Skansen, Stockholm, Sweden


This late 19th-century photochrome print offers a bucolic view of the open-air museum of Skansen on Djurgården Island, a royal park situated within Stockholm. Founded in 1891, Skansen is the oldest such heritage museum in Europe, with traditional Swedish culture and wildlife exhibits, as well as log structures such as the house and barn pictured on the other side of the pond. These buildings, most of which date from the 18th and 19th centuries, were intended to display Sweden's regional diversity and rural traditions at a time of rapid urban expansion. For city-dwellers, Skansen served to reinforce a sense of national identity and to provide a positive impression of Sweden's past, with its sturdy, self-reliant values. The view also shows the top of the brick Bredablick Tower, a 30-meter-tall structure built in 1874-76 (before the founding of Skansen) on a 45-meter hill at the northeastern fringe of Djurgården Island. The tower's builder was the military surgeon F.A. Wästfelt, who was well connected at the Swedish court and wished to create a sanatorium on the island, with a tower as its dominant point. This plan failed, and after the founding of Skansen the tower was renamed for the dwelling of the Norse god Balder. It soon became a popular restaurant and viewing site for all Stockholm.

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Publication Information

Detroit Publishing Company


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Physical Description

1 photomechanical print : photochrom, color

Last updated: April 18, 2012