Infidelity, despair and revenge – Swedish style

They say that revenge is best served cold, and nothing is colder than what the ‘Cuckold of Skeppsbron’ did in Stockholm.

As you walk along the road of Skeppsbron, you have the harbour and Baltic Sea on one side, and the historical houses of the Old Town on the other. When you approach number 44, take a look above the door and you’ll see a stone face sporting an exaggerated expression of despair. And below the grimace, if you look carefully, you’ll spot a carving of a vulva.

Legend has it that the face belongs to a wealthy merchant called Carl Smitt, who owned the building. He discovered that his wife had been cheating on him. In revenge, he had her genitalia sculpted and mounted on the wall, so that all the world would know her betrayal. Above her privates, he installed his own tormented face.

Wanting to add to her shame, he had the sculpture of his face designed so that on rainy days, the water would fall from his eyes like tears, splashing his wife’s genitalia below.

So revenge isn’t just best served cold. It’s also served in stone and lasts over many centuries.

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