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Published: September 26th 2020
This statue, named the Holy Flame, can be seen in Karl Johan's Square in Trollhättan
"She lived on the wrong side of the river, in a disused dairy store"
Most non-Swedes who read this have probably never heard of the town Trollhättan. It is a medium sized city, population of about 60,000, in the southwest of Sweden. Trollhättan may not be famous or spectacular. But there are several things there that we found interesting and that's why we went there this summer. One of the things that draw us there was actually a dairy store that doesn't even exist anymore. We'll get back to that later on. First we will tell you about some more typical sightseeing we did in the city.
The river Göta Älv runs through Trollhättan. Göta Älv has long been an important trade route for transporting goods from south central Sweden to the west coast. However, in Trollhättan there were some large rapids making it impossible for ships to pass. In the mid 18th century an attempt was made to build a series of locks to allow for the ships to bypass the rapids safely. That project was never finished due to various difficulties. There are some remains left from this early attempt to build locks
We have seen works by this artist before. We have a photo of one of his works in a blog entry we posted in 2018
to allow for ships to pass safely.
About 50 years later a new attempt was made to make Göta Älv safe to travel throughout its length. This time the project was a success and with the help of no less than eight locks it was in the year 1800 for the first time possible to bypass the rapids by ship. But soon the capacity of these locks became insufficient. Therefore, yet another set of locks were built and inaugurated in 1844. These new locks were soon also insufficient and too small. In 1916 they were replaced by the set of locks that are in operation today. The historical locks and the current ones together form an interesting piece of industrial history that at least we find worth visiting.
That's not the only industrial heritage in Trollhättan. The now defunct car manufacturer SAAB Automobile had their headquarters and much of their production based in Trollhättan. Car enthusiasts might find a visit to the SAAB museum
rewarding since there are several unique cars on display there. In fact, even movie buffs might find the museum worth a visit because one of the cars
there can be seen in the movie
The river Göta Älv
The river Göta Älv runs through Trollhättan. Göta Älv has long been an important trade route for transporting goods from south central Sweden to the west coast.
Back to the Future Part II.
The Back in the Future-movies were mostly shot in California as they are Hollywood productions. The closest thing to Hollywood we have in Sweden is the film studios in Trollhättan. Actually the film studios go under the somewhat silly name Trollywood
. Movies that have been filmed in the film studios in Trollhättan include Dogville
Also the movie Show me Love
, which we briefly mentioned in our previous blog entry
, was filmed in Trollhättan.
We have two more things from Trollhättan we want to write about here. Both of those are a bit odd and hardly something the typical visitor would be interested in. Peter LeMarc
is a Swedish singer songwriter who was born and raised in Trollhättan. In the song Little Willie John he tells a love story from when he was young. The beautiful love story he tells is partly also true. The lyrics are in Swedish, they are very poetic and are impossible to translate. But I'll translate two lines anyway. She lived on the wrong side of the river, in a disused dairy store. ...We used to drive around in her Dodge -67. She said
18th century locks
In the mid 18th century an attempt to build locks in Trollhättan failed. All that today can be seen of this project is two cut outs in the rock where the locks were planned to be.
'Let's drive all night..'
That dairy store did actually exist 50 years ago and it stood at what today is Kungsgatan in central Trollhättan. The dairy store was torn down a long time ago and there is no trace of it today. But we still felt that we had to check out where his girlfriend's dairy store used to be. We found it and we have added a photo of the spot as it looks today. We have also added a photo which is believed to show the dairy store as it looked in the 1950-ies or possibly 1960-ies.
OK, we shouldn't try to translate the lyrics of the song. But maybe you still want to know how the romance ended? Without a word, she was gone. I went to her dairy store. Outside was a burned out Dodge.
For last we have left something a bit funny. One of the city parks in Trollhättan is named Dahllöf's Park. The park has got its name after O.F. Dahllöf, a business man who owned an industry in Trollhättan in the 19th century. In case you haven't figured it
18th century locks
Another remnant of the first attempt to build locks in Trollhättan
out yet, Ake's family name is also Dahllöf and O.F Dahllöf and Ake are distant relatives.
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