Midsummer – A great outdoor family celebration
For many Swedes, midsummer is one of the most important and beautiful festivals of the year, practically the summery counterpart to Christmas. The light, the warmth and the short summer are celebrated – mostly with friends or family in the country.
By far the largest midsummer celebration takes place in the 6000-inhabitant village of Leksand, which is located on the southern foothills of Lake Siljan. Here, minstrels who come across the water on historic church boats and bring flower wreaths and flower garlands for the maypole, offer an impressive picture. There is also a lot of celebrations in Tällberg, one of the most famous places for traditional midsummer celebrations. There is singing and dancing on midsummer evening and a musical evening in Hantverksgården on midsummer day.
On Friday, midsummer evening, flowers are picked and the flower wreaths are woven for the maypole. The tree is a decorated pole and looks a little different in the different regions of the country. As soon as the maypole has been erected in a public square, the actual festival begins. There is a lot of dancing and singing. Traditional games and traditional dance songs are also performed. Young and old alike have a lot of fun.
After the dance around the maypole, the typical midsummer dinner is served. These include new potatoes with dill, herring, sour cream, and red onions. Afterwards, grilled dishes such as salmon, hot dogs or spare ribs are often on the table and the first strawberries of the summer with cream are a must for dessert. At the traditional midsummer festival there is a lot of drinking, whereby the schnapps is always introduced with a song.
In 1628 the royal warship “Vasa” sank on its maiden voyage before it could leave the port of Stockholm. Three centuries later, the Vasa was salvaged and fully restored.
The Vasa Museum in Stockholm is a must for visitors to the city and the most visited museum in Sweden.
Vasa Museum – setup and exhibitions
The museum is located in a dark, spacious hall. Despite the flow of visitors, it is rarely crowded here. The center of the maritime museum is the imposing and richly decorated Vasa. Ornate carvings and over 700 sculptures can be admired here. The ship’s cargo at the time is also very interesting. Galleries allow the vasa to be viewed from all angles. On the different levels, models, films and simulations clearly explain the construction, sinking, salvage and restoration of the warship. There is also information and exhibits on the historical background and life on board.
The Vasa Museum is located on the island of Djurgarden, which can be easily reached by public transport or on foot from downtown Stockholm. From the outside, the museum can be seen from afar thanks to its large copper roof and stylistic masts. The museum is barrier-free and accessible for wheelchair users and prams, and lifts run between the galleries. There is a restaurant with small dishes, including options for vegetarians and allergy sufferers, as well as a shop. Tours of the museum are available in English and Swedish.
Trosa in Sweden
Romance on the bank of the river
The small river Trosaan meanders leisurely through one of the most romantic places in Sweden. Trosa got its name from this body of water, which flows into the Baltic Sea shortly afterwards, was an important transshipment point for goods of all kinds as early as the 15th century and served as a fishing port until a little over a hundred years ago. More recently, the place, an hour south of Stockholm, has turned into a magnet for artists and writers. Among other things, the poet Erik Sjöberg, who wrote his romantic writings under the pseudonym “Vitalis”, settled here in the province of Södermanland.
The threshold to the Sörmlands Archipelago
Today it is the pastel-colored wooden houses with their carvings that attract visitors to Trosa. The narrow streets on the river are, as always, cobblestone and the ambience exudes calm and the flair of the Swedish way of life. This place is something like the threshold to the Sörmlands Archipelago, which is largely a nature reserve and in which there are over 2,600 islands in an impressive archipelago.
A seaside resort on the banks of the river
In the late 19th century, Trosa changed from an area mainly inhabited by fishermen to an important seaside resort in the region with friendly small hotels, cafes, restaurants and shops. The old tanner’s yard has been converted into a museum and work is carried out in the workshops on the river in all seasons. Boat trips to the scissors and the nature reserve on the island of Kramö are offered from the numerous landing stages.
A pier at the “end of the world”
According to historical documents, the town church of Trosa was consecrated in 1711 and, with its Carolinian baroque, is the oldest building in the small community. The church remained intact in the so-called “Russian fire” of 1719. At the pier there is a stone rondall, which the locals have called “butter churn”. Here all roads end in Trosa, which led to the fact that the place is also known as “The end of the world”. The people in Trosa understand this as a term of endearment.