Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre
History and museums
The Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre (Swedish: Svenska Mässan) is an exhibition and convention centre in Gothenburg, Sweden and one of Scandinavia's biggest assembly points which attracts around 1.4 million visitors every year. It is one of Europe's largest, fully integrated hotel and congress facilities, owned and run by a nonprofit foundation.
A third tower was built in 2011–2014, making the venue, one of the five largest in Europe, with a room capacity of over 1,200. The third tower is the tallest building (100 m (330 ft)) in Gothenburg and the fourth tallest in Sweden.
In the early 20th century a variety of Swedish companies arranged fairs in order to promote the Swedish industry. Hence emerged the idea of a congress center and on 8 July 1918 the official Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre was opened.
The Svenska Mässan wanted to expand further and during the 1970's, it started to organize courses and conferences, thus conference and congress facilities were built.
The center has 9 exhibition halls, 60 meeting rooms (from 2 to 8.800 guests), a congress hall for 1.500 people, 8 restaurants, 5 bars and Scandinavia's largest hotel, Hotel Gothia Towers. The center has an area of 41,000 m2 (440,000 sq ft) for exhibitions and congress', and each year about 30 exhibitions are held with 8,000 exhibitors. Festivities and banquets are held at the venue with up to 8,000 guests.
Hotel Gothia Towers is the largest hotel in the Nordic countries. It has 1.200 rooms and 11 suites and offers a variety of restaurants and bars. In 2014, the Upper House was inaugurated in the second tower, a five-star hotel within the hotel. The Upper House has an awarded restaurant and an exclusive 3-floor spa with an outdoor glass bottom pool on the 19th floor. Also inaugurated in 2014, was the show arena the Theatre.
The first tower was built in 1984 and the second in 2001. The third tower was built between 2011–2014.
Heaven 23 is a bar and restaurant located on the 23rd floor. It was opened in connection with the second tower. The restaurant and bar has a total of 178 restaurant and bar seats.
The location for the Congress Centre was decided by different trade commissions and industry corporations when Svenska Mässan was established. The location is efficient since it is in the middle of Scandinavia equidistant to the three capital cities of Sweden, Denmark and Norway – Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo. The central location also places the venue within walking distance of hotels, restaurants, pubs, shopping malls and theatres.
The arena was among one of the four potential candidate venues to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2013. In the end, the Malmö Arena was chosen to host the contest.