Postcards from Västerås’ Elegant Old Town

Funny how time and gentrification changes everything.

The northern edge of the old Västerås city in the 17th century used to be home to the poor paupers and outcasts of society, shunned by the bourgeois and priestly class. Resources were unevenly distributed and the northern part of the city was ravaged by pestilence and morbid air of death all around on many different occasions.

And yet, for some reason the buildings were charming enough that the government of the day (in the 1940s) was successfully persuaded against the demolition of the district.

Today Kyrkbacken is one of the most beautiful parts of Västerås, it’s uneven cobbled stone back streets released from the oppressing footsteps of death and now pave the path of the rich, touristy and well-to-do. It’s status as a preserved hertiage district harken back to a romantic (but non-existent past).

It is beautiful, and with that background in mind, it fascinates me to no end that these houses and beautiful streets were the place where those considred society’s “wretched” once called home.

Take a look and you’ll see what I mean.


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