Swedish gems – things to see in Lund!
I had the pleasure and great fortune to spend my first Erasmus in Lund! So I guess after 5 months in this small town I can recommend you things to see? 🙂 About living in this small town I will tell you in a separate post and today I invite you to the travel section. Although Lund counts only 80,000 inhabitants and during the holiday season is quite empty (student town), Lund really can offer a lot of attractions!
How to get to Lund?
There are many ways to get into this little Swedish town and you won’t spend too much money! The best way is to arrive in Malmö airport with low cost lines. From the airport you will arrive to Lund in 40 minutes by bus. I can’t remember the exact price, but they aren’t expensive. In 2014 buses ran every 40 minutes. You can also fly to Copenhagen, from where you will take the train or Swebus – however it’s a lil bit longer journey that will take 1h. Prices are much higher than from Malmö, but distance is also bigger. If you plan to arrive by car, I recommend to sail to Ystad or Trelleborg. From these cities you will reach Lund in an hour.
Here you will check trains and buses. If you plan to travel a lot I recommend to buy a JOJO card. You will pay for this a lil bit, but than you can save some money on your journeys.
A brief history of Lund
Before we go to the pictures and places that you must see, I would like to introduce the city of Lund. I don’t hide that I was very surprised when I got to know it better. It was like this: Lund was founded in the 10th century! So it is already quite old town for these areas. It was established due to strengthen relationships in this area with the Kingdom of Denmark. The city flourishes in the twelfth century. The archbishop’s residence for whole Scandinavia was located here. The city also had a beautiful cathedral since the eleventh century, where the Danish kings were crowned at the turn of the 13th-15th centuries. Since the 13th century Lund was the most important city in Denmark – the Archbishops exercised ecclesiastical authority over all of Scandinavia. Unfortunately, due to quite a long distance from the sea, Lund lost its role as Skåne’s economic center to Malmö.
Things to see in Lund
Here is a subjective list of my favorite places in Lund to see! It is enough for you to check everything in one day. 🙂
I was privileged to study at this Uni for 5 months! Although it is almost 300 years younger than my home university (Jagiellonian University), in Sweden is considered to be the oldest university! It is often ranked in the top 100 of the best universities in the world, which makes me really proud that I had an opportunity to study there! 😛 Why do I recommend so much to you to check this Uni? Because of its beautiful main building. Because all pupils, after passed exams, before the ball or after the graduation come to take a souvenir picture in front of it. Especially in spring it looks lovely when flowers bloom around it. The university was founded in 1666 (an easy date to remember) after the Danes were expelled from Sweden. It was some kind of a demonstration that Swedish finally regaining control over this lands. After years of uncertainty and financial difficulties, the University began to flourish in the seventeenth century. It is considered as the best Swedish university, though often it is fiercely competing with Uppsala!
Lund Cathedral (Domkyrka)
Fortunately, Lund is very small, so all attractions are close to each other. Right next to the University is our beautiful Cathedral. It belongs to the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church. As I mentioned above, it was built in the 11th century in Romanesque style. Its interior is dark and rough, due to the small number of windows. The cathedral is trully beautiful and huge. I have visited and admired it many times, because you can really spend a lot of time in it. Especially because it hides its treasures and secrets! The entrance is free, so go ahead and don’t hesitate to come back to the Cathedral whenever you want!
Beautiful astronomical clock was built in the 15th century. Twice a day at 12:00 AM and 03:00 PM, you can listen the melody that comes from the clock and watch the six moving figures! The bottom part of the clock is a calendar. From this calendar you can easily calculate when church holidays fall and what day of the week falls on a particular date.
Chapel of a seven-armed candlestick
The southern arm of the transept is dominated by a tall (3,5 m) bronze candlestick. It refers to the symbolism of a seven-armed candlestick from the Temple of Jerusalem. However, I don’t understand what the purpose is to put in the Lutheran church this 15th century candlestick. But I must also admit that its size is impressive!
The crypt has remained largely untouched since its consecration in 1123. The crypt is identified by its numerous and densely built pillars. The pillars are very different in style and were built by the architect Donatus. The most famous pillar is the one with the statue of a man embracing it – and of course I missed it and I don’t have a picture of it. 🙁
Legend of the Giant and the Monk
To be honest, I learned about it from Wikipedia! Although I was on the guided tour in cathedral, I totally missed this part. So here is what I found in Internet!
According to ancient legends, the Lund cathedral was built by a giant. He bet with a monk to build a cathedral, but when he finish the work, the monk supposed to guess his name. Otherwise he would lose his eyes. The monk took a bet and the giant started to work. When he finished building the cathedral and was about to lay the last stone, he demanded a monk’s award. A sudden voice from the depths of the earth told the monk the name of the giant: Finn. The enraged giant decided to destroy the temple together with his wife and daughter, but when he grasped the pillar to shake only the erected structure, he and his wife and daughter were cast into stone and remained in the church, where the visitors can still admire them.
It is located near the University. The best time to see it is in autumn, when all the colors of this season are in one place – in the library. All this is because of ivy, which grows the whole building. I didn’t see Lund during the autumn, but in the summer, it also looks really beautiful!
All Saints Church
Except the Cathedral, from sacred objects I recommend you to visit the Church of All Saints. It was built in the nineteenth century and it was opened on the day of All Saints (hence its name). It will impress you by its grandeur and beautiful interior. Worth to look at it!
Although I’m not a botanical gardens fan, I’ve visited this one in Lund many times! Firstly, it is free, so it is worth looking at it for a short relaxing on a bench or grass. It is also worth to think about a picnic in this place. However, for those unprepared for a picnic, there will be a small cafe, which is located in the middle of the garden. Of course, the best time to visit this place is spring or summer time!
When walking around Lund keep your eyes wide open! I think I don’t have to remind you how we love the typical Swedish cottages? In Lund you can also see some pearls. All you need to do is walk around the city between the main attractions! 😊
For those who have more time and would like see everything, I recommend two more places in Lund 😊:
Next to the central station in Lund, you will find quite interesting square. I went through it almost every day to get to college so it took me a while before I noticed the surrounding tenement houses. 😛 They are really nice and definitely stand out against other residential developments in Lund. In addition, there are quite interesting trees around the square, which adds some charm to this place. 😊
Sankt Hans Backar
Although Lund is a really small town, this hill is a bit from the center. It is possible to take a bus, but I was always choosing a 30 minute walk, which I also recommend! Sankt Hans Backar was once a landfill that changed into a pretty park. There is the highest pick in Lund, from which, during the nice weather, you can even see the sea! I often went there to admire the sunset. Besides, in the winter the hill is perfect for sledging. 😊
That’s all! I hope my post will be useful for you and remember: Whenever in Skåne County, don’t forget to visit Lund! 🙂