Museums in Sweden

The Royal Coin Cabinet

The Royal Coin Cabinet is a museum dedicated to the history of money. The museum includes exhibitions of coins, banknotes (the first in the world was issued in 1661 by Stockholms Banco), treasure hoards and piggy banks. Particularly notable are the oldest Swedish coin, a copper plate coin dating from Queen Christina's reign in 1644 that is thought at 19.7 kg to be the heaviest in the world, some of the Lohe treasure found ...
Founded: | Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Vasa Museum

The Vasa Museum (Vasamuseet) is a maritime museum displaying the only almost fully intact 17th century ship that has ever been salvaged, the 64-gun warship Vasa that sank on her maiden voyage in 1628. Opened in 1990, the Vasa Museum is one of the most visited museums in Scandinavia. The main hall contains the ship itself and various exhibits related to the archaeological findings of the ships and early 17th century Swede ...
Founded: 1990 | Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm City Museum

The Stockholm City Museum documents and exhibits the history of Stockholm. It was opened to the public in 1942 and located in the palace completed in 1685. The museum is the largest municipal museum in Sweden, and houses collections which include 300,000 items of historical interest; 20,000 works of art and 3 million photographs. The museum has two permanent exhibitions, one called "The Stockholm Exhibition - Based on a ...
Founded: 1942 | Location: Stockholm, Sweden

The Museum of Medieval Stockholm

The Museum of Medieval Stockholm was constructed around old monuments excavated in an extensive archaeological dig in the late 1970s. Part of Stockholm's city wall, dating from the early 16th century, was also found. The museum enables visitors to experience medieval Stockholm, with its brick houses and booths, workshops, harbour and gallows. It relates the medieval history of the city from the 1250s to the 1520s. In 2010 ...
Founded: | Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Skansen Open Air Museum

Skansen is the first open air museum and zoo in Sweden. It was founded in 1891 by Artur Hazelius (1833-1901) to show the way of life in the different parts of Sweden before the industrial era. Skansen attracts more than 1.3 million visitors each year. The many exhibits over the 75 acre (300,000 m²) site include a full replica of an average 19th-century town, in which craftsmen in traditional dress such as tanners, shoema ...
Founded: 1891 | Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Uppland Museum

The Upplandsmuseet (Uppland Museum) is the county museum of Uppsala County. The institution is responsible for preservation and conducting research in the area of the cultural history and archaeology of the county, including the city of Uppsala (parts of the historical province of Uppland, from which the museum takes its name, belong to Stockholm County). The permanent exhibition covers subjects such as the history of the ...
Founded: | Location: Uppsala, Sweden

Gustavianum

Gustavianum is the former main building of Uppsala University, built 1622–1625 and named after King Gustavus Adolphus. Under the cupola is the theatrum anatomicum, the second oldest in the world added to the building in the mid 17th century by Olaus Rudbeck, professor of medicine and amateur architect, among other things. Although still used for lectures and conferences, most of Gustavianum functions as a museum, i ...
Founded: 1622-1625 | Location: Uppsala, Sweden

Gothenburg Museum of Art

The Göteborg Museum of Art at Götaplatsen, Gothenburg, is renowned for its collection of Nordic art from around the close of the 19th century. A must see is the lavishly decorated Fürstenberg Gallery, named after a leading Gothenburg art donor, Pontus Fürstenberg and his wife Göthilda. Among the artists showcased one can mention Carl Larsson, Anders Zorn, and P.S. Kröyer. The museum also hou ...
Founded: 1923 | Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

Lund Historical Museum

The Historical museum in Lund, founded in 1805, is the second largest archaeological museum in Sweden. Its collections contain among other things Kilian Stobaeus' Cabinet of Curiosities from the 18th century, thousands of finds from the excavations of the Iron Age city of Uppåkra and numerous artefacts from the Scanian Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages. The museum also has the second largest coin collection in the country ...
Founded: 1805 | Location: Lund, Sweden

Medical History Museum

History of health and medical care is exhibited in a 200-year-old former hospital. The museum is located in the Oterdahl building, donated by wholesaler Aron Oterdahl in 1808 to Sahlgren hospital as a gift “for time eternal”. The exhibition is set up based on various, still current, themes and presents a history of the development of western medicine from antiquity to our times.
Founded: 1808 | Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

