Abba’s Humble Writing Retreat

  • Reading time:4 mins read
  • Post category:Music Discussion

Formed in Stockholm in the 1970s by Björn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson, ABBA became one of the most successful pop groups in history, and have always been loved and treasured by fans.

Often considered one of the best of all time, the Swedish pop group achieved 48 hit singles over the course of their lifetime, including Dancing Queen, Money Money Money and Mamma Mia to name but a few. Performing Waterloo at the 1974 Eurovision contest propelled them into the limelight, and they have remained ever-popular since.

In 1971, Björn and Agnetha bought a holiday cottage in Viggso, which is now known as ABBA island, located in the Baltic Sea. A humble ‘songwriter’s hut’ on a rocky hill, it was here where many of ABBA’s classics were written and practised by the band members. Escaping the hustle and bustle of the city, this idyllic retreat made the perfect backdrop to help kindle their inspiration to write songs. 

The Swedish summer house was an escape for the pop group, and a chance for Björn and Benny to gain the clarity they needed to lyrically compose some of their best songs, including Thank You For The Music, The Winner Takes All, and Fernando. Without the sheltered summer house to give them the well founded freedom needed to work, lots of ABBA’s songs may have not even been penned. The retreat gave the group some privacy and the time to work on their music without interruptions.

It is important for everyone to have their version of a retreat; somewhere where you can escape from the world. For a lot of people, celebrities included, this special retreat is your home – your private sanctuary which allows you the freedom to do what you want without the world’s prying eyes observing your every moment. If you’re still in the process of finding your special retreat and need mortgage advice, Trussle is a great place to start to help double your efforts in securing a new home.

When Björn and Agnetha sold their summer house in 2010, two property developers, a couple called Johan and Annika, bought the cottage. The couple were not even aware of who the sellers actually were until halfway through the process, with Johan admitting he wasn’t even an ABBA fan. The two now own the cottage and although it is not open to the public, the island is still able to be accessed by ferry.

For those big ABBA fans who have always wanted to see the writing retreat firsthand, Stockholm’s ABBA museum features a VR helicopter experience where you fly over a virtual Viggso to see the famous summer spot which is engrained in the minds of ABBA fans all over the world. This gives you the opportunity to see where the musical magic happened and see just what makes this island so special.

The cottage retreat has remained popular with ABBA fans today, and has solidified its place in the cultural history of the band, making it a significant venue in the eyes of many. It has been recreated for Stockholm’s ABBA museum and has been featured in many TV specials, as well as ABBA: The Movie.

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