Sunday, 13 February 2011

What to see: St Paul’s Church, Malmö

St Paul’s Church (S:t Pauli kyrka) is one of the great churches of central Malmö and must also be considered one of the major works of its architect Emil Victor Langlet (1824-1898), who is otherwise best known for the Parliament Building in Oslo.
One of Langlet’s pet ideas was central churches, a concept which was initially not very popular with Swedish church-goers. The hexagonal S:t Pauli is one of twelve existing central churches by Langlet’s hand. It was designed in 1878 and built in 1881-1882.
Following his journeys to Northern Italy, Langlet was a proponent of Romanesque-Lombard historicism, a style which would characterise his buildings and make them stand out from much else built in Scandinavia in his days.
The relationship between his buildings is also otherwise often quite easy to deduct. For instance, three linked windows are typical of Langlet’s architecture, as is the articulation of the bricks. These are both common denominators between S:t Pauli in Malmö and the Parliament Building in Oslo and a third is how the buildings’ centres rise vertically.
Seen from the outside one might almost consider S:t Pauli the church version of the Parliament Building. The interiors are naturally more dissimilar, but one might see some connections, such as the ceiling, which displays some of the same ideas as the ceiling of the Parliament Chamber.
(On a personal note it could be added that the funeral of my great-great-aunt Maria Nygren took place in this church in 1949).

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