Tribute to Aalborg’s history: Iconic meeting place recreated on the waterfront

by Megan McPhee Christensen

One of the most exciting new areas of the city is situated on the delightful Aalborg waterfront.

Østre Havn has undergone a massive transformation over the past few years with more than 1.000 Aalborg residents finding themselves a new home on this side of town since the makeover started.

Now that the bulk of buildings are complete, a new project has been initiated to create even more life in the eastern harbor district.

At Stjernepladsen, which lies between the cable park and Musikkens Hus, there will be a blossoming quarter filled with a cozy square where both residents and guests can meet and enjoy each other’s company or perhaps even a delicious treat from one of the vendors nearby.

Despite the area’s modern look, Aalborg was and is a town with industrial roots – and that aspect is something they want to integrate into the new area.

In the middle of the square, construction has already started on a building that will likely become the area’s signature piece: Proppen.

A meeting place on the quay

In the 60s, Proppen was a little gem where port workers could buy beer, schnapps, and hotdogs.

An informal place where people met in their breaks (…and work hours), and which really made its mark on everyday life at Østre Havn.

To be a port worker in Aalborg in the 60s was a dirty, dusty, and physically demanding job – so naturally there was plenty of thirsts that needed to be quenched once the work of pulling and pushing sacks and wagons and loading and unloading ships was done.

Back then, the harbor area was clearly divided into port workers and warehouse workers who each had their own turf on the land side and the quayside of the lot respectively.

However, at Proppen, they happily mixed and all men agreed to enjoy their beer on even ground.

History meets art

It was in the 1990s that Proppen was torn down and newer residents probably have no clue it ever existed. Until now.

The new Proppen at Østre Havn, which is expected to be finished in May 2021, will be a beautiful recreation with respect to the areas past: Six meters tall and made of glass.

In addition, the structure will have sliding doors so that passersby can come inside and look at the view of the surrounding square.

And here – just like in the good old days – you’ll be welcome no matter if you’re a port worker, warehouse worker, student, resident, or just a curious guest in the district.

“Proppen will stand as the chandelier in the center of the square, and it will contain lighting, glass, and mirrors to make the room feel endless”, developer Hanne Kræn says to MyAalborg.

As well as being a functional piece of art on the square, it has also planned that Proppen will be used for events and to gather the square’s cafes.

Looking for stories about Proppen

The development of Proppen is already well underway, but if you happen to have a nostalgic or fun memory from the original place, then Hanne Kræn would really like to hear from you.

“Proppen should naturally be a new, iconic thing in the square, but we also want to reconcile it with its past identity.

We are therefore hoping to hear from people who can tell us stories about or even just have photos of the old Proppen, so we can recreate the atmosphere with the help of those that knew the place back then”, Hanne Kræn explains.

If you – or someone you know – has any memories from Proppen in the 60s, you can share them here

If you – or someone you know – has memories of the 60s edition Proppen, then send them in here