The influx of European immigrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries has left an enduring legacy in Argentina. Our language, food, literature, and architecture would be vastly different without that influence. Not better nor worse, just different. One of those national groups that came and enriched our culture were the Scandinavians. Today, we can appreciate their legacy in the Nordic Church of Buenos Aires, which serves the Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish and all Lutheran communities. Nowadays, most services are held in Spanish.
The church was built in the mid-1940s, although the Swedish congregation had been active since 1918 in rented halls. The main aim of this church was to provide pastoral care to Swedish sailors in Buenos Aires. Initially, the church was Swedish, but later it included other dwindling Scandinavian congregations. The image behind the simple altar, Jesus calling the fishermen, represents that nautical motif. It was painted in Stockholm in the 1980s by Swedish artist Kuno Haglund.
The Nordic church is not as touristy as other temples, so you may want to give them a call ahead of your visit and make sure that there will be someone to open the door and show you around. I didn’t call ahead but I was lucky that the secretary, Ms. Eva Jeppsson was available. She very kindly showed me the chapel and explained its history. Ms. Jeppsson was also very patient and agreed to read out verses from the Bible in Swedish for me. I loved its stark, simple beauty. The multi-coloured light coming in through the stained-glass windows made a pleasant contrast to the white walls and dark wood. The pulpit was beautifully carved in light wood.
The Club Sueco restaurant rents a space within the church hall. They serve Smorgasbords, lunch, and brunch. It’s advisable to make reservations.
I didn’t know about this church until very recently. I love discovering unknown-to-me places in my hometown. Do you also love to explore your home turf as well?
Tuesdays to Fridays 11 am to 3 pm.
Eva Jeppsson, Karin Hatzenbuhler
Phone (+54 11) 4361-7304
Address: Azopardo 1428, Buenos Aires.
Club Sueco restaurant: (+54 11) 4307-3849