Saturday, February 15, 2014

I ♥ My Town (FMTSO)

Friday My Town theme of the week:
“share with us what you love about your town

2012 Almanacka original

This is a collage I made a couple of years ago of pictures I used for a monthly calendar.

Borås received its town privileges in 1621. The reason was to give local pedlars a legal place for vending their merchandise.  After a century the town had over 2,000 inhabitants.

The town was ravaged by fire four times between 1681 and 1827. The only building which stood through all four fires is this church (Caroli Church), originating from 1669 (the tower added in 1681):

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In the mid 1800s several textile mills were founded along the river Viskan, and the town continued to grow.

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In the 1900s Borås became a textile industry and mail order centre.

In 1906 another church tower was added to the skyline:

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Today Borås is a city of about 100,000 inhabitants; still proud of the commerce and textile industry heritage; but in later years the focus has shifted from production to design and fashion. Much effort has also been put into changing our reputation from a dull industrial town to a centre of culture and art.

Borås has a unique Textile Museum (which will be reopening this spring in new premises under the same roof as the Textile College), a public Art museum, and also the private Abecita art museum (which I blogged about just recently).

2010-12-07 snow, statues

Ute by Charlotte Gyllenhammar

Since a few years back, Borås now has a biannual  sculpture festival (time for another one this summer!); and a number of sculptures by internationally famous artists have also been permanently added to our streets, squares and parks.

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Catafalque by Sean Henry, outside the College

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Pinocchio (or Walking to Borås) by Jim Dine (9 m high)

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The Town Park by the river is a popular oasis in summer. I chose this picture for today because of the tulip bed resembling a red heart (for Valentine’s Day).

I did not grow up in Borås; I was 30 years old when I moved here. My parents did grow up here, though, and we used to visit my grandparents here in my childhood. However, both sets of grandparents lived on the outskirts of town, and I have no memories of the downtown core until in my teens – when I also had a penfriend living here, and took the bus into town on my own on a few occasions to meet her. (I lost touch with her long before I came here to live, I’m afraid.)

The reason why I moved here in 1986 is a mix of the family roots + having other friends living here at the time (whom I had got to know elsewhere) + hoping for better job opportunities than in the town where I attended university. (Alas the job market did not turn out all that great, but that’s another story.)

Anyway, compared to when I first moved here, I think the city centre has developed to be a lot more lively and attractive than it used to be.

Since I started blogging five years ago (about six months after I moved into my present flat, which is also closer to the town centre than where I lived before) I’ve also been walking about with my camera a lot more – a great way of noticing not only when new things happen, but also things that were “always” there!

I’m afraid the rainy winter weather we’re having just now is not the most “flattering” for anyone or anything, though – so for this post I’ve dipped into my archives (2009-2013)!

26 comments:

  1. I can tell you that if i could beam myself over there and not have to fly or float i would be there to wander your streets. i love your city and it is the culture, the buildings, the art and the museums, all within walking distance. a big plus for me since i have to drive every single place i go.... i have enjoyed visiting your city through your lens since 09

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  2. It is a beautiful place.
    Like so many it's heart has been ripped out by cheap imports. It is reinventing itself.

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    1. I guess the ability to reinvent is quite an important part of survival, Adrian - for both people and places!

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  3. What an attractive town. The Jim Dine sculpture is extraordinary and unusual. We're having awful rainy weather here in England too, and terrible floods. The worse since the 1770s, I believe.

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    1. There was much discussion about the Pinocchio sculpture before its arrival, Jenny. By now we've got used to it, though :) And I enjoy the sculpture exhibitions even if I don't like every individual piece. - Borås has a reputation for being one of the rainiest towns in Sweden, but as long as I've lived here I can't remember any serious flooding in the town centre. And just now we're certainly getting of lightly compared to England. (I've seen film clips on TV and on the internet - I can only express my sympathies!) Parts of Sweden have had problems too though, especially the coastal areas.

