Stockholm & Skansen
The capital of Sweden, Stockholm, is an architecturally and culturally beautiful place set at the point where Lake Mälaren meets the Baltic Sea and its central district is set on 14 islands. Stockholm also includes the archipelago (Skärgård) that spreads out 60+ km into the Baltic Sea. A most unique and beautiful city that should be high on anyone’s list of travel destinations.
Around 30% of Stockholm is greenways and parklands and these provide a natural beauty that belies its size. There is plenty to offer like Gamla Stan (The Old City), Södermalm, Skansen, and wonderful villages like Vaxholm.
A walk around Stockholm soon reveals the secret to its layout in that it is made of a series of islands which in turn is part of the large archipelago (skärgård) which are numbered at 24,000.
Around the city, some highlights include the rustic and beautiful Gamla Stan (Old town), the Royal Palace, eclectic Södermalm, and Djurgården which is a highlight of any trip to Stockholm. On the island of Djurgården is Skansen, the wonderful outdoor museum.
Most cities and countries have them but very few deliver as well as Skansen; in fact the word commonly used as a European noun that means outdoor museum. Its creator, Artur Hazelius, was observant enough to see that the industrial revolution of the 1800’s was to the detriment of rural life and as such there was a need for cultural preservation of the traditions of Sweden and hence the concept of Skansen was born.
A highlight of any tour of Sweden (Sverige) is to visit the very beautiful city of Stockholm and a visiting the famous open air museum is a great way to get an insight into the culture and history of the Swedish people. It is especially helpful if one is to tour other areas of Sweden (Sverige) like Gotland, Sundsvall, and other areas in north and western Sweden.
The open-air museum on Djurgården, one of the many islands that make up Stockholm (the capital of Sweden), is an excellent display and preservation of tradition 19th century Swedish life. Traditional dressed craftsmen and residents occupy their period surroundings with great authenticity. It is one of those places that all people have fond memories of and is such an integral and ongoing part of Swedish life even being one of the hubs of televised summer concerts.
Early in the 19th century, before the open-air museum, Djurgården was just a wooded island and merchant by the name John Burgman built himself a summerhouse and beautiful garden at the top of the hill that afforded spectacular views of Stockholm. The place was given the name Skansen as it was next to a little fortress; in Swedish known as a ‘Skans”.