Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Skansen, Stockholm, Sweden


Skansen is the world's largest open air museum! You may remember our visit to Maihaugen while we were in Lillehammer. Maihaugen was amazing and I enjoyed learning about Norway's history, but Skansen was so much bigger and different in many ways. Skansen was opened in 1891 as a way to preserve the rural way of life that was slowly fading to the Industrial Revolution and the new industrialized way of life. Instead of being lost to history, rural Sweden is preserved in Skansen.




We we entered Skansen, we walked up a crazy huge hill. There was an option to ride a railcar if you can't or don't want to take the hike. The first area we came across was the Town Quarter which is designed to look how a Swedish town looked in the early 1900's. 


The town had a bakery, glass blowing shop, furniture store, industrial works and a pottery shop. The coolest thing is that all of the shops were actually open and selling the goods made in house. The bakery smelled so good and if I hadn't just eaten, I would have bought several pastries!


My favorite shop was the glassblowing shop. I've always loved watching glassblowers at work. The way they can create such beautiful pieces is fascinating. I wish that we had seen this later in the day when I was prepared to spend money on something meaningful! We talked about going back before leaving, but we kind of forgot after a long day of exploring.


The Industrial Works store was awesome for two engineering nerds. {Fun fact: I have an engineering degree that I don't really use!} I wish I would have gotten some shots of the machines inside, but instead I have one of me and my tiny human!


Outside of the shops was this wheelbarrow that Chloe quickly became obsessed with. Lucky for me, her daddy was the horse to carry her around!


We spent quite a while in the Quarter Town before moving on. We passed by this yellow house that I remember was important, but I didn't take a picture of the sign to remind me why it was important. Either way it's pretty, so I thought I'd share!


This next one I did take a picture of the plaque! This is the Seglora Church. It was erected in 1730 and brought to Skansen in 1916. It's one of Sweden's most popular places for weddings.



Later we came upon the petting zoo! Chloe was so excited to play around with the animals. She pet the goats and the pigs with her daddy.



Not only did they have a petting zoo, but they had a children's discovery area which Chloe had the best time playing around!




Around Skansen there were several different farmsteads from the 1600, 1700, and 1800's. The best part about walking around and learning about everything is that all of the plaques were in Swedish and English. There were also tons of people walking around to tell you more! People were in character from the century of their lodging. They went about their days just as someone would have back when they lived there!



Around the backside of Skansen is actually a zoo with Nordic animals! We saw otters, seals, bears, reindeer, moose, wolves and more! Can you see the swimming seal in the picture below?!



We loved seeing the reindeer! I asked Chloe what they were and she said, "Sben!" aka Sven from Frozen. How beautiful is that white one?


Below is a Sami hut. The Sami people are the only indigenous people to Scandinavia. Their huts were over by the reindeer because they are known for their reindeer herding.





I think the bears exhibit was Chloe's favorite part of the entire day! The bears were incredibly playful running up and down their playground, wrestling each other and swimming. We had to watch the bears from several different areas since Chloe was in awe.



We eventually were able to peel her away from the bears to visit another farmstead.


The summer farmstead pasture is where the animals were brought during the summer for the farm girls to make cheese and butter from rich summer milk!


This guy was working on a loom in one of the farmstead houses making the rugs that were throughout the house.


The schoolhouse was both the school room and teacher's accommodations. In the 1800's, it was determined that every parish should have at least one school. At the school there was a teach that showed us how the children learned reading, writing and arithmetic on their slate boards.



Skansen was amazing. We thought about not going since we had already gone to an open air museum in Lillehammer. I'm so glad that we decided to go anyway! I knew that it would be a different experience. The animals alone made it worth it for Chloe. If you find yourself in Stockholm, this is a must see. You'll learn so much about Swedish history and culture!

That's about all we have for Sweden, next up is Copenhagen!

If you're interested on catching up or checking our our Scandinavian adventures from the beginning, take a look:

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