Guest Story by Maria Kruk
Visitors to Stockholm, Sweden are nearly always surprised by the skyline and the ultra-modernity of Stockholm itself. I suppose it’s part of the beauty of Sweden that people still sort of expect to be met with reindeer and a sleigh – it just goes to show that Stockholm has retained a distinct sense of itself and geography in the modern world.
One of the most visible Stockholm buildings is, of course, Globe Arena. In addition, it is the biggest spherical construction in the world. Globe Arena makes a significant contrast against the city landscape, comprised mostly of old-fashioned residential houses, epoch-making cathedrals and historic monuments. Globe Arena portrays Stockholm as one of the contemporary-styled cities in Europe, which cannot but pull in visitors.
The grand opening of Stockholm Globe Arena was recorded in 1989, after two years of construction period. Initially, it was a host of major ice hockey championships and, of course, a training spot for Swedish hockey teams. Later, other sport tournaments were arranged. As it was mentioned, Globe Arena could boast of the certain world records due to a big diameter of the sphere (110 meters) and its height (85 meters). As one could guess, there are a lot of seats for spectators; in particular, it can receive nearly 16 thousand visitors. That is the perfect place for big music events which are quite often in Stockholm. Specifically, it is a place where annual Swedish festival Melodifestivalen is arranged. Stockholm authorities also had a chance to demonstrate the magnificence of Globe Arena in front of the European fans of Eurovision contest, which took place there in 2000 (after the victory of Charlotte Perrelli a year before). However, despite the victory of Swedish singer this year, Globe Arena won’t be the host of the contest in 2013 in favor of Malmö Arena (opened in 2008). It might welcome nearly 13 thousand guests.
The emergence of Globen Arena and its contribution to travel attraction of Stockholm caused a massive construction of hotels and restaurants nearby; in this way, foreign visitors have a nice chance to combine favorable accommodation with a close neighborhood to the local sightseeing spots, as far as it is precisely the center of Stockholm.
Recently, some major transformations happened in Globe Arena, which encouraged its travel attractiveness. First of all, to date it is also known as Ericsson Globe. In 2009 Ericsson, the world-known Swedish telecommunication company, acquired rights on Stockholm Globe Arena and established a new name immediately. A year later, Ericsson Globe turned to an incredible travel attraction. While inside the arena, one can watch big sport battles and visit musical concerts, its outdoor funicular offers to look at an eye-catching view of Swedish capital and, of course, to challenge one’s braveness. SkyView funicular appears to be comprised of two glass gondolas, which slowly move up and down on the railings, embedded on the arena’s surface. A peak is 130 meters high; so, it is the best place in Stockholm to evaluate the mightiness and the greatness of the city.
In 2006 one little thing was added to the Globe Arena architecture. It was a small aluminum house (12 square meters), performed in traditional colors of Sweden – red and white. But there was little time to enjoy this adorable peace of architecture: it was demolished as a threat to load-bearing constructions of Globe Arena. All in all, it was a symbol of the unity of old traditions and a modern image, preserved in Stockholm.