1. Liseberg – 100 years of amusement

 

The amusement park Liseberg opened during Gothenburg’s jubilee exhibition in 1923, almost a hundred years ago. The most spectacular attractions were Bergbanan (a roller coaster) and Linbanan (a cable railway), and during the opening year Albert Einstein held a speech in the park’s conference hall. Jimi Hendrix is one of the many stars who returned to Liseberg over and over – seven times in total. For the first concert, in 1967, you only had to pay 7 SEK to get in. Other world stars who have enjoyed the park include Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, who both visited in 1988 and left their hand prints. Jackson requested, and had, the whole park to himself (!) and Houston allegedly took five rides on the roller coaster Lisebergsbanan before performing for 14 606 people at Scandinavium – the arena’s record.

 

2. The beloved trams – dating back to 1879 

The first electrical tram came to Gothenburg in 1902, but already in 1879, a British company operated horse-powered trams on the line Brunnsparken–Stigbergsliden. Today there are about 260 trams in the city, many of them named after famous Gothenburg citizens. In 1992, 150 trams were named and four years the city decided to name a new one every year, as part of a cultural award. So keep an eye out for trams like Håkan Hellström, Ulla Skoog, Carin Mannheimer, Sven Wollter and Leif Mannerström. How many can you spot in one day?

3. The Malmska whale – rolled on wheels to Slottsskogen  

The only mounted blue whale in the world can be found at the Göteborg Natural History Museum since 1918. The “Malmska whale” stranded in the bay Askimsviken in 1865 and was bought by James Dickson, who let A. W. Malm at the Museum of Gothenburg take care of it. It was then brought to Lindholmen’s dockyard where it was mounted on a wooden frame, in three sections on wheels. In the beginning, the whale went on tour, but after a while it moved into the East India House. Finally, it was donated to the Göteborg Natural History Museum where it was brought by horse carriage. The whale’s interior was decorated with wallpaper and benches and was open to the public. But in the mid-1900s, a couple were caught making love inside the whale and it was closed. Now, the whale is only open on special occasions associated with the Swedish word for whale – val – like Walpurgis night (Valborg) and election day (valdagen). 

Malmska valen, Göteborgs Naturhistoriska Museum.

4. Odd address – Stora Nygatan 17 ½ 

On the street Stora Nygatan, that stretches along the moat opposite the Garden Society of Gothenburg, you’ll find the city’s only half address, 17 ½. It is said that the street was first built and numbered from two directions, and that when they met in the middle there was only one plot left, which then had to be divided into 17 and 17 ½. The house can be seen from the sightseeing boats Paddan.

5. Whole and half special – greetings from Hisingen

Did you know that the Gothenburg street food classic “Whole and half special” was created on the square Vågmästarplatsen on Hisingen? In the early 1940s, local football stars Conny and “Päsa” ordered a hotdog “but with mashed potatoes on top”. They soon came back to order “that special one” again, and a hotdog classic was born.

 

A few years to remember

1905: Swedish national orchestra The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra is formed

1927: The first batch-produced Volvo, Volvo Ö4, is rolled out

1939: The sightseeing boat Paddan makes its first trip

1984: Gothia Towers serve their first king size shrimp sandwich