 


Stortorget in the city centre with a large christmas tree.

This photographer next move into the city centre among half-timbered old buildings, St Mary's Church, the Ystad Monastery and off course the shopping area that is ready for the high season. Wallander is a BIG thing for Ystad, but this Medieval city has much more to offer e.g. in history and art. Nightlife is said to be very active on summer evenings (visit for details).

Ystad sights and old buildings; Church of St Mary, the monastery, handicraft and art.

A city in christmas decoration. Could a gust of wind now have landed Santa Claus on the roof?

View over the roofs towards Church of St Mary.

Church of St Mary's

Churches in Scania that we have visited are often architectonically interesting and offer photogenic opportunities that can only be appreciated. And off course the atmosphere is welcoming and sheltering. This church originates from the 12th century and is one of the oldest built in brick. St Mary was the patron of the merchants and, especially in the Hanseatic times, served them well when Ystad was one of the most important cities in the region (

Entering the church. A crucifix of Jesus Christ from the 16th century.

Some of the inventories are medieval; the altar screen, a chandelier in Gothic style, the crucifix and a baptismal font. The pulpit is from the 17th century. 

A decorative view of the entrance.

And above the entrance - the organ pipes.

The altar with seasonal decorations.

Saint Mary's Church of Ystad is a beautiful, beautiful construction filled with this warm seasonal atmosphere on the day of visit and it is appropriate to end this tour to Ystad here with promises to return mor conveniently in the summertime allowing for a closer acquaintance.

Nevertheless I promised Mrs. T to get some pictures of the shoreline as well so on my way back home I stopped at the beaches east of Ystad at hotel Ystad Saltsjöbad. Here is the so called Pier of England where vessels landed until the 17th century. This place is just east of the southernmost point of Ystad called Världens ände or "Where-the-World-Ends". An interesting picture derived with HDR technique allowing for the clouds to come out heavily, too. 

The Pier of England / Engelska Bryggan.

Now, this is not THE season to visit Ystad but this short visit offered a very nice experience and an insight into this mediaval city and what it can offer. For anyone reading Henning Mankell this must be very interesting - to visit all the places where Kurt Wallander has successfully carried out his duties.

Enjoy the rest of the week and the week-end. And remember that Santa Claus has been spotted.


No comments:

Post a Comment