GBG Site File 005. Den allmänna bastun/ The public sauna at Frihamnen/ イェーテボリの公共サウナ


Being a typical Japanese, I love taking a warm bath. I didn’t know how much I liked it before moving to Sweden. Taking a hot shower for some minutes doesn’t take away all the fatigue I get from a day (yeah it’s sometimes tiring to live in a foreign country especially when it’s cold and dark). A shower doesn’t make the “core” of me warm. Since there is no way, I spend some time at the sauna when I go to Valhalla swimming pool. Swimming for 30 min and getting relaxed for another 30 min :p

Today I went to a public sauna on Hisingen.


The building’s appearance reminded me of Howl’s Moving Castle’s last phase. The changing room was fresh and bright which its shower wall was made of 12,000 recycled glass bottles! The sauna was warm enough to let me get sweaty after 1 hour of sitting. The ceiling and the walls of the sauna created waves of wood plates and the large window casted a river view of some ships, cranes and flying seagulls.




Changing room inside

The sauna was designed by Raumblabor from Berlin and opened in 2015 with an outside swiming pool. They’ve gotten Gothenburg joke flavoured nicknames “sweat church” for the sauna and “pool harbour”for the pool. (learn more Göteborgs humor).

It is a part of the park, Jubileumsparken, which was designed for Gothenburg’s 400 years old birthday in 2021. It is the city’s developing project, so to speak. This area used to be a part of the ship industry and the sauna stands on the previous anchor for ships. After the 1970s the shipyard was losing its roles and the riverside is transforming into a business and residential area—gentrification is happening here too as in other European harbour cities (Holgersson, H., C. Thorn, et al., Eds. 2010. (Re)searching Gothenburg, 10). The park is planned to be a sustainable and social place for “everyone”, having an allotment and a roller skating link beside the sauna and the pool.

The park was quite vacant and deserted when I passed there today but the sauna was full of people who were speaking in different languages. The gray river with few ships and cranes were telling the end of the previous time.

It should be quite lively in summer, but if you want to see the phase of the city development, as well as want to get some warmth, perhaps now is the best time to go there (There is a booking system, see here). It is for free but don’t forget your own towels and shampoos!

5 Swedish nouns from the article Jubeliumparken i Frihamnen.

  1. En bastu/Bastun: A sauna/The sauna
  2. En framtid/Framtiden: A future/The future
  3. Ett svar/ Svaret: An answer/The answer
  4. Ett år/ Året: A year/ The year
  5. (Ett) Vatten/ Vattnet: Water/ The water




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