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A very nice lady running a creperie in Visby (unfortunately I cannot remember the name in order to write a tip about it) raccomend us to go and visit this place. It's a sort of luxury hotel built with eco materials and very high design architeture. It was a sort of adventure to find it but yes, nice to see. I didn't even check the rates, must be crazy but you can go there for a coffe. Sorry for the undatailed info, but I have no pics.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
On Gotland you can find almost different 100 medieval churches, many of them are built between year 1100 and 1300.
Must churches are still in use and open for visits. Visiting a medieval church is a great way to get an experience of both history and architecture.
You can see some photos on my Boge Church travelogy
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Yet another 13th century church, this one stands at a road crossing in the countryside which makes you notice it even more. There is a 1260 crucifix as well as a 13th century font but as for the architecture, things have been altered since. For instance there are square columns inside which are not normally associated with ancient Gotland churches. The gallery in the tower is also a few centuries later than the rest.
Updated Aug 27, 2007
Looking for fossils is great fun on Gotland as they are everywhere along the coast. Just bear in mind that there are certain nature reserves (such as Langhammars on Fårö) where it is strictly forbidden as the whole shoreline consists of pebbles and would disappear. Please respect this and leave some of the beauty for others. Snäck and Fridhem are areas around Visby where fossils are common and you can also buy a book at Fornsalen in Visby (I have seen it at least in German apart from Swedish) telling you what sort of creature your find once was.
Written Aug 26, 2007
Fårösund is the village where you find the ferry across to Fårö but it also merits a stop for being a generally nice place itself with its harbour life and restaurants. Its most famous sight is the Bunge Open Air Museum which I strongly recommend you to visit. I never had time to stop this time myself as I was with others, but I guarantee that I will next time as we passed by and it looks fantastic. As with most open air museums, it consists of lots of local buildings from different times and the old Gotland farmsteads from the 17th to 19th centuries are incredibly pretty. The combination of sawmill and windmill is also very unusual! There are also Viking picture stones and more to look at, and if you visit in high season the staff brings in the hay like in the old days and carry out other old time activities in the herb gardens and such. The site below is only in Swedish but at least you get pictures and the opening hours under "besök oss". In general it is open from mid May to late August unless you call them to arrange otherwise.
Written Aug 26, 2007
Address: Bunge, Fårösund
The Pippi films were mostly shot in Visby and its surroundings so if you are a fan, don't wonder why you recognise the odd street corner even if shop fronts and so on have changed. A classic is in the first film when Pippi moves in at Villa Villerkulla, the colourful house, and comes riding through a city gate. The house itself was found when SF, the film makers were out looking for the perfect house for shooting at and found this hidden in a military area just outside Visby.
After the films were shot, the army wanted to tear Villa Villerkulla down but then it was rescued by a local who bought it and transported it to the nearby Kneippbyn park three kilometres or so away. That is where you still find it today, even if I am sure that I've read somewhere that this is an exact copy after a fire years ago. Around it, Kneippbyn has now turned into a full blown family park and it costs quite a bit to go in, but if you have children or like swimming pools it could be worth it (see my Kneippbyn page). The house had nothing much in it anymore, until some years ago when it was restyled to look like in the films again so visitors would recognise things.
Written Aug 26, 2007
Hög(e)klint is a cliff and nature reserve a couple of kilometres south of Kneippbyn which has great views back towards Visby as well as southwards from its top. I however enjoy it just as much from below - it's best seen from the beach at Fridhem where you can have a coffee before or after your photo session (see tip) and enjoy some calories if you've walked up to Högklint along the seaside footpath rather than taken the car up most of it. My Gotland intro page shows the bulk of the cliff and the beach below. I have never been to Thailand but it still conjures up images of it in my mind, with the limestone giving the sea a very green colour.
Written Aug 26, 2007
Lärbro has one of Gotland's most interesting churches since it is octagonal. In Scandinavia, you only see this in two other church buildings; Helge And ruin in Visby and Trondheim Cathedral in Norway. This is interesting since St Olav is Trondheim and Norway's major saint and he is also the one thought to have brought Christianity to Gotland. There are ruins of a St Olav's Church not that far from Lärbro.
The church was built in the 13th century and another interesting thing is that it also has a 12th century "castal", i.e. defense tower, next to it. This was built for defense purposes as the name tells you, but today it is used as a bell tower and you can visit the inside summertime. The church interior looks very Danish which is hardly surprising when you consider that Gotland was taken over by the Danes in the 14th century. A lot of whitewashed walls with medieval paintings and a ship hanging from the ceiling reminded me of both Birkerød and Rønne churches. There is also an old funt as well as gravestones with Viking rune stones on - quite unusual. More stones are stood as you approach the church from the parking lot. The cemetary outside is not only for locals but has a whole Jewish section as well. This comes from Lärbro's history after WWII when the village received concentration camp victims and of course not all survived. In the Christian section there are also more Hungarian and Polish names from this sad time. You can read a little bit more on my Lärbro page , including of the abandoned medieval church at Gann.
Written Aug 25, 2007
Gnisvärd is an ancient fishing village - in fact its name means "Rub Swords" since warriors came here to clean their swords in the sand. Today the little fishing huts lining the main road have been turned into summer cottages but it is still a pleasant place. There is also a tiny chapel down by the harbour and being on the west coast, Gnisvärd gets great sunsets. It is mainly famous for having Gotland's largest Bronze age ship setting (second pic) which is 47 metres long and found at the northern road to the village along with other ancient grave sites.
Written Aug 23, 2007
Lummelunda 13 kilometres north of Visby has some of Sweden's biggest caves which were discovered in the 1950s by some local teenagers. You can only visit a bit more than 100 metres of the 4,5 kilometres as the rest are for cave explorers only, with the exception of a bit which is shown to those taking the Adventure tour including a short boat trip and dive further in but which has to be booked in advance. The rest of us are shown a small but nevertheless impressive part of the caves, including the stalagmites known as Jesus and Mary. Our tour only had Scandinavians on it so I'm not sure if tours are given in English but I am sure that you will still enjoy the 20-30 minutes in the underground and that the guide can still explain things to you. The teenagers who discovered it entered a different way to the now arranged visitors entrance and you can also visit the real entrance seen in these pictures but not enter as it is too narrow for adults. On the way there you will also see a famous stone stack (rauk). The limestone caves have been eroded in this way thanks to the stream flowing through here from the swamps at nearby Martebo and lots of rare cave creatures live inside although to you and me it all seems empty of everything but stalagmites and stalagtites. In the barn opposite the entrance is Silurium, a small exhibition on the local geology which is for free with a cave ticket.
The caves are at Lummelunda mansion which once had a huge watermill for paper and flour, and which is still up and running, claiming to be the biggest in northern Europe and it IS impressive in its museum with a symbolic entry fee. You can also have a coffee here, buy souvenirs or walk the grounds down to the sea or up to the nature reserve.
Updated Aug 22, 2007
Address: Lummelunds Bruk