Strindberg Museum

The Strindberg Museum (Strindbergsmuseet) is dedicated to the writer August Strindberg and located in his last dwelling, in the house he nicknamed the "Blå tornet" (The Blue Tower). The Museum is owned by the Strindberg Society of Sweden and was inaugurated in 1973. Strindberg moved to the house in 1908 and lived there until his death in 1912. The Museum consists of Strindberg's flat and library, as well as an area for ...
Founded: 1973 | Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Gotland Museum

The fine Gotlands Fornsal Museum provides comprehensive coverage of Visby's past. Housed in an 18th century distillery and a medieval warehouse, it holds five storeys of exhibition halls covering eight thousand years of history, as well as a good courtyard café and bookshop. Among the most impressive sections are the Hall of Picture Stones, a collection of richly carved stones dating mostly from the 5th to 11th ce ...
Founded: 1875 | Location: Visby, Sweden

Swedish Army Museum

The Swedish Army Museum, was awarded the title of the best museum of Stockholm in 2005. Its displays illustrate the military history of Sweden, including its modern policy of neutrality, and of the Swedish Army. The building was erected in the 17th century as an arsenal for the production and storage of artillery weapons. The exhibition includes life-size figures of soldiers of past centuries, as well as scenes of the gr ...
Founded: 2002 | Location: Stockholm, Sweden

East India Company House

The old East India Company House (now the City Museum) was once the hub of Sweden's trade with the Far East. Most seafaring nations in the 18th century had an East India company which held a monopoly on trade with the East. Scottish merchants were not part of the lucrative dealings of the English, so Scot Colin Campbell, in association with Niclas Sahlgren in Gothenburg, devised an idea for a Swedish East India Company, w ...
Founded: 1750-1762 | Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

National Historical Museum

The National Historical Museum (Historiska muséet) covers Swedish cultural history and art from the Stone Age to the 16th century. The museum is known for its so called "Gold Room" (Guldrummet) by the architect Leif Blomberg, where a large number of gold objects are kept as part of the exhibition. The museum hosts also the largest Viking exhibition, with more than 4,000 original artifacts.
Founded: 1866 | Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Gothenburg Maritime Museum

The exhibitions at the Maritime Museum tell 400 years of maritime history. Themes include pirates past and present, life at sea, the Swedish American Line and much more. There are four permanent exhibitions displaying the history of sea routes, flows of people and ideas, Gothenburg port and technical development of seafaring.
Founded: | Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

Naval Museum

Marinmuseum (Naval Museum) is Sweden"s national naval museum, dedicated to the Swedish naval defense and preservation of the country"s naval history. Marinmuseum is one of Sweden"s oldest museums, established in 1752 when King Adolf Frederick began the collection and documentation of naval objects in what was called the Model Room (Modellkammaren). He also ordered the preservation of ship models and ship bu ...
Founded: 1752 | Location: Karlskrona, Sweden

The Jewish Museum

The Jewish Museum in Stockholm is the only one of its kind in the Nordic countries. The permanent exhibition displays unique objects and settings that give an account of the lives and traditions of Jews.
Founded: | Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Sigtuna Museum

Sigtuna Museum exhibits the history of Sigtuna, Sweden's oldest medieval city. The museum is located on the site where the first royal palace was built in the late 900’s AD. The museum dates back to 1916 and the current museum has been built in the 1960s with new showrooms, reception and storage. The permanent exhibition displays Sigtuna's earliest history. Although the museum is active in many areas the archaeological ...
Founded: 1916 | Location: Sigtuna, Sweden

Blekinge County Museum

Blekinge Museum is a regional museum that was founded in 1899. Since 1972 it is housed in Grevagården, one of the oldest buildings and the only remaining town farm in Karlskrona. Grevagården was completed 1705 as the home of Admiral General Count Wachtmeister, one of the founders of Karlskrona. Since Blekinge is a marked coastal county with an archipelago, the maritime heritage is a chief focus. Blekinge muse ...
Founded: 1899 | Location: Karlskrona, Sweden

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Veste Coburg

The Veste Coburg is one of Germany's largest castles. The hill on which the fortress stands was inhabited from the Neolithic to the early Middle Ages according to the results of excavations. The first documentary mention of Coburg occurs in 1056, in a gift by Richeza of Lotharingia. Richeza gave her properties to Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne, to allow the creation of Saalfeld Abbey in 1071. In 1075, a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul is mentioned on the fortified Coberg. This document also refers to a Vogt named Gerhart, implying that the local possessions of the Saalfeld Benedictines were administered from the hill.

