Malmö Castle (Malmöhus Slott) and museum

The castle was founded in 1434 and was made into a museum in the 20th century. At the time it was very modern, and had masses of space though posters suggest they are starting to run out. Entry costs 40kr (under £4) and gives you access to a range of exhibits.

Carl Lewis' spike shoe

In the basement, through the shop, is the aquarium, a riot of colour and different fish and aquatic life. I ended up with only 10 minutes in here and still enjoyed it.

Professor Balthazar exhibition poster
Professor Balthazar exhibition poster.

On the top floor at the moment is an exhibition/installation about Professor Balthazar, a cartoon from the 60s and 70s; I didn’t know it, but it links people in many countries, and the exhibit shows some of the cartoons and explains some of the political context. I lucked into a free guided tour (2pm) which gave me a much better idea of what was going on. The non-aligned movement was an attempt by a group of countries, led by Yugoslavia, to not pick a side in the Cold War. At the time there were 20+ members, and the exhibition shows parts of the peace parade in Belgrade (which has plaques from each country’s leader) and the now-decaying brutalist monument in Petrova Gora, Croatia. That monument is referred to in the episode, “Professor Balthazar and the Monument to the Invisible Citizen“. There are a couple of long videos about Professor Balthazar and the Zagreb Cartoonists which are worth watching.

Stack the nails game
Stack the nails game.

On the ground floor, there is a room of games – can you pull with the same power as one horsepower, block puzzles and so on. I was proud my ability to stack the nails, above.

Graduands gathering outside the castle
Graduands gathering outside the castle. This is the only exit.

This week, Malmö has been filled with the noise of students celebrating the end of their studies by decorating their cars and cruising the streets, honking their horns. On the Wednesday there was a big gathering at the castle, with groups taking it in turn to appear from the gate, dance and pose to music and then run across the bridge to join the others, before hopping into trucks and heading off for a cruise. It was all very charming. That is the only entrance and exit, but people were able to get through if they had to. I suspect it cut down on people actually entering the museum for a little while, though.

Prisoner photographs
Prisoner photographs – taken as they are released.
Prisoner photograph
Prisoner photograph.

The castle was also a prison for a good while, and there’s an exhibition devoted to that which is billed as not suitable for children. I could see why: the sound effects made me jump a couple of times, and the prisoner stories are a bit grim in places. You’re invited to pull out drawers for information, and peer into nooks and crannies (including the odd jump-scare).

Prisoner photographs
Prisoner photographs.
Puffer fish in the aquarium
Puffer fish in the aquarium.

The whole museum is a great mix of information and installation. I spent a good three hours there, at times reading, others listening and in other places just letting it roll over me. Even after that, I still had to rush through the aquarium before closing time. It’s a great museum.

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