The northern part of Swedish Lapland is a frigid region with no lack of saunas, but none so unique as a hot room housed within a giant, shiny golden egg surrounded by the icy landscape of the Arctic.
Originally erected in Kiruna, one of the northernmost towns in Sweden, the Solar Egg stands 15 feet tall. In the middle of a field of snow, it reflects the white expanse on 69 golden panes of glass. The egg’s interior is a piping hot sauna where visitors can bask in the heat, relax, and talk.
You 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.
The ovate sauna was such a hit that eventually it went on tour, with stops in Gällivare, Copenhagen, Charlottenborg, Paris, and more. In February 2019, the Solar Egg returned to its original home in Kiruna for a period, before moving to a new permanent home at Artipelag, an art museum in Stockholm, in 2022.
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.