"Skansen is like a miniature Sweden. The old farmsteads and houses have been brought here from all over the country. They are seen surrounded by gardens and cultivated patches that are typical of the time and place. You can also see wild animals, mainly from Scandinavia, and rare breeds of farm animals. There are trees and plats here from all parts of Sweden".
So, you take bus 47. A convenient bus stop is just outside Sweeden's House, the Tourist Information Center, so you go there, they give you the info ("take bus 47") and you go out and make use of it. The bus passes very frequently, like every 5 mins.
When it reaches the island you might start asking yourself where to hop off. Well, don't, wait until it reaches the end. You get out and the park entrance is just there. You go to the counter. You buy your ticket, they give you a map and you start wondering around.
The place is marvelous. If you go to the right you will see the animals first - wolves, bears,wolves, elks... Three newborn bears were there when we arrived, and they were sooo cute as they were jumping here and there.
And then going round, you reach the glassworks, pottery, the bakehouse and all. All shops are also selling products. Outside the bakehouse there was a line of people who, as we did, were leaded there by the smell. We saw how they make them, and then we ate them. Mmm.
All over the park there are places where you can have a rest, drink a coffee, have something to eat - the map provided at the entrance is very helpful.
Some things to consider:
*Take some water with you before entering if you come early - the park opens at 10.00am but the coffee shops open at 11.00am and the restaurants at 12.00am.
I asked at the "Solliden" restaurant, 10.55pm, where can I find some water and she said I should wait for the coffee shop to open. Well... she could have given me a glass from the tap, non? But she didn't, so, bring your own;
*At the zoo area there is this little kiosk selling souvenirs and animal toys. The collection is not the one expected, not the animals that you see in this zoo.
I wanted to buy something for the kids, relevant to the park. I chose a bear - there was not a brown bear, the only available was a polar one, but, ok my daughter could live with that. I bought a moose for my son. Hopefully it was supposed to be a Sweden moose, no? After all The elk/moose is the largest mammal in Sweden. And then I check the tags: "Moose live in the northern-most regions of North America". Huh? Well, the products are of a US company, fabriqued in China. If this is not globalization, then what is :D.
*There is NO ticket discount for SL Tourist Card holders.
During our visit in the city I had a Time Out - Stockholm guide with me. Very useful. And there I read: "SL Tourist Card also provides free travel,...., plus 50 per cent off Skansen". We go to the Tourist Information Center, Sweden's house, first thing before we start seeing things around, I ask the lady if this is the case, she says yes. But when I reach Skansen and ask for the discount, the lady tells me "no, sorry, this used to be but not anymore". Really disappointing, I was counting this discount when considering buying this card, so it seemed good - but for two days that we had to spend in Stockholm, given this fact, the value for money relation of the card was not that good anyway. Oh well...
At Skansen on Djurgården you will find buildings and houses form past times. Both buildings like this old bank house to whole farms with animals and people working, just like it used to look like in the old Sweden.
Skansen houses also a ZOO with nordic animals: elks, seals, wolves and bears, including three orphaned little brown bears whose mother was killed by a train in Finland. The information like that helps me believe that perhaps keeping animals in captivity isn't always so pointless...
Please join me on a walk around the Village
As I walked around the Village, I found that each house or farm belonged to a different area, which had different culture and tradition's.
The Delsbo Farmstead was the first I came across. These building's came from north-central Sweden and it's made up of four building's surrounding a courtyard. The setting represents a large, prosperous farm in the mid-19th century.
I was invited inside by the Lord & Lady of the House, both dressed in traditional clothes.
They spoke English so I was able to find out a little about the home, and the richly decorated wall paintings.
Next, I walked onto the Sami Camp which is an autumn and spring camp for the mountain Sami. It shows how the mountain Sami lived at the beginning of the 20th century when they still followed a nomadic existence, moving about with their reindeer.
The northern parts of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia are home to a Sami population of more than 70.000 people.
The Sami national day is celebrated on the 6 of February with music, speeches and souvas - a savoury dish of reindeer meat and other things....At sami camp, Skansen.
If you don't get the chance to see some of the real Swedish wildlife, make sure that you at least visit Skansen at Djurgarden.
