Today’s Favorite Picture: The Lions of Teleborgs Slott

Svenska: Teleborgs slott på andra sidan Trummen
Svenska: Teleborgs slott på andra sidan Trummen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am out and about every day, unless the weather is terribly prohibitive, looking for photography opportunities in this beautiful city, Växjö, Europe’s Greenest City (voted such with good reason, as I will discuss while I’m here).

In the past few days, we have had hail, snow, bright sunshine, rain … all of which make for dramatic skies, with budding tree branches outlined dramatically against pale blue-grey sky, and scudding clouds.

Here is a picture I took last night of the two lions overlooking the staircase leading up to the rather impressive Victorian-era Teleborgs Castle (or “slott,” the Swedish word for castle). The castle was built as a “belated” wedding present in 1900 by Gustaf Fredrik Bonde af Björno (‘Bear Island’), Småland, where Växjö is located.

One of the most extraordinary facts about this castle is that it lies on the property of the local university, Linnéauniversitetet, which means you can leave the library and walk around Lake Trummen, all the while keeping the castle in sight.

Småland, which means, literally “small land,” is also the home of Ikea, a subject intensely political around here, so I’ll definitely be writing about Ikea at some later date. For Småland Swedes, Ikea is not just a place you buy a couch.

I will take more pictures at Teleborgs Castle later in the season, when banks of established rhododendrons bloom, and the castle is overrun by photographers and students, all posing in end-of-school prom dresses and tuxes. The Swedish don’t use the word ‘prom,’ so I will have to find out what this annual student rite de passage is called here.

The lions of Teleborgs Slott. Lions have long been part of Sweden's coat of arms.
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