We crossed the Øresund Bridge by train from Copenhagen to Malmo, not much different from crossing the Golden Gate. No immigration control, no COVID checks, no passport stamp. Is this a different country? Yes, we are in Sweden! Hej! (pronounced Hey!) = Hi!
Actually Malmö was part of Denmark until the 17th century, but now it’s Sweden’s third-largest city. We saw just a small part of it in a short tour of the Old Town.
Our first stop leaving the train station was at the sculpture “Non Violence” known as “The Knotted Gun,” by Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd. This one is actually a replica of the original that was installed in New York City as a memorial to John Lennon after his murder. There are about 30 replicas around the world (14 of them in Sweden), symbols of the Non-Violence Project.
Continuing with modern sculpture, we saw “Rubato,” by Eva Hild.
For a more historical perspective, we toured Saint Peter’s Church, once Catholic, now Protestant after the Reformation in the 1500s. (Click the link for a detailed report.)
As we noted in the church blog, Saint Peter’s is the tallest building in the Old Town. BUT the city has built one fancy new tower (and plans for another bookending the other side of the harbor, according to our bartender). The Turning Torso is 623 feet tall, with 54 stories of offices, homes, meeting rooms as it twists 90° from the base to the top. It is highly environmentally friendly, with lots of sustainable features.
Malmö is known as the City of Parks. The greenery and water features are very pleasant. The windmill is in the Slottsträdgården, which surrounds Malmöhus Castle. The fortress was built in the early 1500s, separated by a moat, which remains today.
Beyond the moat and another canal is another park, Kungsgarden.
Kungsparken has a dozen or more statues, including one of Diana, the Roman goddess of hunting, surrounded by a herd of 15 leaping deer, including some coming up from the ground. If you wonder where Diana is, she is actually made up of a badger holding several bears, which support pigs. Atop her head a swan hangs its neck down as if it is a ponytail.
A decoration in a small chapel in Saint Peter’s Church refers to the importance of Malmö’s merchant trade. Malmö’s connections to the Hanseatic (German) League mean the town and other areas beyond have significant German language and other influence.