June 27, 2012

Walk Along Västerbron (The Western Bridge)

View from the top, looking at City Hall
One of my favorite walks to take on a sunny, summer day is over Västerbron (The Western Bridge). Built in 1935, this 600 meter long bridge connects the islands of Södermalm (where the Rival Hotel is located) and Långholmen with the island of Kungsholmen. It provides great views of Gamla Stan and downtown Stockholm to the east and the Essinge islands in Lake Mälaren to the west. Location.
Locks left by lovers at the top.
As there are great walking paths around both Södermalm and Kunsgholmen, the bridge can be combined with a longer walk... for example, there is a beautiful promenade along the south coast of Kungsholmen between the City Hall and Västerbron. Lovers have taken up leaving padlocks on the railing at the apex of the bridge, symbolizing the hope that their relationship will last forever.There are subway stations on each end of the bridge. On the Södermalm side you have Hornstull (red line) and on the Kungsholmen side you have Fridhemsplan (green & blue lines). A bit of trivia: this walk is part of the Stockholm Marathon route and is considered (with its slow uphill rise) to be one of the toughest parts. Much easier to walk it!
View of the bridge from Kungsholmen.
One of Sweden's most beloved artists, Monica Zetterlund, sang a beautiful song about Stockholm called "Sakta vi gå genom stan" which contains a wonderful reference to the bridge.

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