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 Musikkpaviljongen i Tromsø

Musikkpaviljongen i Tromsø ( Music Pavilion in Tromsø)
Address: Torgallmenningen, Tromsø
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Architect: Thams & Co; Christian Thams
Client: Selskabet for Tromsø Bys Vel
Construction System /
Building Type: Music Pavilion
Keywords: music pavillion, woodwork, Swiss style, colonette, canopy, dome, lantern
Year of Construction: 1892, restored in 1991
During the 19th century, both Europe and northern Scandinavia were engaged in forming new ideas about how towns should be formed. Due to the increasing populations in towns and the regulation of work hours, a need for recreation and entertainment arose. In light of this situation, town parks came into existence, and with them came music pavilions, offering free concerts and general enlightenment. In Norway this trend spread very rapidly, most towns had their first music pavilion by the 1880-90s.

In 1890 it was decided that a pavilion would be built in Tromsø. Through a combination of fund-raising campaigns and donations, the pavilion was completed in 1892. It arrived in the form of a building kit from one of the large housing manufacturers in Trøndelag. It was situated in one of the town's first parks, in front of the town hall. Up until World War II it was actively used by Tromsø's band and the janissary music milieu. During the summer months, the town citizens could look forward to hearing musical tones throughout the public town square.

The pavilion in Tromsø is constructed of wood, in the Swiss style, which was popular during this period. Yet it also has an apparent Oriental quality. It has an octagonal plan and eight carved groups of narrow colonnades that support the characteristic roof, with a heavy baldachin, cupola and lanterns.

In the 1960s, the building was in poor condition. Yet instead of being torn down, it was moved to an outdoor area called Hella, located outside of town. In 1990, the pavilion was destroyed by a storm. Local interest and historical value led to the forming of a group of voluntary participants from the town's business community, private individuals and the municipality. Working together they restored the pavilion. Børre Amundsen MNAL was the architect in charge. Eventually the pavilion was moved back to its original location, in front of the town hall. Through the restoration, the lavish copper steeple was added.

Today the pavilion in Tromsø stands as a historical monument in the axis of the town square. It is located at the top of the town square, while the old town hall stands behind it. The town square forms a slight incline; therefore the pavilion has a good view of the harbour, cultural centre and the Catholic Church. Tromsø's local paper, Nordlys, has their office on the north-side of the pavilion, while the town hall looms on the south-side. Due to the recent building development in the area, it remains uncertain as to whether the pavilion will stay in its current location or be moved again.
The music pavilion in Tromsø is one of Norway's few preserved 19th century pavilions. In addition, it is the oldest pavilion in Northern Norway.
Literature: Mortensen, Knut Are:" Musikkpaviljongen på Hella", Bladet Tromsø 12.05.04
Sundvall, Helen N.: Musikkpaviljongene - ikke bare for musikk, Tromsø 2005
Ytreberg, Nils A.: Tromsø bys historie. Annet bind, Tromsø 1962
Publisher: The University of Tromsø, 30.12.2004
Author: H.Su
Photographer: J.M.B 2003

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