IN PICTURES: Celebrating Stockholm's metro, the world's longest art gallery

Lee Roden
Lee Roden - [email protected]
IN PICTURES: Celebrating Stockholm's metro, the world's longest art gallery
Kungsträdgården station is one of the highlights of Stockholm's metro system. Photo: Photo: Expedia/Arild Vågen/Creative Commons 3.0

With artwork filling a 110 kilometre long network, Stockholm's metro (Tunnelbana) is said to be the world's longest art gallery, and it is now possible to browse some of the standout pieces and learn about their history without being in the Swedish capital.


90 of the 100 metro stations in Stockholm contain some form of art, so travel site Expedia thought the best way to mark the 60th anniversary of the opening of the first of the modern lines was to create an interactive gallery detailing some of the highlights, explaining what the creators of the art hoped to achieve with their work.

Five stations from each of the three metro lines were picked, with the aim being to capture the essence of each decade from the 1950s through to the 2000s.

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Clicking on Kungsträdgården for example reveals that the spectacular artwork of Ulrik Samuelson in the central Stockholm station is supposed to create the feeling of an underground garden.

Some of the artefacts present are casts of those taken from the lost palace of Makalös, which from 1653 stood just south of Kungsträdgården until it was consumed by a fire in 1825, while other sculptures also tell the story of the Elm Conflict in the 1970s.

Inside Kungsträdgården station. Photo: Expedia/Arild Vågen/Creative Commons 3.0

More of Kungsträdgården. Photo: Expedia/Arild Vågen/Creative Commons 3.0

At Alby in southern Stockholm meanwhile, artist Olle Ängkvist created a green oasis where visitors are recommended to keep their eyes open for the hidden detail of small statues subversively sticking their tongues out at advertising boards.

A screenshot of the Alby section of Expedia's interactive gallery. Photo: Expedia

And at Tekniska högskolan, which takes its title from the Swedish name for Stockholm's Royal Institute of Technology, artist Lennart Mörk's work unsurprisingly relates to technology and science.

The futuristic looking Tekniska högskolan station. Photo: Expedia/Arild Vågen/Creative Commons 3.0

The first competition to decorate the Stockholm metro took place in 1956, when 21 artists were granted permission to install their work. There are now pieces by over 100 different artists in the stations. 

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