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  4. You are very lucky that your life is surrounded by art and beauty. The value placed on the past and its achievements is not found here where I live. I am not sure I would like the flower beds but I certainly like those sculptures of people placed in the central city area. That indicates to me that people are the heart of your city.

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    1. No doubt there would be some people prepared to argue with you about that, Louise :) ... There are those who think that the town spends too much money on art, and too little on other things that people need better. I suppose this has always been an issue, in almost every culture - and hard to draw the lines, how much anything should be allowed to cost. A good thing with the sculptures and street art - and also the parks and flower arrangements - is that they are there for everyone. No entrance fees required to enjoy them.

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  5. Your fondness for where you live shines through in all your photos, Monica, not just today. I love the third shot of the 'new' church tower but can imagine what a special place the Caroli Church must have in the hearts of the citizens. Love all your shots.

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    1. Pauline, I suspect that many citizens may never have been inside either of the churches - nor the museums. Sometimes when we live in a place we get sort of blind to it. Since I ended up in early retirement from work (ten years ago), bought my first digital camera (eight years ago), and started blogging (five years ago), I've come to explore my town from different angles and I think also appreciate it more.

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  6. as usual your photos are lovely and I enjoyed the verbal tour as well.

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    1. Thanks Ginger. Having blogged about my town "and not much else" for five years now, I'm starting to feel a little repetitious sometimes :)

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  7. Borås är en vacker stad! :) Bilderna med kyrkan som reflekteras i vattnet är fantastiskt!

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    1. Tack Eva. Båda kyrktornsbilderna tillhör mina favoritvyer - jag har många bilder tagna från ungefär samma vinklar (men olika tillfällen) vid det här laget. (Jag älskar vattenreflektioner!) Att hitta dem på hårddisken när jag behöver dem är en annan femma, dock! :)

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  8. There is so much to love about your town! Great images.

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

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  9. Oh...these photos. I love old mills too. That 3rd image made me gasp - the canal leading to the village. Beautiful. And I love the sunflare over the resting sculpture. We have similar sculptures in an area not too far from me.

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    1. One good thing about sculptures is that unlike flower arrangements they're there in all seasons. I'm also glad that they have made some efforts here to preserve quite a few of the old buildings even though they're no longer factories, but turned into offices or shops etc.

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  10. Very informative posting. I do enjoy the historical aspect and Caroli Church must have special magic to have survived what it has been through. Wonderful photos, too, as usual :)

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    1. In the crypt under the church they have found remains of older ones and graves that suggest that there has been a church on that hill since... the 1100s or something, if memory serves me right. That always gives me a sense of awe.

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  11. I don't recall seeing Catafalque before. It's certainly unusual despite it's 'normality'. I agree with one of your earlier comments: since I've been blogging I've had a much more inquisitive view of my surroundings and seen things I've never noticed before.

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  12. I always love posts about your town, Monica. There is a lot to be said for Boras, and I think it is a good place to live.

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  13. It's nice to read about the history and changes over time in your town....very interesting.
    As for the Ute statue I think Brownie will love to "meet" him on the street.

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    1. Actually in Swedish "ute" means "out" or "outside" and is not commonly used as a name at all in Sweden. So the interpretation is left open! :-) (In my mind the statue is a girl rather than a boy, but that's probably because I do know it to be a girl's name in Germany.)

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    1. This is the text from the official website:
      Ute (Outside): Charlotte Gyllenhammar works principally in the fields of sculpture, installation and film. Gyllenhammar´s artworks are often described as disconcerting with vulnerability and threat constantly present. The work called Ute was commissioned by the town of Borås in 2004 and was positioned at Södra Torget, a sculpture of a lonely child glancing at the waters of the River Viskan and with the busy bus traffic passing behind. The child is a recurring theme in Gyllenhammar´s work in which they act as an amplifier of status, guiding people´s attention towards potential threats in their environments. In "Ute" the child is portrayed as in need of protection, innocent and exposed to the dangers of the outside world.

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