I have just returned from (another) short visit to Scandinavia. I took advantage of cheap airline tickets, a week off at work and the hospitality of my friend in Copenhagen to spend a short week in Denmark. My friend is in the process of registering for university, and as she plans to study in Lund, Sweden, we spent a day exploring this small town.
Lund is located in southwestern Sweden (between Malmö and Helsingborg) and is THE university city of the country (its university was founded in the seventeenth century). Lund is also known for its very old cathedral, remnants of its past as a religious center of Scandinavia.
The cathedral, being situated not far from the train station by which we arrived, is the place where we first went. Built at the end of the 11th century, it was then Catholic and Danish (Lund was then part of Denmark). In fact, Lund was at the time the most important religious center of Denmark, kings were even crowned there and that is what brought the small town to know an important development.
The cathedral eventually became Lutheran, Lund became part of Sweden, and the small town lost some of its importance, but the cathedral remains impressive. It is possible to visit the crypt (in which are buried some archbishops) and to admire a very curious astronomical clock built in 1380. The clock shows the time, the phases of the moon and the sun and also has a calendar with religious holidays.
Next to the cathedral, there is a small museum dedicated to the history of Lund and the region. The Lund Historical Museum is unique and offers disparate collections (Danish coins, old wooden crucifixes, stuffed animals, archaeological artefacts). There is also a section dedicated to the Cabinet of Curiosities of Kilian Stobaeus, a naturalist and Swedish researcher who has worked for a long time at Lund University. Among his curious collection, we can find a hand of mummy, weapons of Papua New Guinea and part of the skull of René Descartes…
After the museum, my friend and I wandered on the small streets of Lund. Lund has a little something that its neighbors Helsingborg and Malmö do not have. Its quiet paved paths, stone buildings of pastel colors and red roofs give it a unique charm.
And what about the university? In fact, we only walked around its old historic buildings, but we didn’t have enough time to explore it further. But as my friend has the intention to go to study there in August, I think I will have the opportunity to revisit Lund!
It is quite easy to get to Lund from Copenhagen. By train from the central station or the airport, simply take one of the trains that crosses the Øresund towards Sweden. Lund station is located after Malmö station.