Many towns and villages have a hembygdsgård. This is often an old farm or collection of buildings. A hembygdsgård often functions as an open-air museum about the local history. During special days – Midsummer, the National days, Christmas – this is the place to be. Wondering where to find the local hembygdsgård? Just follow the people wearing traditional clothing.
Kulturmagasinet consists of four old warehouses connected by glass-paned galleries in the Sundsvall city centre. Kulturmagasinet houses are among other things Sundsvall’s city library, Sundsvall’s museum and the Sundsvall Photo Museum. The museum focuses on recent urban, regional and cultural history, but a significant part also consists of newer Swedish art. The Sundsvall Photo Museum is part of Sundsvall’s museum and has exhibitions with mainly documentary photography. It also has one of the world’s largest collections of cameras.
Are you looking for an attractive way to reach Östersund? Try taking the Inlandsbanan (the Inland Line). This is a 1,288-kilometre railway line between Kristinehamn and Gällivare in Sweden.
Jamtli is the regional open-air museum of Jämtland and Härjedalen in Östersund. It consists of an open-air museum with historical buildings, and an indoor museum with permanent exhibitions about the region’s past alongside temporary exhibitions of arts and handicrafts. Jamtli has on display the Överhogdal tapestries, showing a rich imagery of both Norse and Christian origin from the Viking Age. Jamtli was Sweden’s Museum of the Year in 2013.
Storsjöyran (The Great Lake Festival) or just Yran is an annual musical in Östersund event going back to the early sixties. The festival gathers around 35-40.000 visitors every year and is one of the biggest festival in Sweden. Not strange, when you look at past line-ups: Lady Gaga, Kraftwerk, Bryan Adams, Sting, Alice Cooper, Suede, Iggy Pop, Van Morrison, Patti Smith, Kings of Leon, Pet Shop Boys, Blondie are just a few of the artists that have played on Yran.
Downhill cycling and cable car
Åre Bike Park has 34 trails, with 50 kilometers of possible biking and 853 meters of height difference. It is Scandinavia’s largest bike park. During the summer season daredevils on huge bicycles flock to the small winter sport village to cycle downhill as fast as possible. If you want to take is slower, take the Kabinbana (cable car). The journey up (1274 meters above sea level) takes about 7 minutes. Dogs are welcome in one of the cable cars, just make sure to keep them on a leash while on the mountain.
Stiklestad National Culture Centre
Located at the site of the Battle of Stiklestad on 29 July 1030, the Stiklestad National Culture Centre is well worth a visit. There are countless things to see and do – you could easily spend one or two days there – and the place is beautifully situated. The Stiklestad church was built at the end of the 12th century. According to tradition, the church is built so that the altar is located above the place where Olav fell during the battle on July 29, 1030. The church even houses the so-called Olavssteinen, which is said to be the stone that Olav leaned against at the time of death. Stiklestadir is the name of a medieval farm with an impressive longhouse – an assembly hall from Viking times. There is also open air museum with buildings and objects that show life in the 17th and 19th century.
The Saint Olav Drama
The Spelet om Heilag Olav is an outdoor theatre performance played every end of July in Stiklestad on Scandinavia’s largest open-air stage. The play commemorates the Battle of Stiklestad that took place in the year 1030, which resulted in death of St. Olav. The play has been staged every year since 1954. The Saint Olav Festival at Stiklestad also includes lectures, plays, concerts and a medieval fair with traditional foods, handicrafts and activities. Not to be missed when you are in the Stiklestad vicinity in July!
Olavsfestdagene is a huge religious and cultural festival held in Trondheim around Olsok (‘Olav’s Wake’ or ‘Olaf’s Vigil’, the end of July) every year. During the festival more than 300 events with 800 international and Norwegian artists are presented. Music, markets, games, exhibitions, church services, lectures and – oh yes – jousting are part of a big line-up of activities. Olavsfestdagenes is historically connected to the veneration of St. Olav. Pilgrims from many countries choose to visit Nidaros Cathedral during the festival.