So, last week I listed all my new experiences and old memories that I lived during my second stay in Sweden last September. Now it’s time to give a little information about the new areas and landmarks which I visited in the Skåne region (Scania). Namely, in the city of Malmö, in Skurup and in Trelleborg.
For those of you who have just stumbled upon my blog and are looking for new additions to your travel itinerary in Skåne, do take a look at last year’s travel diary (see the full series here) where I mentioned the following areas/landmarks: Limhamn, Turning Torso in Västra hamnen, Triangeln, Gustav Adolfs torg, Stortorget, Lilla Torg, Pildammsparken, Central station, Östra Kyrkogården (all in Malmö) and Svaneholm (in Skurup).
Now come with me on this new virtual tour of Southern Sweden!
Malmöhus Castle and Museums
Malmöhus slott is perhaps the most notable and iconic attraction of historic importance in the city of Malmö. The first structure was built in 1434 and it was later modified in the early 16th century by King Christian III of Denmark, making it the oldest surviving Renaissance castle in Scandinavia. The building is imposing with its red bricks and the moat surrounding it, but what’s inside is to die for if you’re a history and culture buff. Tour the castle’s main halls, the cannon tower and the prisoner tower to learn about Sweden’s royal and political history.
There are also temporary exhibitions there: the ones I saw and which are still ongoing at the moment were an exhibition about stripes, checks and dots in fashion and textiles as well as an exhibition about Georg Oddner, a Malmö-based photographer.
Within the same building, there’s also Malmö Konstmuseum dedicated to the art and design from the 1500s to the contemporary age, as well as the Natural History museum (which I didn’t visit) and the Aquarium.
With the same ticket, you can also visit the Teknikens och Sjöfartens hus (Technology and Maritime Museum), situated a few steps away from the castle. In here, you’ll find displays related to air, road and sea transport and also to science and technology in general, with some interactive bits. Unfortunately, we were too tired to go through all of it (though it’s not very big) and we were not interested in every aspect anyway. So I can’t be overly positive about this visit but, all in all, these museums that I have mentioned are worth visiting, especially if you’ve run out of outdoor activities (or if it’s raining).
While you’re visiting the castle, you absolutely cannot miss the nearby parks as they’re huge and their greenery just beckons you to enter. The first one, Kungsparken (the King’s park), is also the first big park of Malmö, having been opened in the late 1800s. Merged with this park are also Slottsparken and Slottsträdgården. Together they comprise a large area full of trees, flowers, ponds, canals and particular sculptures and landmarks, such as the Slottsmöllan, a mill which is part of the museums.
Since we visited this area right after the castle tour, we were too tired to walk around all of it. It was really a pity because the weather was great and the atmosphere was perfect. Next time I will definitely dedicate some time to a full natural immersion in these parks.
I also spent some time in Beijers Park, another big green space in the Kirseberg area. It was founded, initially as a private area, by Gottfried and Lorentz Beijer in the late 19th century, and then opened to the public a couple of decades later. This is an ideal place for physical activities, children’s play (there’s a playground) and relaxing on its grassy slopes. Another park I visited was Magistratsparken, just a short walk from the Triangeln station and the Malmö Konsthall (another art museum which I haven’t visited). This park too, although not as spacious as the others, has grass lawns where to sit and have picnics. What I found remarkable were a couple of gigantic trees, one of which looked like an umbrella.
The last park I briefly saw was Folkets Park in the Möllanvågen area, the oldest of Malmö’s parks. This used to be the main place to be, with an amusement park, events and flea markets. Sadly, there was nothing special when I visited, so my impression of it wasn’t that great and I don’t think I would visit it again. The other parks are far more beautiful.
Check out more info about the main parks in Malmö here (Visit Sweden) and here (Malmö stad)
Malmö City Library
Known as Stadsbiblioteket, this can be found outside Slottsparken, just across the street. It’s an outstanding landmark in the city due to its architecture. It’s divided into three parts: the original part known as The Castle, built to resemble a Renaissance castle; the iconic glass building called The Calendar of Light; and, in between these two, the area known as The Cylinder acts as an entrance, reception and cafe.
I was elated to finally go inside this library, not only because I love libraries in general but because I wanted to experience the architecture from the inside. So naturally, my favourite part is the modern part, the glass hall. Nevertheless, all the sections are nice to look at and they satisfy my love for symmetrical structures. This library is a must visit if you’re in Malmö, I guarantee that you’ll take some of the best photographs inside!
Architecture and open spaces
Malmö’s architecture is a nice blend of old and modern that should satisfy any photographer with an interest in construction forms and styles. From the typical red-bricked buildings to Gothic churches to futuristic metallic structures, the city is a feast for the eye.
I discovered a pretty area next to Central Station where this architectural diversity is clear. Next to the station is Posthusplatsen, a recreational open space that goes down to the canalside. Here, apart from the imposing Posthuset (Post Office), you can see one of Malmö’s many modern sculptures, Utblick/Insikt by Pål Svensson. Crossing the bridge on the canal over to Anna Lindhs plats, there is another sculpture named Spectral Self Container by Matti Kallionen.
