The centre of Västerås starts at the bottom of Djäkneberget, or the other way round - Djäkneberget lies just a couple of hundred meters to the west of the cathedral and Stora Torget - Town Square, which really is the midpoint of Västerås. Today being an oasis in the middle of a city, this hill was in earlier days a popular meeting point for the city's djäknar - of which its name derives. A djäkne was a scholar - in this case a scholar of the college, founded by bishop Rudbeck in 1623, the first one in Sweden. But even today there is one or the other "djäkne", enjoying an evening in spring or summertime on this hill, which is so inviting for romantic meetings or for some philosophical discussions over the rim of a beer-can.
If it is the youth, who claims Djäkneberget in the evenings, families are those who enjoy its greenness during daytime. A big part to this popularity is due to the many inscriptions on rocks all over the place, giving your mind a chance to do some work as well as your body, during a stroll in the area. One of the 19th century citizens, Sam Lidman, is responsible for those more than 500 inscriptions in the park.
Some of them only hold a name, maybe a historic person, or just a dear friend of the originator. Others, like the example on the photo to the right, contain more thoughtworthy information: "Var heller frij än annars träl - ämedan du kant tik röra." Which means: "Prefer to be free and not a slave - while you still can move." This wording's connection with Engelbrekt, whether it is a quotation or just something pointing out his attitude, I do not know of.
On top of the hill there is not only a possibility of playing miniature golf, and for the thirsty visitors a restaurant, there is also a grass-covered area, bigger than a soccer-field, where people sunbathe or throw frisbees, but which also can be used as sitting area for an audience at various performances held there.
Standing on the rocks, where the hill steeply meets the city, you can have a nice view over the centre, the cathedral's tower just in front of you and as a contrast the glassy facade of Skrapan, "the scraper". But, if you let your eyes wander to the right, in the direction of the harbour, you can even see a part of lake Mälaren glitter in the sunshine. And you can't help comparing this view with one from central Europe and feel good about the healthy trees around you and the clean air, which still makes it possible to see as far as the horizon. Both of these qualities are rather rare nowadays in our polluted world.

Bernhard Kauntz, Västerås, June 1997

Back to the or to the of

last update: 11.6.1997 by webmaster@werbeka.com