Two Old Town Centers in Sweden
#2 in a series on tour in Sweden in May 2017
In Sweden, many houses are still made of wood and are seen everywhere in the landscape. Homes in different colours often with white framing. The gardens have lawns and a few bushes or trees. In Denmark, we have a tradition of hiding our brick houses behind hedges.
In the 1960s many of the Swedish towns were renewed and they look-alike with boring concrete departments and shopping centres.
Thankfully there are towns and cities where the original wooden and stone houses are kept, and people gather to stroll through the pretty cobblestone streets. One of these places is Haga in central Gothenburg. The city is placed on the east coast of Sweden not far from Denmark. Haga was the first suburb of Gothenburg. The area is from the mid 17th century and later got a bad reputation. It was nearly demolished in the 1960s.
I haven’t photoed the streets of Haga, but the area looks similar to the roads of Eksjoe further down this post. Raul Wallenberg was a real hero. As a young Swedish diplomat in Budapest during the WWII, he saved thousands of Jews giving them a false passport even at the cattle wagons. He was taken by the Soviets, and he disappeared in their prisons. The picture is from 2010. On this trip, it was damaged by graffiti. More on this memorial here where the Haga houses can be seen in the background.
A funding Haga it and It was renovated in the 1980s. Today it’s an attractive district with shops and cafes and restaurants. The Haga Bath, a bathhouse in Art Nouveau Style, is also beautifully renovated but very expensive to enter.
A few pictures of the architecture in Gothenburg
A ferry from Denmark takes us to coastal Gothenburg in 3 hours. It’s the second largest city in Sweden. The city and nature are so different from our country. Houses are more impressive, and the area is hilly and rocky. I have been there many times as I run a big race every May, but I still haven’t a full view over the parts as the trams take you in and out in different directions avoiding the steep rocky hills. The old city has fortifications and water canals which cut up the streets and make me lose track of destinations. Dutch experts built the town on wet areas as Manhattan and Jakarta. You can read about the city, and it’s history here.
In another central part of the city is a park called “The Garden Association” “Trädgårdsföreningen”. We go there every time as tulips and wild pansies are arranged in colourful flowerbeds. A vast greenhouse as a model of the famous Crystal Palace in London and lovely modern playground and cafes in old wooden houses are spread around in the park.
The other place I would like to mention is the so-called Wooden Town of Eksjoe. The town is situated in the area called Smaaland 223 km east of Gothenburg. See the first post in the series. The homepage has some excellent photos. The town origins from the early Middle-ages.
Pictures from this trip in May 2017 in Eksjoe
The old wooden houses in the inner town of Eksjoe in Smaaland. They are lucky that it didn’t get the “Renovation Treatment” in the 1960s.