Daytrip Malmö

Crafts and Castle

The original inspiration to visit Malmö and  Copenhagen in the first place came from Danish-Swedish TV crime series Broen (The Bridge). The bridge in question is of course the Öresund-bridge connecting Copenhagen with Malmö, an incredibly elegant construction spans nearly 8km of open sea with an artificial island in the middle, making it the longest combined car and train suspension bridge in the world. The border between Denmark and Sweden runs right through the bridge, but thanks to Schengen you don’t really notice that. Let’s hope it stays that way, these days it becomes more and more likely Europe will go back to a collection of strong nation-states going back on 50 years of increasingly more integration and freedoms for its citizens.

If we would have just payed a bit more attention to detail while watching we could have noticed that trains actually run under the bridge and not on top of it. So instead of the breathtaking view we were hoping for on our ride we got a stroboscopic flickering of ocean and clouds. Anyways, it the trip does feel like taking the S-Bahn in Berlin going from one district to another for all its worth and there a lot of commuters living in one country and working in the other. Before the bridge was opened in July 2000 after just 40 months of construction Malmö was a bit like Sweden’s poorhouse. That totally changed though and nowadays it is quite prosperous with a lot of remarkable modern architecture, big companies and a freshly paved roads.

As we mostly do in new places, we just picked a more or less random direction and started walking to see what we would find.

Malmö City Hall and Apotek Lejonet

Stortorget is a beautiful plaza that is dominated by Malmö City Hall (Malmö Rådhus)a huge and commandeering Renaissance behemoth with a battle-axe crowning the spire, instantly reminding me of every Viking movie I’ve ever seen.

golden axe on spire of Malmö townhall

Battle-ax on top the Malmö city hall (Malmö Rådhus).

Apotek Lejonet (Pharmacy Lion), a pharmacy built in the 1500s that is not only preserved on the outside but with its whole interior intact as well. Fairytale like and definitely worth a visit, might as well pretend to have a cold if you are too embarrassed to just look without buying.

Interior of Apotek Lejonet, a centuries old pharmacy in the centre of Malmö

Interior of Apotek Lejonet, a centuries old pharmacy in the centre of Malmö

St. Petri

With construction starting in 1319 (the crypt), St. Petri is the oldest building in Malmö. Make sure to take a look at the side chapels with their old stone slabs covering the tombs. Some of them are pretty morbid for our modern eyes but in the middle-ages death was a constant companion and people had a different relationship with representations of life’s end. Lift your eyes and you can see lovingly reconstructed frescoes that had been covered during the reformation.

tombstone with skulls cover the floor of the crypt in St Petri church in Malmö

tombstone with skulls cover the floor of the crypt in St Petri church in Malmö

Side chapel in St. Petri in Malmö

Side chapel in St. Petri in Malmö

Lilla Torg and the Form Design Centre

Lilla Torg is the heart of Malmö’s old-town at the time of our visit it is dominated by a mesmerizing piece of modern art.

Located on its southern front is the Form Design Centre, a collection of shops and studios for various craftspersons and artists in a four-sided half-timbered house. One of them is a 70 year enamel artist of German descent who learned his craft from his mother in 1950s Germany. Right now he is teaching his daughter his daughter and still trying to perfect his art. He was happy to practice his German skills with us well, not that he needed it. Even after 50 years in Sweden his German was very elaborate and poetic. Like his art, his language had a certain commitment that reminded me of documentaries about Japanese bonsai artists or swordsmiths.

Modern art on Lilla Storget close to Form Design Centre

Modern art on Lilla Storget close to Form Design Centre

Sadly I lost my notes, so I can't tell you the name of this wonderful artist in the Form Design Centre in Malmö

Sadly I lost my notes, so I can’t tell you the name of this wonderful artist in the Form Design Centre in Malmö

Malmöhus

The Malmöhus, originally constructed in the early 1500s was a fortress guarding the Öresund and seat of the regional government. Among other things it was used a particularly nasty prison. High-ranking prisoners like Maria Stuarts 3rd husband probably had a proper, but as you can see in the City-Museum that has made its home there today, the regular cells were indeed gruesome.

Other than that the museum gives you quite the good of how the 1%s lived in the Renaissance. Some of the living quarters have been restored as well, even though the bed were surprisingly small, but maybe that just made it easier to keep warm.

Malmöhus Exterior

Malmöhus Exterior

A hall in Malmöhus

A hall in Malmöhus

The Bridge

Finally we direct our steps toward the waterfront to catch a glimpse of the Öresund bridge in the slanting afternoon light. I still think its a stunning construction of superior elegance. Its’ dimensions seem a bit unreal and it’s really hard to get in your head how they built it in the first place. You might feel different if you’re an engineer but for artsy folk like myself this is pure magic.

Öresund bridge connection Denmark and Sweden over 15 km of the open Baltic Sea.

Öresund bridge connection Denmark and Sweden over 15 km of the open Baltic Sea.

Harbour and Lighthouse

On our way back to the station, we found the Malmö lighthouse, although it looks a bit lost, since there are so many higher buildings today.

Streetscene with a view on Malmö harbour with cranes and the lighthouse.

Streetscene with a view on Malmö harbour with cranes and the lighthouse.

Random modern art in front of a hotel in Malmö

Random modern art in front of a hotel in Malmö

Sweden is very good at integrating modern architecture in old enviroments.

Sweden is very good at integrating modern architecture in old enviroments.

Iron marching band on Stortorget. Malmö

Iron marching band on Stortorget. Malmö

Random phallic buildings - didn't find out what they were, didn't try too hard, either.

Random phallic buildings – didn’t find out what they were, didn’t try too hard, either.

 

If you haven’t read it already, you might want to check out my tipps for a perfect weekend in Copenhagen.

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