Möllevången in Malmö
Once upon a time I lived in Möllevången in Malmö where Folkets Park is situated. Folkets Park were originally operated by organisations closely tied to the Swedish Labour movements and they founded “the folk parks” so the ordinary working people should have somewhere to spend their free time. Usually a green area with scenes for artists and dance courses where people went dancing. Restaurants were established in the bigger towns but in the smaller places the organisation itself arranged for festivities. In places with big industries the parks usually got sponsored by the industrial owners. Many international artists have toured the parks during summer in the 20th century. In many parks there also have been playgrounds for children and sometimes entertainment parks both temporary and permanent ones.
Malmö Folkets Park is situated where the industrialist Frans Suell had a rural villa and the park that belonged to the villa. The villa can still be seen outside one of the entrances to the park. The villa was called Lugnet which means “calmness”. I hope the tobacco industrialist found calmness in his rural villa.
Nowadays the park is surrounded by houses built in the beginning of the 20th century and of houses built in the 1930s.
For a short while I lived in the house the builder Oskar Emil Hägg built for himself. Many of the architects of Malmö were educated as architects but Hägg was a builder and originally enough he built his own house on Möllevången which was a part of town that workers lived in. If you see a building in Malmö with animal ornaments you can be certain that Hägg has built it. I have shown several of his buildings from Rörsjöstaden on this blog before. Hägg died sometime in the 1950s and I lived in the building in the beginning of the 1970s. It was renovated shortly after. Sadly I saw that the facade is being renovated now and no ornaments were seen, only the ovals where the ornaments should be. I hope they put them back again.
Möllevången grew in the 1930s with many apartments built with one room and a kitchen. I lived in such an apartment around 1980 with a sleeping alcove in a sort of enlarged hall. In the 1930s whole families lived in small apartment s like this.
My errand on friday was my curiosity about the painting I had read about in the media, an artist had painted a portrait of Alicia Vikander on the graffiti wall by Folkets Park. My walk also took my across Möllevångstorget, a big market square that hosts food sellers. Möllevången is also a restaurant district and a part of town where you can shop for ingredients for a myriad of kitchens from other countries.
On Möllevångstorget stands the statue Arbetets ära by Axel Ebbe. The demonstrations on the first of May always ends on Möllevångstorget.
As I said I seldom come here nowadays but my memories were triggered by this short walk along memory lane. After all these were the streets I cycled on (mostly) daily for a few years. I never went to Folkets Park to enjoy myself as I wasn´t the dancing type until I had children of my own that had activities in the park but I used to walk through it when I went to the closest shop as that was the shortest distance. Today this is said to be a part of town inhabited by hipsters, as so many working class areas in many towns in the world are today.
The pictures show Frans Suell’s villa Lugnet, the old entrance to Folkets Park, a painting on the graffiti wall, Oskar Emils Häggs house, a street by Möllevångstorget and Möllevångstorget.