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A visit to Alfred Nobel on All Saints’ Day

All Saints’ Day used to be celebrated in the honour of all the holy apostles and saints; in modern Sweden nonetheless, it is a day in memory of the deceased. On this special day, I paid a  visit to the grave of Alfred Nobel, one of the most famous Swedish nationals ever, who now rests permanently in Northern Stockholm.


Alfred Nobel was buried in the Northern Cemetery (Swedish “Norra Begravningsplatsen”). It takes slight more than 20 minutes to get there from central Stockholm.

You may either take bus 57 starting from Sergels Torg to Karolinska sjukhuset norra, take the green line metro to S:t Eriksplan, than bus 3 from S:t Eriksplan to Karolinska Hospital.

Kvarter 04A, grave number 170

To find its exact position is not that easy.  Thousands of headstones align quietly under arrays of well-trimmed Linden trees, passages are sometimes hardly recognisable as wind is blowing fallen leaves to everywhere. There are no any signs or indications.

Luckily, with the help of online images of the grave, I find it after turning left for the third time.

Compare with the contribution and influence of Alfred Nobel, the headstone of Nobel’s grave is not grandiose at all (in the middle of the picture). It is even the least conspicuous one among those in this photo.

Because today is All Saints’ Day, a pair of candles and a small pot of red Begonia were placed in front of the headstone, just as other tombs in the same cemetery.

Besides the naming of a small road near grave no. 170 as “Alfred Nobels allé”, the presence of Alfred Nobel doesn’t make the Northern Cemetery different from any cemeteries in the nation. In all corners of the world, the largesse and sagacity of Nobel Alfred as a scientist and philanthropist are remembered forever and after; while in Northern Cemetery, the temporal remains of Alfred Nobel slumbers in eternal peace indifferently with thousands of other local residents, famous or anonymous when they were alive.

The night of November falls so quickly. When I finally walk to the bus station, thousands of candles in the cemetery have been ignited. Albeit week, they are discernible even from distance, will keep illuminating for the whole night and will come back next year.

This, is my visit to Alfred Nobel.