The first and oldest of the boxes, from 1742, contained a tightly-folded A3-size piece of paper covered in elaborate handwriting stating that the old tower was removed in 1736 and the new one was completed in 1742, a date which had not previously been confirmed.
“This is the nicest capsule I’ve ever opened,” building restoration expert Max Laserna told church magazine Kyrkans Tidning.
“The handwriting from 1742 was so beautiful, almost like a piece of art, it really stood out,” he said.
The capsule from 1903 was flat like an envelope and difficult to open. It contained a newspaper, some letters and an old piece of sheet metal with the text “gammal plåt” (old sheet metal), presumably a piece of the old roof from the 1700s.
The final capsule from 1930 contained a gilded piece of metal along with a number of daily and weekly newspapers. This piece of metal sparked a renovation of the cathedral’s spire when it was discovered on the ground one morning after falling down from the cathedral’s roof.
There was also a rusty nail in the same capsule along with a ten-page long text titled “An account of the 1929 renovation”. According to Laserna, such a detailed report is a rare find.
Similarly to 1929, the current decision to renovate the cathedral was made when a large piece of stone was discovered on the ground outside in 2016. Upon investigation, it was discovered that it had also fallen down from the roof, which had loose plaster in many areas and needed renovation.
The cathedral’s facade is currently being renovated and will return to the same pink colour it had in the 1700s. It is expected to cost over 100 million kronor and be finished in January 2023.
The time capsule tradition will be continued, with a new capsule being placed in the cathedral’s tower to mark this renovation. 2022’s capsule will include pictures of the workers who carried out renovations, drawings from five-year-olds and a copy of Kyrkans Tidning – to be opened the next time a piece of stone or metal falls down from the heavens, maybe in another 100 years’ time.