Monday, 28 May 2012



Malmö, in the southernmost province of Scania, is Sweden's third largest city by population after Gothenburg and Stockholm, and is one of the largest cities in Scandinavia. Malmö is the seat of Malmö Municipality and the capital of Skåne County.

Malmö is thought to have been founded in the year 1275, as a fortified quay or ferry berth of the Archbishop of Lund, some 20 km to the north-east. It was, for centuries, Denmark's second biggest city. Its original name was Malmhaug (with alternate spellings), meaning "Gravel pile".

In the 15th century, Malmö became one of Denmark's largest and most frequented cities, reaching a population of approximately 5,000 inhabitants. It became the most important city around the Sound, with the German Hanseatic League frequenting it as a marketplace, notable for its flourishing herring fishing. During that time, the city arms were granted in 1437 by King Eric of Pomerania. It was based on Eric's own arms from Pomerania: an argent with a griffin gules. It gave the griffin's head to Malmö, eventually this extended to the entire province of Scania.

In the 17th century, Malmö and the Scanian region (Skåneland) came into Swedish possession. This happened following the Treaty of Roskilde, signed in 1658. Fighting was not yet over, however; in June 1677, 14,000 Danish troops laid siege to Malmö for a month, but were unable to conquer the Swedish troops holding it.

The Town Hall
In 1840, the Kockums shipyard was founded and it eventually became one of the largest shipyards in the world. In 1870, Malmö overtook Norrköping to become Sweden's third most populous city and by 1900 Malmö had strengthened this position with 60,000 inhabitants. 

Malmö continued through the first half of the 20th century. The population had swiftly increased to 100,000 by 1915 and to 200,000 by 1952. By 1971, Malmö reached 265,000 inhabitants, but this was the peak which would stand for more than 30 years.

By the mid 1970s, Sweden experienced a recession that struck especially hard on the industrial sector; shipyards and manufacturing industries were hard hit, which led to high unemployment in many cities of Scania. Kockums shipyard had become a symbol of Malmö as its greatest employer and when the shipbuilding ceased in 1986 the reassurance for the future of Malmö plummeted among politicians and the public. Since the 1970's the Kockums Crane had been a landmark in Malmö and a symbol of the city's manufacturing industry, but in 2002 it was disassembled and moved to South Korea. In 2005 Malmö got a new landmark with completion of Turning Torso, the tallest skyscraper in Scandinavia. 

Malmö is unique in many ways. No matter where you are, you are near to almost everything since the city is built as a semicircle. Even in the outer areas there are good public transportations and closeness to nature and the beach.  Malmö has five popular bathing places, all located at the coast of Öresund. Two beaches have comfortable white sand, one a great green area and the other two spacious wooden decks. Common for every one of them is that the water quality is so good, that they can display Blue Flag. 
The beaches are also popular walking areas all year long, especially those evenings when the sky is coloured purple red in west.

Malmö is known for having a great number of restaurants and pubs. The style is very international. Here, you have the opportunity to try out virtually everything at reasonable prices, thanks to the tough competition. It's very easy to find a good restaurant because Malmö is a culinary stronghold. Traditional Swedish dishes, foreign specialties to gourmet dinners, cheap or expensive, there's a wide variety of food in Malmö. Look out for pepparkakor, literally pepper cookies, but flavoured with cinnamon, ginger, molasses and cloves. Traditional accompaniment to glögg (mulled wine). Have a seat outdoors or indoors and enjoy a good meal. 

Something from the latest Prada collection, or a cute, unique piece of art made by a local co-operative? An antique jewellery box, or a shiny coffee pot designed by a young promising Swedish designer? Malmö has it all, and shopping is conveniently conglomerated in the city centre, along the pedestrian streets Södergatan andSödra Förstadsgatan, and in surroundings blocks nearby, especially Lilla torg and Davidhallstorg.

The pedestrian street stretches from Stortorget along Södergatan, via Gustav Adolfs Torg, continuing along Södra Förstadsgatan across the square to the shopping centre Triangeln. Even if the whole route is almost 2 km/1.2 mi long, you will have plenty of possibilities to rest in one of the many cafés or restaurants on your way.  From Triangeln one can keep on south, towards Möllevången, Malmö's bohemian quarter, where exotic food boutiques and markets can bring some flavour to this shopping round, which also turns out to be a delightful sight-seeing tour.

Malmö also has a large variety of shopping malls in the city centre as well as in the outskirts of the city. Every mall has its own style and assortment. Some are very exclusive, others offer a wide selection of shops and international and national chain of shops. You find almost everything is under the same roof: clothes, electronics, provisions, restaurants, jewellery, toys, books and more. The malls have extended opening hours and most of them are open on Sundays as well. 
Malmö Castle

Malmö has a vibrant night life, but prices are for the most part substantially higher than they are across the bridge in Copenhagen. Lille Torg is the epicentre but prices are high, you could also try Möllevångstorget where any of the many bars, cafés and restaurants in this bustling part of town are good value. Like in Copenhagen, and indeed most of Scandinavia, expect most of the drinking to be limited to Friday and Saturday except at the height of summer when many Swedes are on vacation. 

                                                        Malmo’s Top 5:
  1. The Church of Saint Peter.  Malmö's oldest building is St Peter's Church. It was built in the early 14th century in Baltic Brick Gothic probably after St Mary's Church in Lübeck. Construction was started in 1319. It is built in the Gothic style and has a 105-metre (344 ft) tall tower.  The church is built with a nave, two aisles, a transept and a tower. Its exterior is characterized above all by the flying buttresses spanning its airy arches over the aisles and ambulatory. The tower, which fell down twice during the 15th century, got its current look in 1890.
  2. Malmö Castle. The first castle was founded in 1434 by King Eric of Pomerania. This structure was demolished in early 16th century, and a new one was built in its place in the 1530s by King Christian III of Denmark. Historically, this fortress was one of the most important strongholds of Denmark. The castle was for five years (1568–1573) the prison of James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots. The earl was taken into custody on the orders of the Protestant Danish king Frederick II of Denmark when his ship ran aground in Bergen, Norway during a storm. 
  3. HSB Turning Torso is the tallest skyscraper in Sweden and the Nordic countries,  located on the Swedish side of the Öresund strait. Upon completion, it was the tallest building in Scandinavia, the tallest residential building in the EU and the second tallest residential building in Europe. It was designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and officially opened on 27 August 2005. The tower reaches a height of 190 metres (623 feet) with 54 stories
  4. Rådhuset (The Town Hall) It was originally built in 1546, but has been altered several times. The facade got its today's appearance - in Dutch Renaissance style - in 1864-69. It is home to the seat of the Malmö Municipality in Skåne County. When the first Swedish local government acts were implemented in 1863 the old City of Malmö was made one of the country's 88 city municipalities and the first city council was elected.
  5. The Öresund Bridge (called also Øresund Link) opened for traffic in 2000. The bridge is one of the biggest constructions in Europe and consists of an 8 kilometres (5 miles) long bridge, a 4 kilometres artificially made island called Pepparholmen, and a 4 kilometres long tunnel. The Öresund Region is today one of Europe's most important areas in terms of growth and environment, and the bridge has been a important factor here. A city tunnel - a railway tunnel that connects stations: Malmö Central, Malmö Triangeln, and Malmö Hyllie with the Öresund link - makes it easier and quicker to travel in the region. The bridge is unique because it connects two countries. And a travel between Malmö and Danish Copenhagen takes only approx. 20 minutes.

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