Traditional Art, Travel

Swedish Skansen Museum

Overlooking Stockholm, Skansen Open Air Museum is a walk back in history that every visitor should make when visiting Sweden.

Skansen is the first open-air museum and zoo in Sweden and is located on the island Djurgården in Stockholm, Sweden. It was opened on 11 October 1891 by Artur Hazelius to show the way of life in the different parts of Sweden before the industrial era.

In a few hours, oner can stroll back through time to pre-industrial Sweden and imagine life in the beautifully preserved collection of traditional buildings.

All levels of society are featured here from the humble bonded farmer to the wealthy Corn Chandler, a dealer in grains, whose quaint summerhouse is a postcard-worthy.

Summerhouse cottage of the Corn chandler

If you are visiting at Christmas and through early January, there are extra activities organized with attendants in period costume singing Christmas songs and dancing around the tree as well as reindeer sled rides for the children.

Head coverings for.both men and women, were a practical and significant feature of life

The Old Church in Skansen is reminiscent of a turbulent period in religious history. The Church in Sweden was heavily influenced by the traditions of Martin Luther whose idea was not to start a new religion, but rather to reform Christianity. He extolled the virtues of finding, “Salvation through Faith.” Although there are very old Swedish Churches dating back to the end of the Viking era with heavily decorated ceilings, later buildings were more austere in decoration.

Photography is encouraged throughout the museum, but the interiors of many buildings are quite dark and in order to preserve any painted objects, such as a splendid Swedish Mora clock, the use of a camera flash is prohibited. The clock at Skansen was painted in Swedish folk art style similar to the one below and dated back to 1799.

In years gone by, it was customary for art students to travel to Stockholm in order to learn to paint and later, return to the countryside to decorate household items and furniture for wealthy farmers, in typical folk art style.

sverige museet i vinter
Farmers cottage

Accompanying the collection of historic buildings is a small zoo, which would delight the younger members of the family, and features arctic animals such as reindeer, moose, lynx, bear and grey wolves.

Don’t forget to snap your panoramic shot, as the view from Skansen gives you an opportunity to capture the Stockholm skyline and city centre.

Stockholm and Sami Hutsami Tepee

I recommend the various lunch options nearby. You could easily spend the afternoon here visiting other attractions such as Grona Lund Amusement Park, Vasa or the ABBA museums and the Art Gallery.

Lunch options in the area range from cafes to a la carte restaurants. One of which claimed to serve the best salmon in the world so I just had to try it. Served with potato and dill it was definitely a ‘melt-in-the-mouth,’ flavour and the freshest salmon I have eaten. In archetypal Swedish style, a simple dessert of fresh raspberries with ice cream and raspberry sauce was a fitting complement to the meal.


27 thoughts on “Swedish Skansen Museum”

    1. When we can’t travel there ourselves, it is so nice to travel there virtually, seeing images on our computer screen.
      For those of us who travel, Covid is soul destroying. One day, it shall pass.


  1. Another lovely post.While Sweden has cold winters, their houses are warmed very well and so are the buses, trains etc. In fact, my mother suffered more cold during Australian winters than we did back in Holland.
    I am really fond of everything Scandinavian. (and Holland)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Netherlands and Scandinavia has much in common, so it is no surprise that you feel that way, Gerard. I do agree with you on the houses and like your Mother, I have felt colder in Australia than ever I did indoors in Scandinavia. Even when you do go out over there, you were rugged up so well and well prepared for the cold, so you just don’t feel it. Unless you stay out and are exposed to strong icy winds. If we feel colder here, it might even contribute to more germs owing to a overtaxed immune system.


        1. Wow! Sandy just mentioned the Pioneer Village in Toronto. I am very interested in looking that up now. As for Sovereign Hill, I must have been about 10 when I was there. I am sure things have changed in 48 years. I was pretty impressed as a child, so it must be truly wonderful now. Is it very spread out now?


      1. I visited family I have in Sweden (I live in Iowa) in 2018, and I thought it was interested that it was a part zoo as well, even to animals that aren’t native to Sweden! Anything that’s Swedish (history, art, and their architecture) I tend to gravitate towards.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No wonder you liked Swedish culture with Swedish heritage. When I visited Denmark and Norway, everything just resonated with me. The culture, language, food, buildings, light, landscape and the customs. It was like coming home, in a way. Did you have any sense of that?

          Liked by 1 person

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