Skansen, located in Stockholm and operating since 1891, is Sweden’s first open air museum and it has been stated as the world’s oldest open air museum. It is situated on an island, named Djurgården. This island in central Stockholm has numerous historical buildings and monuments. The man, who created this museum, was Artur Immanuel Hazelius. Artur, a schoolteacher, folklorist and scholar, was also the founder of the Nordic Museum.
The purpose of the museum was to show the industrialized society how people lived in bygone years. About 150 houses and farm buildings from across Sweden make up the museum.
All items in the museum belong to the Nordic Museum. Although Skansen is an independent organisation, it was initially part of the Nordic Museum.
The museum has a replica of a 19th century town. There are even craftsman (dressed in traditional clothing) demonstrating their skills, such as silversmiths, bakers, glass-blowers and shoemakers. There is also a tannery that processes cow and calf hides into leather, shoes and boots. Along the way, imagine purchasing bakery products from the traditional baker! Well that is possible in Skansen. In bygone days, the baker worked 16-18 hour shifts. Apprentices sometimes even slept on the floor of the bakery. Farmsteads in the museum have rare breeds of living farm animals.
Skansen is not just about show casing old building structures, it is also about being the site for celebrating the folklore and traditions of Sweden. The following celebrations are hosted at the museum:
•Sweden’s National Day
•New Year’s Eve
•Walpurgis Night (a festival at the time of spring celebrated on the 30 April or 1 May)
There is a church, dated from 1729, and it not only serves for viewing but also is a site for weddings, prayers and musical concerts. Summer shows in the museum have folk dancing and concerts for the entertainment of the public. Picnic areas are provided for the public, in the parks and gardens.
Since 1903, Skansen has a market held at Christmas time. In the market, visitors can purchase Christmas decorations and hot wine punch called glögg.
A zoo is part of Skansen, as animals are part of culture. Bears, elk , wolverines, seals, red fox, lynx and wolves can be found in the zoo, as well as snakes in the aquarium.
There are also guided hikes on offer, for wider scenery of the museum. There are also great aspects to learn about the natural vegetation.
Some other fun activities to partake in at Skansen, is being a student of traditional crafts. The teachers of these courses offered, are artisans and craftsmen with decades of experience. There are various skills to be learnt and appreciated by watching these craftsmen. It is about the basics and using natural resources.
Various cafes and restaurants serve food for visitors. As there is no parking space for vehicles at the museum, it is advisable to travel there via the public transport systems
.For more information, please view: http://www.skansen.se