4 In Travel Stories

Skansen: Stepping Into Stockholm’s Past

Skansen, Stockholm, by Stephanie Sadler

I usually give musems a miss when I travel because I like to be outdoors, just observing life in the city streets exploring, popping into boutiques or the occasional off-beat gallery, skipping down graffiti-scrawled alleyways, taking photos and walking until I can walk no more and then stopping for tea and a bite to eat in a random cafe. 

Skansen, Stockholm by Stephanie Sadler

IMG_8026Skansen, Stockholm by Stephanie Sadler_2

Skansen, Stockholm by Stephanie Sadler

But on our recent trip to Stockholm, Jorge and I made an exception for Skansen, which was recommended to us by quite a few people before we left. Being the world’s oldest open air museum meant we were walking around in the fresh air of a sunny Summer afternoon and it didn’t actually feel much like a museum at all. It reminded me a bit of Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts.

Skansen, Stockholm by Stephanie Sadler

Skansen, Stockholm by Stephanie Sadler

Skansen, Stockholm by Stephanie Sadler

Skansen, Stockholm by Stephanie Sadler

This little microcosm of Swedish history and culture is on the beautiful island of Djurgården, not far from my favourite place we visited in Stockholm – Rosendals Trädgård

Skansen, Stockholm by Stephanie Sadler

Skansen, Stockholm by Stephanie Sadler

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We spent a few hours one afternoon walking the grounds of Skansen which are set up and lovingly maintained with beautiful gardens and old farmsteads and rural homes that span the 16th – early 20th centuries, before industrialisation took over.

Skansen, Stockholm by Stephanie Sadler

Skansen, Stockholm by Stephanie SadlerSkansen, Stockholm by Stephanie Sadler

Skansen, Stockholm by Stephanie Sadler

Employees wander around in period costume and in the town center you see silversmiths, shoemakers, tanners, glass-blowers, cornershop owners and bakers selling their goods in shops that look as if nothing has changed in a few hundred years. 

Skansen, Stockholm by Stephanie Sadler

Skansen, Stockholm by Stephanie Sadler

Skansen, Stockholm by Stephanie Sadler

There’s also a manor house with rooms set up as if someone had just left them. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos in this area, but it was interesting to see the tiny beds and the sewing machines, the old desks and chairs and tables. There’s a church too, but again no photos allowed.

Skansen, Stockholm by Stephanie Sadler

Skansen, Stockholm by Stephanie Sadler

Skansen, Stockholm by Stephanie Sadler

On one side of the huge property is a zoo, but it’s not what you’d expect. They keep mostly Skandinavian animals on site but they’re placed in areas that are set up to look a bit more like their natural habitats instead of the barren cages that you see in most zoos. There are wolves, lynx, elks, brown bears, goats, sheep, pigs, cows, etc.

Skansen, Stockholm by Stephanie Sadler

Skansen, Stockholm by Stephanie Sadler

Skansen, Stockholm by Stephanie Sadler

We didn’t spend so much time with the animals though. It’s something families with kids would enjoy and we saw quite a few of them, so we carried on walking through the twisting paths until we eventually came to an exit and carried on for a lovely lunch at the stunning Rosendals Trädgård.

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Diana Mieczan
    October 22, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    What an awesome place and that red horse is very cool. Have a great trip today, sweetie and talk to you soon. xoxo

    • Reply
      littleobservationist
      October 24, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      The red horses are iconic! Thanks about the trip. Loving Greece so far. Athens is an incredible city – gritty, creative, full of life and little winding streets to explore. xo

  • Reply
    Katie
    October 22, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Gorgeous photos, Steph! What a wonderful place to tour. I love all the buildings, especially the cute little red one.

    • Reply
      littleobservationist
      October 24, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      Thanks Katie! It was definitely a stunning place to explore. We’re really loving Scandinavia and hoping to visit some of the other countries we haven’t been to yet soon!

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