Three praised towns in cooperation
Eksjö, Hjo and Nora have all recieved the international Europa Nostra award for well-preserved bildings. The three towns have what are for Sweden unusually well-preserved areas with wooden buildings. What they all have in common is that the houses are built of wood, but except for that the structures and the histories of the towns are very different. www.tretrastader.se/english/
Eksjö got its town priviledges from Erik of Pommern at some point during the first years of the 15th century. The medieval town was burnt down in connection with the Nordic Seven-years war, but after 1568 the northern part, or the Old town as it is also called, has not burnt to any larger degree. In total there are 47 listed historic buildings. Within the late medieval town plan one can now study 400 years of building history. In 1856 the part of town to the south of the square was ravaged by a devastating fire. When this part of town was rebuilt, this was done according to a new town plan after the ideals of the time, with wide streets and quadrangular blocks that allowed for more light and air to enter. The southern part is today a well-preserved example of 20th century town building.
The place with the name Hjo, or Hyo, or Hioo as it has also been spelt, is known since the 14th century. The first time Hjo is mentioned as a town in a written source is in 1413. The medieval church burnt down in 1794, but except for that Hjo has been spared any larger fires. The medieval street grid around the Big square has therefore remained largely unaltered. The buildings are mainly from the 19th century, but there are also buildings left from the 18th century. At the end of the 19th century Hjo hydro was built to the north of the medieval town just next to the shore of lake Vättern. The big wooden villas from that time have been preserved, as has also the beautiful park. The northern part of town is characterized by wooden houses with open or glazed verandas and a lot of gingerbread work. www.vastsverige.com/sv/hjo/
Already before the end of the 13th century Nora constituted a parish of its own and before year 1300 there was a church building in the village. Nora recieved town priviledges in 1643 and served as the chief town of this part of Bergslagen. A grid plan made according to the spirit of Baroque, with rectangular uniform blocks, was established for the new town. In 1731 Nora was struck by a devastating fire that extinguished the whole town. The town was subsequently rebuilt according to the 17th century plan, which still today contributes to the character of Nora. Today the town is a mix of the ways of building of the 18th and the 19th centuries. In the inner town the low houses that more or less surround a number of courtyards are especially valuable, as such courtyard houses do no longer exist in a majority of Swedish towns.
Eksjö Tourist office, Norra Storgatan 29, 575 80 Eksjö, +46 (0) 381-361 70, email@example.com