City Hall & Stortorget, Malmö
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.
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.
Right after Liz and I dropped off at Malmö( mahl-mer) Central Station, we shed off our gigantic backpacks in lockers and wandered about with our daypacks. The first place that we wandered to was the Renaissance-era square called Stortorget. Dominating Stortorget was the red-bricked town hall or Rådhuset. Though there were interior tours, Liz and I gave it a miss since this won't be the last town hall we'll be looking at in Scandinavia. What captured our interest was the fountain on Stortorget. If you look very carefully, you can find a nightingale (an ancient symbol of Malmö) and a water-fountain to quench your thirst.
Malmo has various bronze sculptures all around the town. The most famous seems to be The Optimistic Orchestra (Optimistorkestern) of the artist Yngve Lundell. It is a tribute to Lech Walesa and Martin Luther King.
The City Hall (Radhuset) of Malmo is an impressive late Gothic style building of the Middle Ages.
It was originally built in 1546, but has been modified several times. The current appearance is from 1864-69.
Stortorget is the main square of Malmo. It is surrounded by a number of interesting buildings such as the City Hall, the Residence and the Old Pharmacy Lejonet. Moreover a statue of King Karl X is placed on the square.
A second square called "Lilla Torg" was build in 1590 when Stortorget wasn't big enough for Malmo's trade. Nowadays Lilla Torg is one of Malmo's meeting places with many restaurnats, outdoor cafes and pubs.
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.
Every city I have been to when traveling in Europe has some kind of city hall. Some are beautiful, some not so beatiful. The one pictured here in Malmo is very attractive and ornate. It is located in the city's oldest square Stortorget. i was constructed in 1546 but has had many renovations over the years. As you can see, the day I arrived the sky was bright and sunny. The flags were waving in the air. But wait...look a little closer. Click on the picture for an enlarged view. Do you notice anything unusual?
Along with a City Hall, most cities I have visited have a large central city square. Although this is common in Europe it is not as common at home in the United States. So I am always interested in the city squares when I visit a city. And what would a city square be without some sort of equestrian statue.
Stortorget, Malmo's city square, is 12,000 square meters and is used for big events in the city. It is Malmo's oldest square. It was constructed in 1530 by Jorgen Kock. You will find this statue of King Karl X in the the square. Historically King Karl X made Skane Swedish in 1658.
Nothing beats Stockholm and Sigtuna as far as city halls in Sweden go but this one is a close third. Just don't think that this is where the local council clerks have their offices. No, they're hidden in a monstrous concrete thing near the Concert Hall these days as the city has far outgrown this representation hall. When it was still a city hall (with a slightly different facade), it was lent to king Gustav IV Adolf for a year 1806-07, as he thought Malm? a far superior location to Stockholm in times of continental wars (and never liked Stockholm anyway) and chose to move the court here, effectively making Malm? the capital of Sweden for a year! :-) However, his family loathed the provincial small town and its agricultural squares and misty weather and the 5 000 strong population of Malm? never saw much of the royals. In the end, the king lost all Swedish German lands the year after and was forced to abdicate before being expatriated...
Today, you can also dine in style in the Rådhuskällaren restaurant with its vaults. One of the classier places in the city.
Immediately outside of Stortorget I started to walk down the pedestrian mall and found this amusing little group of musicians. I do not know a lot about them, how designed them or anything. But I do know that they made me smile and we a nice welcome to the pedestrian walkway.
Someone was not paying attention to what they were doing on the day I arrived. If you look at the flags in front of City Hall you will see that one of them is flying upside down. These are the kind of little things I love to take photo's of to remember. They make the trip more memorable when I look back on them later.
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.
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.
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.