February 28, 2014

Museums in Stockholm- Focusing on History!

King Charles XII
I write often about the different art museums in Stockholm, mainly because they generally have temporary exhibitions... changing from season to season. Museums with historical content, on the other hand, have mostly permanent exhibitions with few temporary exhibitions. In other words, after I have visited one of these museums and blogged about, there seldom is a reason to reblog... unless the museum does a major change. So, I thought I would put together a list of the top history museums in Stockholm to refresh everyone's memory and to show the wide range of historical themed museums.
Drottningholm Palace.

  • Historiska Museet (Swedish History Museum)- a general look at Swedish history from the Stone Age to more recent history. A permanent exhibit on Swedish Vikings as well as the Gold Room (collection of Viking gold & silver finds).
  • Medeltidsmuseum (Museum of Medieval Stockholm)- as the name suggests, this museum looks at life in Stockholm during the medieval era and how the city looked and grew during this time (Stockholm was first mentioned in texts during this period. 1252 to be exact).
  • Stadsmuseet (Stockholm City Museum)- a museum dedicated to Stockholm: the architecture, life, art and... history! They also organize themed city walks, like the Millennium Trilogy and ABBA. (EDIT- closed for renovations, though they are still offering walking tours through their website).
  • Vasamuseet (The Vasa Museum)- museum built around the salvaged wreck of the royal warship Vasa (sank 1628). Besides the ship, an extensive look at Stockholm and Sweden during the 1600's as well as life of sailors/soldiers onboard a warship. Recent blog article
  • Armémuseum (Army Museum)- a look at Swedish history from a military perspective. Sweden's warlike past comes as a surprise for many visitors! Recent blog article
  • Sjöhistoriska Museet (Maritime Museum)- a look at naval and maritime history... everything from Swedish naval history to commerce to sailor tattoos. 
  • Judiska Museet (Jewish Museum)- museum on Jewish culture in Sweden and the history of the Swedish Jews. Interesting temporary exhibits from time to time...
  • Skansen- park, zoo and open air museum that looks at historic Swedish traditions as well as rural culture. Farm houses, manors and churches have been transported to Skansen from counties all over Sweden. 
  • Birka- the main town in Sweden during the Viking Age. Nothing is left of the settlement today, instead you have a museum there as well as a walking tour which describes the town's history as well as points out the archeological excavations. Open only during the summer and requires a full day with a boat trip. Blog article.
  • Livrustkammaren (The Royal Armoury)- a collection of the armour, clothes and carriages belonging to the kings & queens of Sweden. The museum often has temporary exhibitions regarding Swedish royal history. A part of the Royal Palace.
  • Skattkammaren (The Treasury)- The Swedish royal family's collection of crowns, swords, scepters and orbs. A part of the Royal Palace.
  • Tre Kronor- A museum dedicated to the original royal castle in Stockholm, Tre Kronor, which burned down in 1697. A part of the Royal Palace.
At the Army Museum.
The Royal Palace (Kungliga Slottet) itself is definitely worth a visit for history buffs. Not only does it contain the three last named museums (listed above), the Royal Apartments are also open to visitors. While this is the main palace, there are several other castles and palaces in the Stockholm region that are open for visitors... Drottningholm Palace, Gripsholm Castle and Skokloster Castle are the most popular. Some of these palaces are only open daily during the summer months and only on weekends or special days the rest of the year.  
Part of the Royal Apartments... Gustav III's Bedchamber, photo by Alexis Daflos, Kungliga Hovstaterna
Certain historical Swedes are important enough to get museums dedicated to themselves. Learn more about inventor/philanthropist Alfred Nobel at the Nobelmuseet (Nobel Museum) and author/playwright August Strindberg at the Strindbergsmuseet (the Strindberg Museum). 
Click here for more Viking themed activities in Stockholm and nearby areas...
You can always experience living history
by wandering the streets of Gamla Stan.



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