Stockholm – Swedish History Museum

If you are interested in Viking history then this museum is a must. It holds one of the largest collections of Viking-related objects in the world. On display is only a fraction of this collection which is pretty hard to believe considering the exhibition was massive. I am going to review the Viking exhibition and then more generally discuss the rest of the museum.

From a design perspective, the Viking exhibition was, in my opinion, very effective. Small display cases were organized logically throughout the space highlighted by spotlights. The entire exhibition was easy to navigate and allowed visitors to select their own path. There were some thematic panels covering the history of the Viking Age. These were not crucial to read, however, as objects were displayed thematically not chronologically. This meant you were free to focus on one or two particular themes and were not locked into following a didactic narrative. I actually think this worked really well considering I wasn’t visiting to learn the definitive history of the Viking Age. The following were five themes that I found to be most intriguing.

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Stockholm – The Royal Palace

The Royal Palace in Stockholm was built in 1754 and is one of the largest palaces in Europe. Originally, a fortress was established on the site in the 11th century protecting the waters surrounding Stockholm. In the 16th century, the fortress was transformed into a Renaissance-style castle that served as the residence of the Swedish Royal Family. Its first inhabitant was King Gustav Vasa. A huge fire destroyed the Palace in 1697 reducing the entire building to rubble. The new Roman baroque Palace, completed in 1754, is what can be seen today. It is a very geometric building with four entrances each with its own character. These are masculine, feminine, civilian, and royal. The Swedish Royal Family no longer reside in the Palace, however, it still functions as offices for the King and Queen and the Royal Court. From time to time, there are also dinners and special events. That was a very brief overview of the history of the Palace!

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Stockholm – Vasa Museum

Greetings from Stockholm! We arrived yesterday after a long train ride from Copenhagen. This is my first time in the city and, so far, I am very impressed. There are quite a few museums here that we will explore over the next few days. On the agenda for today was a walking tour of the old city – Gamla Stan – and the Vasa Museum – Sweden’s most popular tourist attraction.

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Roskilde – Domkirke

Roskilde is a small city approximately twenty minutes by train from Copenhagen. It was founded in 980 by Harold Bluetooth and served as a very important site during the Viking era. Today it is home to many historic sites and museums including the Unesco World Heritage Listed Domkirke (Cathedral) and the Viking Ship Museum. It is quite a lovely day trip from Copenhagen and a great place to visit if you are interested in anything Viking-related.

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Copenhagen – Design Museum

The following is part 2 of yesterday’s museum adventures. I’ll start by saying we didn’t really plan on visiting the Design Museum. I stumbled across it whilst googling what to see around the Medical Museion. What’s pretty cool is that the Design Museum is housed in part of the former Frederiks Hospital. Its collection includes furniture, textiles, and art. The mention of textiles caught my eye so I added it to our itinerary. Not only does it contain one of Denmark’s largest textile collection, but, they have made a great effort to place the majority of pieces on display.

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The museum itself is beautifully designed. The grey marble floors and spacious display areas allow it to feel very accommodating. The entire museum is on one floor and you must walk through each section to see the next. Although we weren’t there to see the Japanese design exhibition, we walked through and were pleasantly surprised to learn the similarities between Japanese and Danish design. Continue reading Copenhagen – Design Museum

Copenhagen – Medical Museion

We have had such an amazing day seeing some of the wonderful sites in the city and, most importantly, museum-hopping. Although we visited the Design Museum first, I am too excited to write about the Medical Museion. Since they are such different places, both deserve their own blog entry. The Medical Museion, founded in 1907, is a museum and research centre for the University of Copenhagen. It was opened to the public in 1918 and houses one of the largest medical collections in the world.

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