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Beckomberga Hospital

Huge old psychiatric hospital - now being converted to apartments
A cache by : pleksi

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Address : Follingbogatan 20, Bromma, Sweden     Google maps

Beckomberga Hospital was opened in 1932 and closed in 1995. At the time when it was opened it was one of the largest psychiatric hospitals in Europe. Some sources say that there was about 2000 patients.

The hospital area used to be very large, but nowadays it's the four main buildings (and the smaller one in the centre) that you would recognise as the hospital. The picture shows the other old buildings too and some of them still exist.

A short introduction to the history of Beckis (as we called it) can be found on a wiki page in english

Personally I feel that the hospital deserves it's place in the history of Sweden. After all, it has touched the lives of tens of thousands of people : patients, their relatives, employees and their friends and families.

It was also a very beautiful place (from the outside). The hospital area had big well kept gardens with a lot of flowers because gardening was used as a form of therapy. But inside... well, what could I say? All sorts of strange things happened.

Cache picture : Public domain. source

Reading further is not required to log your find.
However, if you are interested in some personal
memories of living at Beckis, keep on reading...

In the early 80's I worked there for a while like many other young people from around the world and especially from the neighbouring countries. There was a lack of employees and it was really easy to get a job. Only a couple of weeks of training was required to be allowed work with patients on a ward. I worked in an underground warehouse that was delivering goods to hospitals all around Stockholm - for that I needed only a few hours of training :D

Some of the employees, including me, were housed in a sort of dormitory called Sköterskahemmet (Nurse's home). It's now used as a school. I didn't work with the patients but the dormitory was crazy enough for me.

Trying to save money, I ate mostly dry bread, instant soup and a specific brand of beans in tomato sauce when I ate "at home". The reason was that the beans were so bad that no-one stole them from the shared fridge. The other stuff I could store securely in my small room.

Many of us were living on a budget and one of our favourite activities was playing darts in the dormitory. Once, during a game, we saw some furniture flying outside of the window. Someone was a bit angry in the third floor and was throwing tables and chairs through the windows. I think that the last thing that came down was the oven or cooker. I thought that the third floor was generally quite weird - partly because of the flying furniture and the fact that many of the residents were growing weed on their windowsill. One day some newspaper reporters approached me during my lunch break. They wanted to collect all of the cannabis plants on one table and take a picture. I guess that the hospital management was able to settle with the newspaper and the story was never published. Some of the third floor guys felt relieved but next week one of them got caught selling some much more serious stuff to a patient :-(

Everyone living in the building was quarantined for a few days because of some very contagious disease. The hospital organised the cleaning, medicine, clothes and what else was required. The residents were concentrating on organising beer delivery. It was a hell of a three day party! Later we learned that it was just a wrong diagnose. Some girl had too much sun and dry skin.

When I saw a guy harassing my girlfriend in the dormitory laundry room, I didn't think twice... After the fight the guy invited me to have a drink in his room as a piece offering. It turned out that he was a doctor from Columbia doing research on tuberculosis. At some point (quite drunken already) he asked if I'd like to see some of his pictures. I agreed because we didn't have much to talk about and there was still plenty of whiskey in the bottle. So there we were, sitting on his bed, drunken, hurt in the fight and looking at x-ray pictures of Columbian tuberculosis patients. Just another perfectly normal evening in Beckis!

I don't want to write about how the patients were treated. Partly because I just heard stories and wasn't there myself and partly because I don't think it would be appropriate. I actually visited a ward only once. It was when I decided to give my girlfriend a box of strawberries. A really bad idea!

After I left the ward kitchen where my girlfriend worked, I met a toothless granny who wanted to marry me immediately. She loved me soooo much! Luckily a couple of nurses happened to be close by and they helped me to break free from my new fiancee. As the nurses walked her back to her room, I was left alone with some other female patients. All looking at me and smiling. Starting to panic, I run to the door - but of course I couldn't get out because I didn't have a key.

The nurse who finally let me out was laughing out loud and asked : "It's your first time here, isn't it?". I replied - rushing through the doorway : "Yes, and last too!".

Condition for logging the find

Visit the area and please, comment if you have worked here or if you know somebody who did.

Published :  16/10/2016 (d/m/y) 04:07

Please note that it is possible that the information on this page is not accurate or not up to date. Rules or regulations that are not mentioned here may apply when visiting the place or the conditions on the location may have changed.

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