Sweden // The southwest //

Stora torg

Diagonally across from the Heliga Trefaldighetskyrkan, the main square, Stora torg, contains the late nineteenth-century Rådhus, built in imitation of Christian’s Renaissance design. Inside the entrance, a bronze copy of the king’s 1643 bust is something of a revelation: Christian sports a goatee beard, one earring and a single dreadlock, and exposes a nipple decorated with a flower motif, itself a source of interest for a baby elephant round the royal neck. Opposite the town hall, and in marked contrast to it, the 1920s post office and the old Riksbank have an identical 1920s brick design; while the adjacent 1640s Mayor’s House is different again, with a Neoclassical yellow-stuccoed facade. The square also boasts Palle Pernevi’s splintered Icarus fountain, which depicts the unfortunate Greek soul falling from heaven into what looks like a scaffolded building site. The town’s streets are peppered with modern sculptures; one of the best is Axel Olsson’s bronze Romeo & Julia at Östra Storgatan 3, close to Storatorg, depicting an accordion player serenading a woman emerging from an open window.

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