Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Chocolate Factory Park

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Just outside Stockholm, in the suburb of Sundbyberg, there once was a chocolate factory. The Marabou chocolate factory. The production has since moved to the suburb of Upplands Väsby, but it was in Sundbyberg the story of the once very Swedish chocolate brand began.

Yes, a very Swedish chocolate - and really the loveliest thing you could indulge in with a glass or two of cold milk when I was a child... - but the founder was actually Norwegian. And he obviously believed that in order to make the best chocolate you had to have a good, inspirational work environment thus creating the recreational Marabou park.
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The park was designed and laid out on a hectare of land beside the chocolate factory during a period of 18 years and was opened to the public in 1955. It's not only a vast stretching and beautiful park, it also holds an admirable sculpture collection.
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The park is sort of a very well kept secret for most stockholmers I suppose. Myself I hadn't heard of it until a few years ago. And I never got around to visit until earlier this summer. It was really an oasis - even though there were some sinister looking statues lurking around there... - a lush, green, undulating, vast area somehow hidden yet very public.
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My favourite findings in the park was the huge green lawn that seemed to continue for miles, and the ingenuity of the paddling pool and my favourite sculpture of them all is definitely Gustav Vigeland's Playing Bears (top pic) - btw, if you happen to be in Norway, by all means do not miss a visit to the amazing Vigeland Sculpture Park, part of the Frogner park in the outskirts of Oslo...

There's also a Marabou annex with different art exhibitions open all year. The Marabou park itself is open daily, but only May 1st - October 1st. The entrance is free. Do visit!
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