The northern part of Swedish Lapland is a frigid region with no lack of saunas, but none so unique as the hot room housed within a giant, shiny golden egg surrounded by the icy landscape of the Arctic.
The “Solar Egg” in Kiruna, one of the northernmost towns in Sweden, stands 15 feet tall in the middle of a field of snow, reflecting the white expanse on 69 golden panes of glass. The egg’s interior is a piping hot sauna where residents of Kiruna can bask in the heat, relax, and talk.
Visitors enter the surreal structure through a golden staircase, which leads to a small circular sauna that seats eight people. It’s heated by a wood-burning, human heart-shaped stove in the center, which reaches temperatures of 167 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Solar Egg was created by Swedish artist duo Bigert & Bergström and was donated to the mining town of Kiruna by the Swedish government as a repayment for the massive sinkholes that endangered the city in 2004. Due to the over-extraction of iron ore by local mining companies, the city began to sink, forcing Kiruna to move to an entirely new location at a cost of over $1 billion. In response, the Swedish government repaid Kiruna’s residents with the unusual egg sauna, which is free of charge for locals. Hopefully, the Solar Egg will help the city hatch anew.
Update June 2018: Update: During the summer of 2018, the egg is in the city of Gällivare.
Update November 2018: The Solar Egg is visiting Copenhagen and Charlottenborg until January 13, 2019.
Update February 2019: The Solar Egg is settling back in its home in Kiruna, Sweden.
Know Before You Go
The Solar Egg is set to move to various locations, mostly around Kiruna but also to other places. Visit the website for updated information on where to find it.