Relive the 1923 Jubilee Exhibition with Jubileumsportalen

29 May 2023

The world’s biggest restaurant, minarets, a lighthouse, and a cable car running from Näckrosdammen to Liseberg, are some of the elements featured in the jubilee exhibition in Gothenburg one hundred years ago. This year, the exhibition is in the spotlight once again, in conjuction to Gothenburg’s 400th anniversary.


“The jubilee exihibtion was extremely spectacular” says Siska Humlesjö, one of the members of the project the Jubilee Portal, which is a collaboration between GRIDH and the University Library at the University of Gothenburg.

The exhibition was first inaugurated in May 1923 and covered a large part of the city. Several of today’s well known buildings and institutions were built for the exhibition, such as Liseberg, Götaplatsen, Göteborgs konstmuseum, Gothenburg Botanical Garden, Gothenburg Natural History Museum, and Slottsskogsvallen. In the portal Jubileumsportalen, a sort of interacive map, the locations are pointed out in relation to how the city looks today, because most of the buildings were demolished after the exhibition.

“They built a modern lighthouse close to Näckrosdammen which was later demolished. The cable car disappeared as well. The Memorial Hall was located where Humanisten stands today. These were probably quite temporary building and not meant to last very long”, says Siska Humlesjö.

The exhibition catalog reads that the Pellerin margarine factory offered ‘vegetable cream and butter mixture, distributed free of charge on biscuits in the company’s store’. It also states that there were ‘novelties such as roller coasters and horse-powered carousels’ and a toboggan run that could be run all year round. ‘Children’s paradise’ was a section which offered story reading under the pear trees, a milk bar, and a daily guard parade. There was also a bathing facility with ‘modern showers’ as well as a hairdresser.

“This is a very exciting material. It’s fascinating how ambitious they were. The texts describe how Gotneburg was supposed to become a future big city – it’s quite self-glorifying. But the exhibition had more that four million visitors, which was a lot back in those days when traveling wasn’t as easy as today.”

The locations are pointed out in the Jubilee Portal along with photographs and desciptions from the exhibition calalogues. The material has been digitized by the University Library and the map has been developed by engineers at GRIDH. Siska Humlesjö is responsible for the descriptions.

“It would have been fun to see some of these locations, like the minarets and the cable car. But at least we still have Liseberg and Konstmuseet.”

Explore Jubileumsportalen

The opening of the exhibition “Here and now - there and then: The jubilee exhibition's modern visualisation around Näckrosdammen 1923.” Takes place on 30 May at 4.30–6.30 PM at the Humanities Library. The exhibition runs from 30 May to 19 November. Read more: Opening of the jubilee exhibition