Walking the cobblestone streets of the medieval-looking town of Jakriborg, you can almost hear the clopping of horse hoofs, the creaking of carriages, and the sounds from blacksmiths working. Only—the entire town was built in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Jakriborg was founded by two brothers, Jan and Krister Berggren, and got its name from a combination of the first letters in their names. The houses are built in Hanseatic style resembling medieval towns in Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands, rather than Scandinavia. The colors, the steep roofs, and the winding streets are all characteristic of the era, but have also been critizised by architects for being a pastiche of a medieval town.
Even though the apartments were built by modern standards there have been a lot of problems for the residents. Moisture, mold, and insufficient ventilation have all been reported, styrofoam can be seen sticking out of walls, and bricks and details are deteriorating. Some even go as far as calling the whole village a Potemkin facade.
Running businesses in Jakriborg has also proved to be unprofitable. The relatively small population and the slow expansion strategy from the owners who want the town to grow organically just isn’t enough to build sustainable business. The only exception are the Christmas markets that attract people from all around.
Still, many of the inhabitants of Jakriborg seem happy with their homes, the calm atmosphere, and the short commute to the surrounding cities of Lund and Malmö. And regardless of what problems the town might experience today, it’s nothing compared to the feudal system or bubonic plague people had to live through in the Middle Ages.
Know Before You Go
Jakriborg is located between the cities of Lund and Malmö and is reachable by car or commuter train.