A document signed by Pope Honorius II in 1206 refers to a mons coburg, a hill settlement. In the 13th century, the hill overlooked the town of Trufalistat (Coburg's predecessor) and the important trade route from Nuremberg via Erfurt to Leipzig. A document dated from 1225 uses the term schloss (palace) for the first time. At the time, the town was controlled by the Dukes of Merania. They were followed in 1248 by the Counts of Henneberg who ruled Coburg until 1353, save for a period from 1292-1312, when the House of Ascania was in charge.

In 1353, Coburg fell to Friedrich, Markgraf von Meißen of the House of Wettin. His successor, Friedrich der Streitbare was awarded the status of Elector of Saxony in 1423. As a result of the Hussite Wars the fortifications of the Veste were expanded in 1430.

Early modern times through Thirty Years' War

In 1485, in the Partition of Leipzig, Veste Coburg fell to the Ernestine branch of the family. A year later, Elector Friedrich der Weise and Johann der Beständige took over the rule of Coburg. Johann used the Veste as a residence from 1499. In 1506/07, Lucas Cranach the Elder lived and worked in the Veste. From April to October 1530, during the Diet of Augsburg, Martin Luther sought protection at the Veste, as he was under an Imperial ban at the time. Whilst he stayed at the fortress, Luther continued with his work translating the Bible into German. In 1547, Johann Ernst moved the residence of the ducal family to a more convenient and fashionable location, Ehrenburg Palace in the town centre of Coburg. The Veste now only served as a fortification.

In the further splitting of the Ernestine line, Coburg became the seat of the Herzogtum von Sachsen-Coburg, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg. The first duke was Johann Casimir (1564-1633), who modernized the fortifications. In 1632, the fortress was unsuccessfully besieged by Imperial and Bavarian forces commanded by Albrecht von Wallenstein for seven days during the Thirty Years' War. Its defence was commanded by Georg Christoph von Taupadel. On 17 March 1635, after a renewed siege of five months' duration, the Veste was handed over to the Imperials under Guillaume de Lamboy.

17th through 19th centuries

From 1638-72, Coburg and the Veste were part of the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg. In 1672, they passed to the Dukes of Saxe-Gotha and in 1735 it was joined to the Duchy of Saxe-Saalfeld. Following the introduction of Primogeniture by Duke Franz Josias (1697-1764), Coburg went by way of Ernst Friedrich (1724-1800) to Franz (1750-1806), noted art collector, and to Duke Ernst III (1784-1844), who remodeled the castle.

In 1826, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was created and Ernst now styled himself 'Ernst I'. Military use of the Veste had ceased by 1700 and outer fortifications had been demolished in 1803-38. From 1838-60, Ernst had the run-down fortress converted into a Gothic revival residence. In 1860, use of the Zeughaus as a prison (since 1782) was discontinued. Through a successful policy of political marriages, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha established links with several of the major European dynasties, including that of the United Kingdom.

20th century

The dynasty ended with the reign of Herzog Carl Eduard (1884-1954), also known as Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a grandson of Queen Victoria, who until 1919 also was the 2nd Duke of Albany in the United Kingdom. Under his rule, many changes made to the Veste in the 19th century were reversed under architect Bodo Ebhardt, with the aim of restoring a more authentic medieval look. Along with the other ruling princes of Germany, Carl Eduard was deposed in the revolution of 1918-1919. After Carl Eduard abdicated in late 1918, the Veste came into possession of the state of Bavaria, but the former duke was allowed to live there until his death. The works of art collected by the family were gifted to the Coburger Landesstiftung, a foundation, which today runs the museum.

In 1945, the Veste was seriously damaged by artillery fire in the final days of World War II. After 1946, renovation works were undertaken by the new owner, the Bayerische Verwaltung der staatlichen Schlösser, Gärten und Seen.

Today

The Veste is open to the public and today houses museums, including a collection art objects and paintings that belonged to the ducal family of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a large collection of arms and armor, significant examples of early modern coaches and sleighs, and important collections of prints, drawings and coins.