This colourful piece of art gives an idea about the youthful characteristics of this area. In fact, here you’ll find yourself on Universitetsholmen, an artificial island which houses, among others, Malmö University. The Orkanen, a modern glass building which houses the Faculty of Education, steals the scene over the harbour, along with the particular architecture of the Niagara building (Faculties of Culture and of Technology) on the street behind. Finally, other remarkable sites in this area are the World Maritime University and Malmö Live, the latter being a newly opened and colourful centre housing a concert hall, a conference centre and a hotel. Crossing over the canal on the way to the museums, you’ll be back to traditional architecture when you see the High Court.
If you’re heading to the museums, I suggest you take this route from Central Station. The only downside is that your walk will be extra long if you decide to photograph all these landmarks!
Discover more architectural highlights here (Malmotown) and here (Malmo.se)
Hyllie and Svågertorp
Hyllie is a district with its own train station a little further away from the central areas of Malmö. The first interesting structure is the saucer-like water tower, found next to the Malmö Arena, which hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in 2013. Right across, there is the Emporia shopping mall. Its modern architecture is one of the most amazing I have ever seen, with curved glass coloured in amber at the front entrance and in blue at the back. Inside is as outstanding. It’s also a lovely scene to witness at night when it’s all lit up. You shouldn’t miss this place if you love to photograph modern architecture.
Crossing over to the other side of the Hyllie train station, you can reach the Svågertorp area, known for its huge retail outlets. The most famous one is the IKEA store, which needs no introduction. If you’re travelling in this area, it’s worth visiting this store, especially if you’re not too familiar with the IKEA concept (like me). I can assure you that time will fly while you’re browsing all the sections. Be also sure to finish off your visit with a tasty, affordable lunch at their cafeteria.
Church, cemetery and park
This time around, I finally visited Skurups kyrka, Skurup’s parish church. It can be reached from the railway area down Kyrkogatan (Church Street). According to Wikipedia, it was built in the 1100s in the Romanesque style, though it was modified over the centuries. Its architecture is striking with its white walls and orange-red roofs. The priest was ok with us visiting inside and taking photos. It’s small but still worth seeing. Next to it is a cemetery which has a lot of old gravestones. Unfortunately, I didn’t walk inside it, but I could see some stones nearest to the church dating back to the 1800s and early 1900s.
Just a short walk from the church is a small park with a pond. I’m not sure about its name as it’s not marked on Google Maps. It’s an exquisite natural spot where people can relax, picnic or feed the ducks.
Skurup is a small town with not much to see, apart from the church and its surroundings, but it has one distinguishable aspect. This is called Skurupsgotiken, Skurup Gothic. This architectural style, which includes round arches and towers, is a unique mix which developed in the late 1800s when merchants settled in Skurup and built their houses, each one adding individual characteristics. Kyrkogatan has the best examples of this architecture, such as Villa Rutsbo and the corner building in which Skurup’s Barbershop is situated.
If you’re the adventurous traveller who’s tired of the city, I do suggest you pay Skurup a visit!
Stortorget, Stadsparken and Algatan
Trelleborg is the southernmost town and municipality of Sweden, around 32 km from Malmö, and like in every town and city, there is the main square. Trelleborg’s Stortorget is characterised by an old water tower structure and a fountain sculpture named Sjöormen (Sea Serpent) created by Axel Ebbe. Ebbe is a recurrent name all over Skåne and in fact, there’s an art gallery named after him in this town, situated next to the Stadsparken.
Stadsparken is a big park next to the main square. One distinct feature of this park is a set of five bizarre sculptures made by Ralf Borselius and simply named Small Creatures. Next to this park is also Trelleborg’s Museum (which I didn’t visit).
Another area worth visiting is Algatan, the town’s main pedestrianised street. Apart from enjoying some of the town’s main buildings and their architecture, you can also see another particular fountain sculpture of women holding umbrellas. This is called Böst and is made by Fred Åberg.
Smygehuk is the southernmost point of Sweden and is situated in Smygehamn, within the Trelleborg municipality. It is known for being a fishing village and a harbour. One particular landmark is Smygehuks fyr, a lighthouse which dates back to the 19th century. If you visit it, you can go up the lighthouse and you can also see the keeper’s old wooden house. Right next to it, there’s a lovely hostel as well.
The lighthouse faces Smygehuk’s southernmost point, an area which is marked by a signpost showing directions to different localities such as Copenhagen, Stockholm and Moscow. Its position makes the whole area a tourist hotspot, thanks to the ferry service from Sassnitz in Germany to Trelleborg. The harbour area is extremely picturesque, complete with a cafe and a fish shop.
This is all for now about Sweden from my part. I hope you found some inspiration for your next visit to Skåne. Do check out the sources I linked for more detailed information and if you need more personal tips, do not hesitate and ask me.
I look forward to writing more about my future Sweden trips, hopefully sooner rather than later!