Explore Stockholm's Fascinating Museums
When exploring an unfamiliar city, or even your own home town for that matter, museums can be an invaluable source of information on the history and culture of the area and its people. Visiting museums dedicated to a specific field of interest, such as science, aviation and medicine for example, is a great way to learn more about these topics. With more than one hundred museums, Stockholm has a wealth of information readily available, with something for everyone, with some of the most popular museums being the open-air museum Skansen, the Stockholm City Museum, the Nordic Museum, the Vasa Museum and the Royal Coin Cabinet.
Located on Djurgarden Island in Stockholm, Skansen was established by Swedish folklorist and teacher Artur Hazelius in 1891 to preserve a slice of traditional rural life at a time when industrialization was rapidly moving ahead. Motivated by the concept of the open-air museum created by King Oscar II in Kristiania (now Oslo) in 1881, Hazelius shipped up to 150 houses from around the country to the site in Stockholm. These houses were painstakingly disassembled at their point of origin, shipped to Stockholm, and then just as painstakingly reassembled. Visitors to Skansen today can enter these houses and view what life was like in a 19th century town, complete with artisans at work demonstrating traditional skills such as glass-blowing, baking, making leather, shoemaking, spinning, weaving and crafting silver. The open-air museum even includes a zoo which is home to typically Scandinavian animals, including brown bear, bison, grey seal, moose, lynx, red fox, reindeer, wolverine and wolf, while the farmstead features a range of farm animals.
The National Museum of Fine Arts boasts a collection of approximately 500,000 drawings, along with a vast collection of paintings, sculptures, porcelain pieces and other items deemed to be of artistic value, some of which date back to the Middle Ages. In addition to the items on display, the museum's extensive art library is open to the public and academics. The Nordic Museum is dedicated to the cultural history of Sweden from the early 16th century through to modern times. This fascinating museum was also established by Artur Hazelius, the founder of Skansen.