In this week’s issue of places of interest, I bring you ten of the most interesting attractions you can find in the area known as White Mountains (Vita Bergen) located in the south-eastern part of Södermalm. The area has been protected as a cultural preserve since 1956 and as such presents a beautiful, nostalgic view of the past.

Today, the White Mountains is mostly a green recreational area ideal for a calm afternoon with your loved ones or a lonely walk in the local park after a tough day. To get the most out of it, check out some of the following attractions along the way.

1. Sofia Church (Sofia kyrka)

Sofia Church as seen from the Vitabergsparken

Sofia Church (Sofia kyrka) is arguably the most monumental attraction in the White Mountains. Sitting at the very top of the neighbourhood, it is Stockholm’s highest-located church. It was completed in 1906 as a somewhat controversial piece of architecture but its completion nevertheless signalled that the situation in the borough was about to start changing for the better, which is something more places in this post remind us of.
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2. Sofia School (Sofia skola)

Sofia skola in Södermalm, Stockholm

We do not need to go far to meet Sofia school (Sofia skola), the place built as the last proper ‘school palace’ in Stockholm. These school buildings from the 19th and early 20th century are commonly referred to as palaces because of their monumental architecture which is noticeable from afar. Coming back to the ongoing societal changes in this part of the city in the early 1900s, the importance of this school was highlighted by the presence of King Gustav V and Queen Victoria at the inauguration in 1910.
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3. Statue of Elsa Borg

Bronze Statue of Elsa Borg

Long before the church or the school stood in their place, the ‘Queen of the White Mountains,’ Elsa Borg, was one of the influential individuals leading the intellectual transformation of the area. She founded several organisations with a focus on community services and education including Bibelkvinnor. Commemorating the impact of this impressive woman, there is a bronze statue of her together with a pair of children under a magnolia tree in Vitabergsparken.
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4. Stora Mejtens Gränd

Stora Mejtens Gränd in Stockholm

Stora Mejtens Gränd 8, 12 and 14. The houses that are still standing on Stora Mejtens Gränd are a perfect illustration of the area’s transformation from the poor slum to the romantic cultural preserve it is today. At these addresses, you will find original wooden houses that are likely to be many decades older than you.
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5. Mäster Pers Gränd 1

Mäster Pers Gränd 1 Vita Bergen

Many houses in the White Mountains have been torn down which is somewhat obvious by the loneliness of the one standing at Mäster Pers Gränd 1. It is, however, a picturesque place to see with its beautiful red wooden façade, green window frames and spotted roof. As a bonus, it offers very nice views of the Sofia Church in the background under the right angles.
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6. Bergsprängargränd

Bergsprängargränd landscape

Bergsprängargränd is the last of the original historical streets on my list. This one offers a combination of wooden and stone houses and the atmosphere of an actual 19th-century street. Notice the diverse façades and the somewhat strange shapes of the houses standing on the street while passing by. If you turn around, you will get to see the front side of the Sofia Church in all its glory.
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7. Skånegatan 105

Skånegatan street in Stockholm

I admit this building is unlike anything else on my list but there is a good reason why it is included. The residential building at Skånegatan 105 is the first house owned by the now well-known HSB housing association in Stockholm. The house has been built between 1923 and 1924 and was designed by the architect Sven Wallander.
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8. Skånegatan 110

Skånegatan 110 in Stockholm

Skånegatan 110. The little yellow house on Skånegatan 110 has an interesting history. It was built in 1877 by the landowner and mason J.F. Åkerlind. Since the 1890s it was owned by the church until it became a heating cabin for the unemployed in the 1930s. Later it was turned into a private house and it remains that way to this day.
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9. Vitabergsparken’s Amphitheatre

Hidden among the numerous trees forming Vitabergsparken, you will find an open-air theatre in its southeastern corner. It was built in 1954 when the area around the church was getting its contemporary appearance. It was also only two years before the White Mountains area was declared a cultural preserve to which the theatre now belongs.
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10. Music Pavilion

Music Pavilion in the Vitabergsparken

Built in the early 1900s, a music pavilion is now located right next to the amphitheatre. The pavilion went through a reconstruction in 2008 when it became an eye-pleasing element hidden in the calm area of the Vitabergsparken. Not far from there, you will find a playground from which you can get nice views of the neighbourhood during some seasons of the year while at other times, it hides from the rest of the world behind the abundant greenery giving the park its charm.
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These are my favourite places to notice when strolling around the White Mountains neighbourhood on Södermalm. I believe that these places will not only brighten up your day but also help you immerse yourself in the character of this untypical place.

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