Kåkbrinken (Swedish: "The [Ramshackle] House Slope") is a street in Gamla stan, the old town of Stockholm, Sweden. Stretching from the western waterfront Munkbroleden to the central square Stortorget, it forms a parallel street to Yxsmedsgränd, Solgränd, and Bedoirsgränd, while being crossed by Munkbrogatan, Lilla Nygatan, Stora Nygatan, Västerlånggatan, and Prästgatan.
Origin of the name
First mentioned in 1477, and in more detail in 1496, the street is called Kakbringkin, kak being old Swedish for modern Swedish kåk, today meaning "ramshackle house" or "prison", but at the time referring to a pillory placed on Stortorget. The pillory is first mentioned in connection to the so-called "Käpplinge murders" (Käpplingemorden) in the first half of the 15th century - the story of a group of German burghers who trapped a large number of prominent citizens in a hovel on Blasieholmen (at the time called Käpplinge) and burned them in. The Germans are said to have been led from the Royal Palace to the pillory. A copper statue of a man holding a birch in his right hand, placed on top of the pillory in 1602, was replaced in 1647 by a new one in bronze still preserved in the Town Hall. The pillory was moved to Norrmalmstorg in 1776, and from there to Eriksbergsplan in 1810.
On a map dated 1733, the upper part of the street, between Stortorget and Västerlånggatan, is called Kåkbrinken, while the lower part is given several names: Kocks gränd (referring to the burgher Ragvald Kock); Jokum bagares, Bagare gränd, Schultens gränd, and Nedre Schult gränd (referring to the baker Joachim Schult); Söte Gudmunds gränd Söte gummans gränd ("Alley of the Sweet Old Woman", Gudmund is also a proper name), Lasse Månssons gränd, Björn Perssons gränd, Mäster Eriks gränd (referring to men with those names), and Påfvel murmästares gränd ("Alley of Masonry master Paul"). Before the names of the streets of Gamla stan were fixed in 1885, the name 'Kåkbrinken' was used for various parts of its present extension.
In the corner of Prästgatan and Kåkbrinken is a runestone in the wall, carrying the inscription "Torsten and Frögunn had the stone erected after their son.". The stone was probably brought to Stockholm to be used as building material, from where is not known. As the female name Frögunn is known as a pagan name, the stone is believed to be from around 1000, the stone thus being about 200 years older than the city.
A laser range scanner analysis made in 2002, showed variations in stroke patterns in the grooves of the stone, and that the stone was probably carved by a master carver and an apprentice. Its one of three runestones found in the old town: A second, U 274, originally located in a wall by the southern city gate near Slussen, is today kept in the Museum of Medieval Stockholm. It contains the words "Karl and Adisla had [this stone] erected [after] Arnsil, [their] father" and is similar in style to stones found in Södermanland, south of Stockholm. The third runestone, U 54, is today lost but was once located in a stairway in the church Riddarholmskyrkan.
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