Skansen is a kind of open air museum combined with a zoological park. Here you can see all kinds of typical building and activities from the past Sweden. You also find all the typical Nordic animals, like reindeers, wolverines, lynx and elks.
The Bredablick, is a 30 metre high tower, built of brick, in the north-eastern area of Skansen. It is described as a gothic tower, has five floors and a viewing platform 77 meters above sea level. .
The Tower was renovated in the 1980's and now has a cafe and a viewing floor at the top of the tower.
The Tower wasn't moved to this site, but was built here in 1874-76.
The Oktorp Farmstead comes from Halland and was moved to Skansen in 1896. it's quite a large farm with many thatched roofed farm building's. What looked to be Stable's surround quite a big open, cobblestoned yard.
The Oktorp Farmstead was the first farm to be erected in the Village in its entirety. It shows what a farmstead in the flat countryside in Halland looked like in the 1870s, when the Lundqvist family, Ake and Christina and their daughter Hanna, aunt Beata, grandmother Ingeborg and their two farm-hands lived there.
This cottage comes from the village of that name in Vastergorland.
The cottage was different to others in the Village, in that the wall's were built with giant boulders.
There was an L- shaped, thatched roof home, a cow-shed and a Barn.
An Open Air Village always has to have some old time shops!
In this village, there are the ones that sell ice-creams and souvenirs, set in old buildings, but modern inside.
Then there is the other type, the old building, with the old interior, and what is for sale in the shop is as it was a long time ago. You don't buy, you just look and reminisce how it was in the
"good old days!"
The next homestead I came across had two Ladie's looking after the House.
One was busy doing the dishes, and the other was inside busily cooking some traditional cake.
Golly, it was a hot day, and it was extra hot in the wooden home with the open fire.
I was offered some cake which I tried and thought nice.
The Skogaholm Manor shows what a manor house in central Sweden might look like at the end of the 18th century.
There is the main house with wings and pavilions grouped around a yard and encompassed by a fence.
The Manor house, was the first house that I had come across that wasn't made out of wood.
As I entered through the front door, I could hear music coming from one of the room's.
What a nice touch to make this house authentic, for there in the Living Room were three Ladies dressed in period costume and playing string instrument's, nice!
I sat and listened for awhile, then went for a walk through the house, finding this one was definitely more upmarket than the others! Still painted woodwork everywhere in the house, a custom of old time Sweden.
On the Solliden plane there is a small, octagonal observatory crowned with a dome, known as Boberg's Observatory. Designed by Stockholm architect Ferdinand Boberg, it was built in 1910.
The orbits of the planets in the solar system have been laid out in rings round the building to give it an appropriate setting.
When Skansen was founded in 1891, there already were trees, shrubs and flowers.
The original idea, was for farms to be made look the same as where they had been moved from. Mountain birch trees were planted around the Sami camp and fir at Alvros farm from Harjedalen, just to give you an idea.
They even have a Butterfly garden, where special plants attract Butterflies.
I really liked the Parterre Rose garden, spread out over 16 blocks on the terrace between Sagaliden and Sweden's gazebo.
The location of the Rose Garden was laid out by shipowner John Burgman in the early 1800's.
He cultivated not only roses, but also pineapple, peach and grape vines.
From the Terrace, there are good views over Stockholm.
its anOpen-air museum, the oldest in the world, founded in 1891, combined with a zoological park and an aquarium.
it shows old Swedish architecture and lifestyles along with for example the Saami Culture and houses. All through the last century Skansen people travelled around the whole country, buying entire buildings and transporting them down to Stockholm.
For tourists to see and for the preservation of history.There is certainly a lot to be said about how cultural heritage in this way was taken away from their original surroundings, but done is done I guess, and surely some of the buildings wouldnt be in such a great shape today, had they stayed where they once stood.
(One farm that Skansen was interested in, but didnt get, was the farm Ystergårn in Hillsta west of Hudiksvall. This farm has been preserved on its original site, and if you travel by the county of Hälsingland, take the opportunity to visit this place. See my Hudiksvall page for more info on this!)
On the major holidays, there are traditional celebrations going on in Skansen. And remember:this may be your one chance to actually see a moose! :-)