Cities being considered as “crowded places” is far from new. These photos are taken in Stockholm’s Old Town. The reason behind the narrow streets is that the city limits back then were, to say the least, very small partly because of a defence wall that went around the town and mainly because the shore line was different. Stockholm is a town built on several islands but the islands outside The Old Town were regarded as “the country side” where people who were well off bought built decent country homes with garden.
Things and activities that could either cause a fire hazard or were considered smelly were also banned within city limits. Stockholm’s first hospital was also built outside the city. This meant that the tar was stored in warehouses south of the city while the tanners settled west of the city. Things change with time. The development soon made the defence wall old fashioned and it was torn down in the early 17th century.
Building houses on and incorporating the islands surrounding the Old Town definitely began during the 19th century and they are now regarded as part of central Stockholm.