|wooden spoons in an 18th-century house at Skansen|
|window at Skansen|
Skansen. Skansen is the world's oldest open-air museum and was founded in 1893 by Artur Hazelius to bring buildings from all over Sweden in order to preserve architecture and traditions at a time of great change. It's like a mini-Sweden, condensed into a few acres, and manages to feel authentic, rather than constructed -- or, rather, you can take a sense of authenticity from it in spite of its being constructed. Yes, all the people walking round in long skirts and headscarves are just modern Stockholmers dressed up, but there is an apple-cheeked dignity about them that overcomes any Disney aspect. Perhaps they just have fantastic casting.
There are all sorts of different buildings at Skansen from Sami huts to an 18th-century manor house.
There are farm buildings and industrial buildings, shops and homes. I couldn't get enough of it.
There's also a zoo, knitted in to everything else. So here's a ball of lemurs:
It would be my fantasy to go back to Skansen and hide in one of the buildings (just like in From the Mixed up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler, one of my favourite kids' books) so that I could go round it on my own after it had closed.
|painted ceiling in the church|
After tearing myself away from Skansen, we got a tram further into the island, to Waldemarsudde, home of rich painter Prins Eugen. I think Eugen's money may have given him 'opportunities' to promote himself beyond his talents -- sorry Prins E. But he had an exquisite house, full of flowers:
|I like the picture on the brochure, though|
Upstairs at Waldemarsudde was a great exhibition of the fashion designs of Swedish couturier Lars Wallins (no, I hadn't either) so we had a quick look at that too. High, high camp but beautiful too. Lars wasn't there when we were, but here's a pic off the net:
Then we struck out on foot for the Thielska Gallery. I hadn't quite got a sense of the size of the island and it turned out to be much bigger than I'd thought, but we trudged on and on, following the signs, under the shade of the huge trees. Enormous houses kept looming into view. With each one I thought, this must be it, it looks like a gallery, but it would be just another vast summer palace. Eventually, just as we were about to give up and catch the bus home, we came to it. Another lovely gallery, closing shortly, but we still got a quick run round.
|Karl Larsson painting, 'Writing Postcards'|
I'm only at the end of Wednesday of our week, but will leave it there for now. More soon, if you have an appetite for it...