City Hall & Stortorget, Malmö
Walking down Sodergatan towards the main square, you'll be hard pressed to miss the Optimistic Orchestra (Optimistorkestern). Created by Yngve Lundell, this sculpture is intended to express the mood of Malmo: upbeat, confident, happy, and basically, optimistic. I think the swaggering brass band conveys that message pretty well.
One of the things that made Malmo a delight to wander is its trio of central squares. Of these the largest, and arguably the most impressive, is Stortorget. This is where the Town Hall is and its 2,500 square metres is surrounded by several other notable buildings including the eloborate former pharmacy of Lejonet ("The Lion").
The square is often used for large scale outdoor events including the annual Malmo Festival and one-off concerts.
Pride of Malmo, this magnificent City Hall was the largest of its kind when it was built back in 1546. The original town hall was even older, built two centuries before the existing one. And the more modern one has been modified significantly - the Dutch facade was added in the 19th century.
The main square, or Stortorget, is the central square in Malmo. Its wide expanse encompasses several major road arteries, a car park, a statue of King Karl X Gustav, a fountain, and the impressive city hall. It was formed in the 16th century, and traditionally was the central square in the city, but in recent years the young upstart to the south, Gustav Adolfs Torg, has taken over this role.
A city hall in Malmö was first mentioned years in 1353. This was directly onthe north of the St. Petri Church, between the cemetery and Adelgatan, which was the city's oldest square street. In connection to the Reformation in Denmark the powerful mayor Jörgen Kock could tear down the great Helgeand Monastery and on its soil he built the present town square. Demolition began in 1538.
Today's town hall facade in Dutch Renaissance style was added in the 1860s and replaced a neoclassical facade from the beginning of the 1800s. The architect Helgo Zettervall designed a very free interpretation of how the original facade could (or perhaps as Zettervall should) have been like. On the facade you can see sculptural ornaments that depict including some of Malmö's historically important men like Jörgen Kock, Mattias Flensburg and others.
The construction of Stortorget of Malmö began in 1538. A short article in 1542 mentioned the site "thet new square." The town hall, the largest in the North of this kind, located along the square's east side could be dated to 1547.
At the Stortorget the governor residence and Malmö City Hall are located. Other famous buildings are Kockska house, Hotel Kramer and Pharmacy Leo.
In the middle of the square stands an equestrian statue of King Karl X Gustav, sculpted by John Börjeson The initiator of the statue was especially journalist and politician Carl Herslow and history professor Martin Weibull.
Stortorget (Great Square) has historically been Malmö's most central square, but by tram electrification took over that role more and more to Gustav Adolf Square.
Stortorget operated by horse trams years 1887-1907, hästomnibusar years 1898-1907 and electric trams years 1906-57.
The Optimistic Orchestra [Optimistorkestern] is a group of bronze statues created in 1985 by local artist Yngve Lundell - known for his burlesque and humorous creations - to the pedestrian area in downtown Malmö.
The equestrian statue of King Karl X Gustav, who took Skåne from the Danes through the Roskilde Treaty of 1658, stands in the midst of the largest square in Malmö. Stortorget was built in 1536 at the initiative of Jörgen Kock, Malmö's powerful mayor and master of the mint. Stortorget became Malmö's new marketplace and was the largest city square in Northern Europe for a very long time. The city well was located in Stortorget,with the site now marked by a bronze water sculpture. Jörgen Kock built a new and stately city hall as well as a home for himself, Kockska huset next to Stortorget.
The City Hall, finished in 1546, has undergone major changes over the centuries. In the 1860s, Helgo Zettervall redesigned the façade in the Dutch Renaissance style, much of which remains today. As far back as the 1500s.
The Radhuset (or City Hall) with its copper roof and gold statues stands on the Main Square of Malmö. Originally built in 1546, it has been changed many times... its last major alteration occurred in the 1860s. Behind the City Hall is St. Peters Church.
Malmö's Main Square is a place you can't avoid. It is a huge square with the Radhuset (City Hall) in one corner and various other buildings of traditional architecture on all sides. This area has many cafes and restaurants. During the Malmöfest, Stortorget is one of the main areas with a huge stage near City Hall, live performances, food, drink, and huge crowds.
This pharmacy at the southeastern section of Stortorget boasts one of the best-preserved pharmacy environments from the turn of the 20th century. The 'Lion' pharmacy was established in 1571, while the building dates from the 1890s. The façade is richly ornamented in German Renaissance style and the interior is dominated by graceful, carved fittings in the Gothic style.
I walked past this building several times and couldn't believe it was still a working pharmacy after all these years.
Stortorget was built in 1536 at the initiative of Jörgen Kock, Malmö's powerful mayor and master of the mint. Stortorget became Malmö's new marketplace and was the largest city square in Northern Europe for a very long time. The city well was located in Stortorget,with the site now marked by a bronze water sculpture. Jörgen Kock built a new and stately city hall as well as a home for himself, Kockska huset next to Stortorget.
Other than looking out for the nightingale at the tip of the fountain, look out for another historic marker of Malmö, the bronzy-green statue of King Karl X Gustav in Stortorget. Like any other royal European statue, this chap is green and on horseback. So what's the big deal you might ask? A helluvabig deal if you consider that this Swedish King took back Malmö from the Danes in 1658. Malmö, along with the southern parts of Sweden, actually belonged to Denmark.
Did you see the nightingale? If not, here's a better picture of the impressive Malmö City Hall (built in 1546) in Stortorget . You can see the nightingale at the tip of the fountain. Though it is ornate, the town hall still looks more impressive when it's illuminated at night. You can find it along the east side of the square.