What is on your mind if you hear someone mention ‘Lund’? I bet that Lund University is the first thing that comes to your mind. However, Lund is not just an old university town located in Skåne province of Sweden. There is a lot more to it. From the perspective of a student living in Lund for the last one and a half years, I am telling you that you will learn more about some fun facts you may find interesting so that you may want to come to Lund.
First, we need to learn about its history
I, 100 percent, believe that most of you do not know that Lund is actually one of the oldest towns in Sweden. Who would have thought about it? I didn’t even know about this fact until right before I did research to write this article. Okay, let us jump into the past. According to Britannica.com, Lund is the second oldest town in Sweden, after Sigtuna. Many contemporary archeological discoveries indicate that the first settlement in Lund was established in 990. In fact, Lund is old enough so that the origins are still unclear. However, it is thought that the town had existed by the end of the Viking Age.
Let us go back to 990; the area was actually still a part of Denmark. Yes, you are not misreading. It became a part of Denmark until four centuries ago, specifically 1658, Lund and other Scania cities, Blekinge, and Bohuslän, were ceded to Sweden through the Treaty of Roskilde. Today, Lund is geopolitically and officially a part of Sweden.
Being one of the oldest cities in Sweden has made Lund a pioneer in some ways. For example, Lund Cathedral School (Katedralskolan), established in 1085, is the oldest school in Scandinavia and one of the oldest schools in Northern Europe. Lund also hosts the second oldest open-air museum in the world, called Kulturen. This open-air museum was founded in 1892 and is also the largest open-air museum in Skåne.
In addition, Lund has one university in the town, Lund University. It was established in 1666 when Lund was still a part of Denmark. It is also one of the oldest universities in Sweden, and it is the second in Sweden after Uppsala University. Interestingly, Lund University is actually not the first university erected in Lund. The Academy of Lund, founded in the 1400s, was actually Scandinavia’s first university. However, it was shut down during the Danish Reformation in 1537.
What about culture and life there?
With the cultural influence of Denmark several centuries ago, Lund still retains its Danish dashes. You can still find some Danish influences on many buildings in Lund. Look inside the Lund Cathedral, for example. The Danish Romanesque style of the cathedral has survived until today. You can also see that there are still some half-timbered buildings in the middle age period, which were brought by the Danish. You will be enchanted to stop and admire their beauty when you walk past these buildings.
Apart from these medieval-style buildings and cobblestone roads, Lund is actually the only city in Skåne that has a tramway. It was constructed by Skånetrafiken, a transportation company. As you can see, although Lund has old buildings and is actually ancient, it is balanced with technology. Moreover, Lund was also praised because the people mostly go everywhere by cycling rather than using a private vehicle.
Next, if you are a coffee lover, Lund is a perfect place for you. Yes, Lund is actually a heaven for caféphiles. More than two dozen cafés are ready to serve you hot coffee or hot chocolate with a cinnamon roll while you want to have a nice conversation with your friends. Yes, Fika is the main thing here, and you are served with myriad options of cafés available throughout the city. Do not be surprised if you find many cafés are full, many students often occupy some cafés to study. Why? Because it is very comfy to look there. What is more? The price is also student-friendly.
Yes, students from Lund University make up a significant part of the town’s population. More importantly, most of them are international students, so speaking English is very normal in Lund. In fact, locals are very fluent in English. However, it does not mean that you do not need to learn Swedish. It is beneficial if you speak Swedish as well.
With a high number of students staying in Lund, it makes sense that Lund hosts many student and cultural activities. For instance, the most prominent Lundakarnavalen, a carnival held every four years since the mid-nineteenth century. This carnival is arranged by the students. Moreover, there are also many festivals held differently in every season. You do not want to miss them. These make the city live and fit for the student’s interests.
A center for sciences and inventions
Being a university town, it is not uncommon that Lund has yielded many inventions and scientific breakthroughs. Lund has several research facilities spread across the town. Besides, there are also many technology companies located in Lund. Ideon Science Park, founded in 1983, is a central science park in Lund. Lund also has another research park named Medicon Village, which focuses on life science research. Next, there is also MAX IV, the world’s most powerful synchrotron light source and the national facility of Sweden. Lund is also currently building a pulsed neutron source, which is predicted to be complete in around 2023.
Not only does Lund have research facilities, but it also has several high-tech companies. Many companies are very prominent in their fields, such as Sony Mobile Communications, Ericsson, Arm Holdings, Doro, Gambro, Tetra Pak, Oatly, and Alfa Level. Some of those companies have collaborated with Lund University and Lund Municipality. It provides opportunities for the students there to work or do research there.
Do you know that Bluetooth technology was actually invented in Lund? Yes, it was created in 1994. Bluetooth is a project initiated by Ericsson Mobile, located in the northeast part of the city. Moreover, many other inventions and scientific breakthroughs were first developed in Lund. For example, the tetrahedron milk package, medical ultrasound, asthma medicine and the inhalator for asthma medicine, the invisible cycling helmet, and many more.
Those are fun facts about Lund that you probably did not know before. There are actually many things that I do not cover in this blog about the other fun facts about Lund. So, I urge you to come to Lund to tell others the other things and facts you will learn from Lund. Perhaps, some of you want to add some fun facts? Just let the others know by filling in the comment sections below and sharing this blog!
Hamzah Dzikri Fadliansyah
MSc Media and Communication
Editor : Putu Christ Wirawan