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The tale of Rosenbom Posted by on Jun 13, 2012 in Culture

There is a local custom in Karlskrona of putting a five crown coin from the year of your birth on it into the hat of a statue called “Rosenbom” just before you graduate for future good luck. Rosenbom was a man who lived during the 1700 hundreds, he worked at the shipbuilding yard in Karlskrona. Once he caught the malaria he was fired and ended eventually up as a poor man.

One new years eve he was wandering around begging and received a fair bit of alcohol on his way, the old man Rosenbom got drunk when he planned to thank the captain who had shared the spirit he accidentally dropped his cap. The captain found this funny and said “If one wants thanks from Rosenbom then one must lift his cap oneself”. Drunk as he was Rosenbom repeated this at the next house he went to, Kolbe. Kolbe not finding this the slightest bit funny threw Rosenbom out into the drift of snow.  Kolbe got no peace of conscience so the next day he went out to look for Rosenbom. Outside the church (Amiralitetskyrkan) Rosenbom had hid from the anger of Kolbe. But Kolbe found him dead the next morning, frosen to death during the night. Therefore Kolbe made a poor box in the shape of Rosenbom in wood, where one lifts his hat to give away money.

For those of you who know of Selma Lagerlöfs book; Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige. (The wonderful adventures of Nils) you might recognize the fact that Rosenbom is mentioned. Even today Rosenbom stands there collecting money for the charity of the church.

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  1. Gail L Frank:

    Does anyone know of a store in Karlskrona where I can order a Rosenbom statue. I took my grandchildren last year to Karlskrona to visit my Swedish family and they loved the statue.