Alfons Åbergs Kulturhus: Curious culture for a younger audience
By John Sempill | Photos: Beatrice Törnros
Alfons Åbergs Kulturhus, a thematic cultural centre in Göteborg, celebrates the famous literary character Alfons Åberg and his creator, the late Gunilla Bergström. Bergström’s books about the curious Alfons Åberg, known internationally as Alfie Atkins, are so widespread that they’re a part of Scandinavian children’s cultural education.
“The building is a stone’s throw from Gothenburg central station,” says Alfons Åbergs Kulturhus’ CEO Anna Forsgren. “This is a place for curious people of all ages to watch short plays, experience Alfon’s living room, try out his helicopter and explore other exciting curiosities.”
Educating younger generations
It was at author Gunilla Bergström’s request to establish a place for developing and strengthening children’s culture, that the centre came about. “The building was built in 1876, and is an exciting place in itself, full of nooks and crannies,” says Forsgren. “It’s a mix of old and new.”
Visitors can discover the colourful scenography, the several reading corners and a reconstruction of Bergström’s studio. After she passed away in 2021, the centre acquired her original furniture, decorations, prizes and awards, which have been used to make an accurate copy of the studio where she created her art and wrote her books. “There are shelves with books, notice boards with sentences that she saved, and the blue chair on which she sat and wrote her books about Alfons Åberg. We’ve also set up viewing cabinets where you can see her artistic process and experience how she worked, with colour samples and sketches,” says Forsgren.
There’s also a creative-arts corner for children and parents, workshops, a café, and a shop to buy your own piece of Swedish cultural history in the form of Alfons Åberg memorabilia. There’s even a cinema.
During your visit, be sure to see one of the daily theatrical plays. “We have daily performances with Alfons Åberg, we’ve also made our own play about the Convention on the Rights of the Child,” Forsgren says. “Children have been part of the creative process. It’s about children’s right to have a voice and to be able to influence society.”
You can book your visit via the homepage or show up at the door for admission tickets. However, pre-booking is recommended due to the centre’s popularity. “At the end of the day, we hope visitors leave with great memories of a joyous experience,” Forsgren concludes. “And that children and their parents have a wonderful, recreational and educational time together.”
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Receive our monthly newsletter by email