Mölndals Museum information
Lonely Planet review
In 2008, one of the world’s A-league travel magazines published an article on four up-and-coming neighbourhoods around the world. One of the ‘It kids’ was tiny Kvarnbyn, a district of the town of Mölndal (Valley of the Mills), lying 8km south of Göteborg. Here, a brooding landscape of roaring rapids gripped by grain mills and historic factories has been transformed into a dynamic yet low-key hub for architects, designers, artists and artisans, many of whom have escaped the high rents and pressures of big brother Göteborg. The district’s cultural nexus is the smart, interactive Mölndals Museum. Nominated for a European Museum of the Year Award in 2005, it’s like a vast warehouse, with its 10,000-strong booty of local nostalgia spanning a 17th-century clog to kitchen kitsch and a recreated 1930s worker’s cottage. With a focus on memories and feelings, it’s an evocative place where you can plunge into racks of vintage clothes, pull out hidden treasures and learn more about individual items on the digital catalogue. One particular highlight is the eclectic collection of chairs, including beautifully crafted pieces from the nearby village of Lindome, one of Sweden’s most historic furniture-making areas. The temporary exhibitions are fresh (anything from computer games to a retrospective on paper and the in-house cafe boasts summertime seating right by the rapids. The museum also hires out a brilliant, hand-held computer guide (Skr25; in Swedish, which leads you through Kvarnbyn’s industrial landscape using a lively mix of historical anecdotes, animation and sound-scapes. Best of all, Kvarnbyn hosts three vibrant annual cultural events. On a Sunday in mid- to late April, Öppet hus i Kvarnbyn (Open House) sees local artists and designers open their studios to the public. In September, Kulturnatt (Culture Night; www.kulturnatt.molndal.se, in Swedish) is a star-lit spectacle of open studios and art installations, as well as dance and music performances, while December brings with it a Christmas market, with savvy local wares including textiles, art and craft. For more information on the district, visit www.vastsverige.se. To reach Kvarnbyn from Göteborg, catch a Kungsbacka-bound train to Mölndal station, then bus 756 to Mölndals Museum.