In warm summer weather, Stockholmers swarm to the open air-museum Skansen. At Skansen you can spend a whole day without even a hint of boredom. Many visitors bring their picnic baskets, children and strollers are everywhere, and you can walk in peace, lie in the sun and just relax.
Skansen is one of the most popular destinations in Sweden. The open-air museum is visited by about 1.4 million people each year, not only from Stockholm, but from all over the world.
The open-air museum was the idea of Dr Artur Hazelius (1833 – 1901). He wanted to present Swedish cultural history in a new way. Instead of exhibiting his extensive collections from the lives of peasants, workers, citizens and city gentlemen in a conventional museum, he wanted to show the objects in their original contexts. The result was the first open-air museum in the world, the open-air museum Skansen, which opened in 1881.
Skansen shows 150 buildings from all over Sweden
Today, you can see many Swedish cultural settings from the 16th century onwards and from different walks of past life: farms, a church, a small Stockholm quarter, a manor, several craftsmen’s workshops – a total of nearly 150 buildings from various Swedish provinces, from Skåne in the south to Lapland in the north, have been moved to and reconstructed at the museum.
Skansen has wild and domestic animals of the North
The open-air museum also houses Nordic animals, including wolverines, wolves, lynx and bears. With the exception of the bears they are not always easy to see – the best chance of spotting them is before and during feeding.
Moreover, there are tame animals such as cows, sheep, pigs and geese. In Lill-Skansen zoo you will also find rabbits, guinea pigs, cats, turtles and chickens – a paradise for small children.
There is also the Nordic Museum (Nordiska Museet) on Djurgården, which forms a unit with the open-air museum. The Nordic Museum was also founded by Artur Hazelius and opened in 1907.
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