To the west of Haga, the cosmopolitan district of Linné is named after the botanist Carl von Linné, who created the system for classifying plants used the world over. To get here, turn south off Haga Nygatan into Landsvägsgatan, which joins up with Linnégatan – the main thoroughfare. In recent years, so many stylish cafés and restaurants have sprung up along the main drag that Linné is now considered Gothenburg’s “second Avenyn”, although without the attitude; the street is lined with Dutch-inspired nineteenth-century architecture, tall and elegant buildings interspersed with steep little side roads. However, it’s the main roads leading off Linnégatan, prosaically named First Long Street (Första Långgatan), Second Long Street (Andra) and so on up to Fourth (Fjärde), that give the area its real character; the not-very-long Second and Third streets contain a mix of dark antique stores, basement cafés and sex shops.
On the right as you head up Linnégatan away from Järntorget is the forbidding building at no. 9 (at the corner of Fjärde Långgatan and Linnégatan) where King Oskar II had his private royal apartment – and his women. Directly opposite is a modern apartment block that’s worth a second glance; it replaced a property whose republican owner so hated both the monarchy and the morals of the king that he had a run of colourful ceramic panels depicting the devil installed, facing the royal apartment. Sadly, the Gothenburg propensity for doing away with its own past meant the “devil building”, as it was known, has now been demolished, but two of the grotesque panels have been incorporated into the new apartment block.