Monday, April 20, 2015

The Modern Heart of Stockholm

Sergels Torg, a large square in the centre of Stockholm, was created during the modernization of the city centre in the mid-20th century. During the twentieth century, the population of Stockholm exploded and the city centre was no longer able to cope with the growth. A radical modernization plan was launched and the old Norrmalm district was transformed into the new modern heart of Stockholm - known as the City, with wide roads and modern high-rise buildings.

The square was named Sergels Torg after the eighteenth-century Swedish sculptor John Tobias Sergel who lived nearby, but it is locally known as Plattan, for the grey and white patterned pavement.
The highlight of Sergels Torg is Kristallvertikalaccent, a 37.5 meter tall glass obelisk designed by Edvin Öhrström. It was installed at the centre of the square in 1974, in the middle of a fountain. The sculpture is especially beautiful at night, when it is illuminated.
Sergels Torg is Stockholm's shopping mecca, with plenty of shops, boutiques and department stores. Additionally it is the cultural centre of the city thanks to the Kulturhuset (House of Culture) on the south side of the square. The Kulturhuset regularly hosts expositions as well as musical, dance and theater performances. Since 1990 it has also been the home of the Stadsteatern, a large theater hall. During the renovation of the Parliament Building at Helgeandsholmen in the 1970s, the parliament held its sessions here.
To the north Sergels Torg is bordered by the Hötorgskraporna, also known as the Hötorget Buildings. The five modern high-rise buildings, erected in the 1950s, were at the time considered iconic landmarks and long symbolized modern Stockholm.

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