In my last blog post I started revisiting my city, Malmö in Sweden. Walking through the old town, I came across different sites such as the Large Square, The Lejon Passage and lastly the oldest church in Malmö: St Peter’s church. You can read more about it here. Anyway, I went back to exploring, as Malmö still had so much to offer. Especially the changes in weather from super sunny to rainy and then again sunny (Haha). Just a side note to why sometimes the pictures are taken under a bright sun and then others under a gloomy dark cloud.
Towards the Small Square (Lilla Torget)
I left St Peter’s Church with no planned destination in my mind other than getting lost on Malmö’s old town streets. I only wanted to get immersed in the bustling city life, relishing the opportunity of experiencing the third largest city in Sweden. Different shops welcomed people to take a look inside and buy their products. Restaurants and cafes as well.
Reaching the main walking street in the old town, Södergatan, I got a surprise: it started raining. You know those summer rains that don’t last much? Well, this was one of those. Out of a sudden. But I wasn’t afraid to continue my exploration and keep on walking. Right at the beginning of the street that is connected to the large square, I found an interesting sculpture reflecting Malmö’s modern art scene. Entitled, the optimist orchestra, this bronze artwork accompanies both tourists and locals walks across Södergatan. They play a song only heard by the ones that want to listen, lighting up their day.
Check out these other amazing activities in Malmö:
Throughout my wandering, I ended up on a street having on one side a colourful yellow building. Its style and architecture gave away the fact that it surely belonged to a historical past. Even though it was very well-kept, the wooden details along the house, together with the windows and doors couldn’t hide their old age. One more thought that I had: who would, today, paint their house in such a bright yellow? I haven’t seen any modern houses adopting these colours, but rather something more simple and minimalistic (white, grey). Would you paint your house in a bright colour?
Going back to the story, I felt that something more would be at the end of the road. Then, I entered the small square of Malmö. Compared to the large square, this one was built few years later, in 1590, as to offer locals an additional area to handle. Personally I enjoyed it more than the large square, because it offered me a more intimate feeling. With ease I absorbed all the details surrounding the square, from truly old buildings, such as the yellow construction, to more recent architecture. And by that I mean the 19th century. One by one, each of the newer constructions were turned into restaurants. Or at least their ground floor.
All these houses, together with their restaurants were closely linked together, as thought they were holding hands, welcoming people inside for a drink or something to eat. Usually on a warm summer day, these terraces are packed with people and I understand why. The view and feeling one gets while in the little town square makes the food worth its price (Normally the case in old towns). I did try throughout my living in Malmö all restaurants around the little square and if I would go back there to eat, it would be mainly because of the lively atmosphere and landscapes I can savour.
Malmö: Old town streets
Returning to my wandering, I started encountering different old town streets, each with unique and picturesque elements that showed up. From interesting 18th century architectural buildings, where I believe people still live today, to buildings fully covered up in ivy or small houses looking as though taking from a fairytale. I was mesmerised by the history that each of these constructions emanated, thinking of the numerous families and people that once used to live here or still are.
Flowers grow harmoniously at each entrance door creating a similar atmosphere to entering Narnia or some other mystical realm. Everything is so well-kept, clean and meticulously organised that I felt as though I am walking through a utopian city from a far-away future… or from another planet.
And then I found this house, on the most beautiful street in Malmö (my own opinion) which captured my attention at once. It was truly taken out of a story – maybe Hansel and Gretel. It had two wooden dolls at its entrance, flowers surrounding it everywhere and even two chairs for the tenants – I suppose – to sit outside and enjoy the sun. Looking at the wooden dolls, I got a feeling of happiness knowing that whoever lives here still has their own inner-child more alive than ever.
Malmö: Gustav Adolfs Square
Leaving the unreal streets of the old town, I ended up in another square of Malmö’s historical centre: Gustav Adolf. This square has a great significance for Malmö, because it is a symbol for the city’s development. King Gustav IV Adolf decided in 1804 to take down the old fortifications of the city as to drive its expansion. Then, new quarters, channels and avenues were built in order to develop Malmö. One fun fact is that during the kings’ stay here – from November 1806 to May 1807 – the city became capital of Sweden. Only for 6 months!
Nowadays, the square is used as a fruit and flower marketplace. Also, different events take place here once in a while – the most known of is Malmö Festivalen: the city’s festival. Art is also to be found here in the square, such as this sculpture of a griffin (I assume). Intrigued by the meaning of it, I searched some explanations to what it signifies – however I wasn’t that lucky to find any. If you are from Malmö and know of it I’d love to hear more in the comments below!
The end of the journey
After a few minutes of relaxation in Gustav Adolf’s Square, next to the fountain, I ended up on a path leading to the end of the old town. I knew it because of the canal acting as a barrier and a bridge crossing it into the modern city of Malmö, where history is still to be made.
One aspect of the bridge called “Davidshall” that attracted my interest was the numerous shoes neatly standing in line, one after the other, on both sides of the bridge. They represent the shoes of famous personalities of Malmö, each bearing a name and the date of the person that once used to wear them. Isn’t this a creative way to remember the people that had a great influence over the city? In this way, they will never be forgotten as their shoes will act as a reminder of the person that once used to wear them.
Until next time
This was the story of Malmö and how it feels like walking through the old town. I found a cozy place to sit next to the river and a cat, reminiscing the picturesque landscapes I encountered, the rich history I experienced and the feeling I got from observing the old town of the third largest city in Sweden. Now I wonder: would you come here next?