Wednesday, August 23, 2017

At Gamla Staden in Malmö

Stortorget
Malmö is the third largest city in Sweden with a rich cultural mix of over 150 nationalities. It had an estimated population of 328,000 in 2016 but it seems like a sleepy hamlet compared to its neighbor, Denmark. I happened to be in Malmö on Sweden Day and watched the celebrations on Stortorget, its main square. A small crowd was gathered to watch the performances. I was grateful for the empty benches because I needed to sit and rest for a few minutes after all the walking I did. But where had all locals gone?

Gamla Staden or Old Town is in the center of the city, just a short walk from the railway station. Much of Malmó's historic architecture from brick Gothic to Dutch Renaissance style are concentrated in the old town. It is also a gathering place for visitors and locals alike with its cafés and outdoor restaurants.

Lilla Torg
Lilla Torg (Little Square) is a stone's throw from Stortorget. This cobblestoned square was built in 1592 as a market square. It is surrounded by well preserved buildings from the 1600-1800. 

Lilla Torg
One of the best places to people watch is from any of the outdoor restaurants and cafés on Lilla Torg. There are free concerts on the square during the summer months. In the vicinity is the Form and Design Center which displays the latest developments in design, architecture and art.

Faxeska Gården
This half timbered house on Lilla Torg was once owned by a burgher and dates to the 1760's. 

Flensburgska Huset
The Flensburgska house on Störgatan was a former warehouse built in the 1590s in the Dutch Renaissance style.

Sank Petri Kyrka
Sank Petri Kyrka or Saint Peter's Church is the oldest building in Malmö. Construction of the Church started in early 14th century. It is a brick Gothic style structure with a steeple rising to 344 ft. and was modeled after St. Mary's Church in Lübeck, Germany. The current tower is from the 1890s.

Sankt Petri Kyrka
The interior of  Saint Peter's was whitewashed in 1555 during the Protestant Reformation and most of its medieval murals are gone. The wooden altarpiece is from 1611.

Krämarekapellet
The only murals left in the entire church is in the Krämarekapellet (Trademen's Chapel) in the rear of the church and restored in the early 20th century. The mural on the vaulted ceiling shows St. Peter (identified by the keys he's carrying) and St. John the Evangelist (in dark robe) holding the image of Jesus Christ on a piece of white cloth. They are surrounded by exuberant foliage. 

Governor's Residence
The Governor's Residence is from the late 16th century. The façade was updated in 1851. Notice the tower of St. Peter's Church in the background. 

Old Light House and marina
The lighthouse and marina are just outside the Central Train Station.

There's so much more to see in Malmö but I was pressed for time so I only covered the Gamla Staden area. It was a special treat to have gone to Malmö by way of the famous Øresund Bridge and to cross the Øresund (the Sound). 

How to get to Malmö from Denmark:
Take the train from Copenhagen Central Station for the short ride across the Øresund Bridge to Malmö Station. At the first stop after crossing the bridge, Immigration officials will board the train and check the passports of all passengers before the train can proceed to other destinations in Sweden.

*****

Images by TravelswithCharie


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mirabell Gardens

Small Parterre
The Mirabell Gardens were laid out in 1687 during the reign of Prince-Archibishop Johann Ernst von Thun. It was designed by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach within the Mirabell palace grounds and redesigned a few times over the years. One of the characteristics of a Baroque garden is how it incorporates vistas outside the garden into its design. This feature is evident from Rosehill, on the south side of the Palace. Our eyes are drawn from the Small Parterre to the Fountain of Pegasus and beyond to the dome and steeples of the Cathedral of Salzburg and Hohensalzburg Fortress. 

Monday, August 07, 2017

Osaka, City of Kuidaore

Unlike its neighbors, Kyoto and Nara, Osaka has few historical landmarks to show. This third largest city in Japan makes up for the shortfall with its thriving entertainment and food scene. 

Dotonbori Street