Stoorn will stand 148 feet tall, its monstrous hooves straddling two separate counties atop the mountain of Vithatten. The moose will appear to be biting into a pine tree, and both the moose and the tree will be constructed entirely of glued, laminated wood (glulam) around a steel frame. While the mythological Trojan horse might have held a group of Greek soldiers, Stoorn will instead boast a restaurant, a conference center, and a concert hall.
Upon government approval of the $9 million construction, Stoorn project director Thorbjörn Holmlund, from the nearby Svansele Wilderness Center, exclaimed: “This is such unbelievably good news. My whole body is shaking with joy.”
So, is Holmlund an acute visionary or just abnormally moose-centric? Here are more details on how a gigantic moose will soon become Sweden’s premier tourist attraction.
Located on the first floor of the moose will be a 350-personcapacity concert hall. It will feature all manner of live performances, moose-themed and otherwise -- and perhaps one day, even a special presentation by Proctor’s Moose Ensemble (from Thomas R. Proctor High School in Utica, New York).
EXHIBIT SPACE THROUGHOUT
The tunnel-like hallways and the open areas (they follow the contours of the moose’s body) will function as display space for rotating art exhibits. International guests may enjoy everything from original animation sketches of Bullwinkle the cartoon moose to portraits of Benito Mussolini.
The moose’s neck will contain a kitchen as well as a natural-light restaurant with room for 350 diners. Telescopic dividers can be rearranged for privacy for any size group. The menu may well feature moose steak as an entrée, which would give patrons the rare opportunity to actually feast on the meat of the animal in which they are sitting.
OUTDOOR CAFÉ/OBSERVATION POINT
An outdoor café will sit on top of the antlers, offering a sweeping panoramic view of northern Sweden. During inclement weather, branches on the pine tree will serve as a protective umbrella. Beverages that could be served include Montana’s Moose Drool Brown Ale and California’s 3 Blind Moose Cabernet.
Visitors will check in at a reception area located between the teeth and tonsils of the beast. An adjacent gift shop will offer plenty of moose-related souvenirs and keepsakes.
A spiral staircase will descend down the front right leg to a state-of-the-art conference center. Five meeting rooms of various sizes will be available, equipped with the latest technology and capable of projecting high-definition video footage of, say, the moose-milking machines at Russia’s Kostroma Moose Farm.
Guests will enter through a door at the base of the man-made pine tree, ride an elevator up 35 meters (115 feet, roughly 10 stories), and be deposited in the mouth of the moose -- which happens to be the actual entrance. “Our moose is handicap friendly,” say Stoorn officials.
A Little More Moose Trivia
YOU MIGHT THINK the world’s most expensive cheese comes from Italy, is made from the milk of rare cattle, and is aged for six years in a cave. Good guess, but in fact, the priciest cheese on the planet is made from moose milk and sells for $500 a pound. In 1997, Christer and Ulla Johansson opened their 59-acre Älgens Hus, which means “moose house,” 400 miles north of Stockholm as Europe’s only moose dairy farm. After the Johansson family found three abandoned moose calves in the nearby woods, they began milking the animals and producing cheese that’s both high in protein and low in fat. Älgens Hus currently makes three varieties: a Camembert style, a blue cheese similar to a Gorgonzola, and a third that’s moist and slightly sour, like feta cheese. All are for sale at the farm and are also shipped to upscale hotels and specialty shops across Sweden. Why the exorbitant price? Because it takes up to two hours to milk one moose -- provided it even lets you.