Friday, 29 May 2015

Fjällbacka and the 'Swedish red' - a northern summer resort

Fjällbacka is a remote fishing village in Sweden's west coast, 130 km north of Gothenburg and close to the border with Norway, but far from main roads or airports.

The small village is now just a picturesque tourist resort, though still rather isolated, imune to industry and modern building.

In the right season it might well do a pleasant Ultima Thule - as it did for Ingrid Bergman. Especially for those who arrive sailing through the small islands of the archipelago, on the west coast of Sweden.

A tiny town built into a narrow strip of land between a rocky coast and steep cliffs.

Fjallbacka's skyline is dominated by the church tower.

Boats at anchor are reflected in the serene waters, and local ferries ply the channel between the village and the small islands.

Coordinates: 58° 36′ N, 11° 17′ E
(same as Stornoway, Scotland; Quebec; or Sitka, Alaska)

Population: ~1000

Bryggan Hotel, ideally facing the seashore, its back to the central square.

The famous "Swedish red" dominates, but other colours bring a lively sight to the small houses, white and blue in particular.

The central square:

Ingrid Bergman was a frequent visitor in Fjällbacka during her summer vacations. Her ashes were dropped into the waters around an island nearby, Dannholmen.

Ingrid Bergmans Torg

Her bust in the main square.

All roads take down to the quayside, the most lively area of the village in summer.

Fjallbacka was founded in the 17th century but it was during the 18th century that the fishing settlement prospered with the herring trade. The local fishery industry is believed to have invented the "anchovy seasoning", which is a specially seasoned herring.

Now the tourism industry, and the yacht sailing tourism in particular, provide a rich income to Fjallbacka, a top-class resort in summer.

A sturdy wooden staircase climbs up to the summit of Vetteberget hill, for a view of the village and the islands offshore.

Another must in town is a daily visit to the Setterlinds Bakery.

Since 1900.

Setterlinds bread making is famous around the region.

Fjällbacka Church

Designed by Adrian Pettersson, the church was completed in 1892. It is built of red granite, only found in the surrounding region of Bohuslän.

The church is in the neo-Gothic style typical of the period. In 1928 it underwent considerable renovation and the internal wall plastering was replaced.

The Fjällbacka archipelago

The main view and main activity here are related to the quiet sea and the small islands spread over its waters, where you can find small bays for shelter, a sailor's heaven as well as a heaven for kayakers... and bathers.

Dannholmen is the island where Ingrid Bergman used to stay:

The rising dove sculpture "Peace, our dream" by Gudmar Olovson, stands on the top of highest rock, next to the house. A landmark.


As the daylight dims, Fjällbacka has its best hour.

At 58º N, Fjällbacka has cold winters like north Scotland or Alaska.

Gorgeous even in winter, when the village sleeps, empty, under the snow.