Address: Storgatan 20 Kalmar
Saddler Castens and his wife Anna Hermansdotter built the stepped gable house at Storgatan 20 in 1667. Ever since then some sort of trading activity has been pursued in the property at street level, making it one of Sweden’s oldest shop premises.
The Castens decided to immortalise their names in stone above the door, now the entrance to Gerda’s tea and coffee shop. The stonemason was hired. Christian Castens spoke a local Kalmar dialect. So when Christian was explaining to the stonemason where he wanted his name on the panel above the door, in the local dialect it came out as “Christian Cerstens”. With an ‘e’ instead of an ‘a’, and an additional ‘r’, the stonemason set to work and carved the name he heard. The mistake, and thus the clearest evidence of the Kalmar dialect, has remained there for over 335 years. In the courtyard there is a stable dating back to the 1700s, which is a farm café in the summer.