Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Malmö Sweden

We left Copenhagen for Malmo around nine in the morning. The trains leave every 20 minutes even on a Sunday. It takes 35 minutes going across the 16 km Øresund Bridge which links the two countries. It’s very interesting looking out the train windows seeing the water on either side so far below.
Malmo is the third largest city in Sweden and has re-invented itself from a rather sleazy, crime ridden place to a trendy cosmopolitan city. It is an easy palace to walk around with some interesting sites.

Malmohus Slott

The day we arrived was rather wet and as we arrived earlier than we expected none of the shops were open. After finding our hotel which was near the rather impressive Opera House we made our way to the Malmöhus Slott which houses many interesting exhibits relating to its former uses as a fortress, palace and prison. The whole presentation was extremely interesting.  We then went to the Technical Museum which was just over the road. It had many interactive displays which were very engaging as well as a number of ‘boys’ toys’.
By the time we had spent most of the day in these museums the weather had improved slightly. Not knowing where to go for dinner we headed out from our hotel and just around the corner was a Greek restaurant ‘The Akropolis’ we felt we could work our way through the menu in Swedish as we knew what was likely to be on offer and therefore could work out the dishes reasonably well.
The next day we went to Lund which is only 15 minutes away by train. Lund is a university town and has that special university town atmosphere.  We made our way to the St. Lars Cathedral. It is a magnificent Romanesque Church, after seeing the so many soaring Gothic churches it was a change to see the more solid construction and appreciate this style of construction that preceded the more flamboyant Gothic.
The oldest part of the Cathedral is the crypt and there is a sculpture of a ‘giant’ holding onto one of the pillars. The legend has it that Finn the giant was trying to destroy the Cathedral and when he tried to shake the pillar he was turned into stone.

Astronomical Clock Lund Cathedral

We managed to be there when the Astronomical clock strikes up. The clock dates back to the 15th century but was restored to working order in the early 20th century.  The two knights at the top of the clock clash their swords together to strike the hour, then the music of ‘In Dulci Jublio’ plays as the three Wise Men appear to bow and present Mary and the baby Jesus with their gifts. It is quite magical and going on the number of people who front up to watch it these mechanical devices still fascinate even in these high tech times.

House at Kulturen Museum

As it was a Monday all the museums were closed, however, the Kulturen was open. It was first established in 1892 and comprises an extensive culturally valuable collection and about thirty different buildings showing different eras and styles of architecture. There was an extremely informative display relating to the University of Lund. This is the second oldest open-air museum in the world, the oldest being in Stockholm. The museum was more informative than we thought it would be, as it gave insight into history and society. Once in a museum we seem to lose track of time. By the time we had wandered out of the museum we thought we might as well get back to Malmö. On our return we wandered around the Lilla Torg the old part of the town trying to decide on a place to eat and ended up at an Italian restaurant, which seem as prolific here as they are in Melbourne.
Tuesday our last day here we decided to take a canal tour which was very informative. It certainly filled in a lot of background about the city. One of the main landmarks is the Turning Torso, it’s a remarkable building which twists through 90 degrees from the bottom to the top. It was design by a Spaniard Santiago Calatrava and it is a residential property so it cannot be visited by the public.
After the canal tour we visited the main church St. Petri Kyrka which was built around 1300. This church is known from the medieval seal of Malmö city. The church has gone through a number of restorations and extensions over the ages have not always been kind to maintaining all the historical important aspects. The Reformation caused many medieval adornments and objects to be lost or destroyed but the art objects from the Renaissance and the Baroque were saved. It was an interesting church to visit.
As the day was warm and sunny we explored the Castle gardens which had initially be started by volunteers and there were various garden ‘allotments’ which displayed a variety of design and plants.

Street Sculpture Malmo

We wandered back into town admired the ornate façade of the Radhus, the quirky street sculpture before looking for a place for dinner. We asked at the hotel for a recommendation of a place to eat not too far away and we were pointed in a different direction than we normally would have gone. We discovered this nice little tapas bar, Davidshall, which was obviously out of the tourist area (no English menu) but we managed to bumble along and had a really nice dinner.
Then first thing the next day off to Stockholm.

No comments:

Post a Comment