Thursday, August 15, 2013

Statue of Rosenbom

Rosenbom Karlskrona statue
My friend Rosenbom!

A Beggar’s Tale- and a Mystery Solved
On one of my first walks a few weeks ago, I came across this curious fellow. Other tourists were around, and each one would walk up to him, lift his hat, and get a picture. Unsure of why I was doing it- but certainly not going to miss out- I partook in the activities and got a picture of my own. Asking several people- including Nick- for the translation of his sign didn’t lead me to know the true meaning of this beggar. After some research today, I have discovered his tale and solved my mystery. Why do you lift his hat?
This beggar is actually one of Karlskrona’s best-known landmarks, the wooden statue of Rosenbom. His tale is a sad one. Mats Rosenbom was one of the first settlers on Trossö Island, along with his wife and children. Sadly, a fever killed six of his children and rendered his wife unable to work. At this point, Mats applied and was granted a beggars license. One New Years Eve, he went out begging at the homes of more fortunate townspeople and became quite drunk from the wine on offering. At one home, he made the mistake of not lifting his hat to a wealthy German figurecarver, Fitz Kolbe. When Kolbe admonished Rosenbom for this, Rosenbom retorted “If you want thanks for your crumbs to the poor, you can take my hat off yourself!” In a fit, Kolbe struck him between the eyes and sent him away. Tragically, Rosenbom never made it home that evening- falling in a snowdrift and freezing to death. When Kolbe found the beggar the next morning, he was filled with remorse and proceeded to carve a wooden statue of Rosenbom. He designed the statue so visitors may lift Rosenbom’s hat and give him some money yourself.
Thus, I have solved why I was lifting his hat! I am happy to be learning more of the history of this town and it’s sights.

**This post was added to my blog on 3/3 after mysteriously disappearing!**

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