Swedish history comes alive at Jamtli

Jamtli Regional Museum, is not just another museum that one visits, it’s rather something that has to be experienced. The outdoor museum comes alive every summer as actors and role-players re-create an interactive journey through yesteryear. 

Stepping into the 70’s is a blast from the past where visitors are immersed in a world focused on the OPEC oil crises, daycares and a world coming to grip with war and peace. Take a few steps further and you as a visitor will be thrown even further back in time to the 1700’s where the harsh realities of life show the constant battle for survival. Living history is the central theme for Jamtli and this is so clearly the case with continuous year round advancement and improvement of the exhibits.

Whirlgigs and ye olde worlde

The town square bustles with the humdrum of yesteryear. The whirligig swings kids squealing with excitement while amused parents watch on as siblings attempt to hit the bullseye’s in an archery competition or break pottery jars with slingshot. The men try to out-impress each other with the strong man game as they swing an oversized hammer in an effort to get the bell to ring as women wonder out of the old bank in their large dresses and fancy hats. What year are we in? The money is different, the clothing seems out of place…we have been transferred back to 1895 and visitors, with pockets full of Jamtli Historyland money from the town bank, are ready to explore the rest of the living history world.

Follow the road onwards and visit the year 1956, complete with an old gas station and the attendant excitedly talking about the latest Volvo, without seatbelts of course, they hadn’t been invented yet. Drop the youngsters off at the children’s traffic school where they learn about rules of the road and test their driving skills in a miniature pedal car. If they pass the test, they receive their own drivers licence!

Jamtli Historieland Foto:Tina Stafren
The outdoor museum comes alive every summer as actors re-create an interactive journey.

The roaring 70’s

The Swedish television cult classic ”Fem myror” is a huge drawcard for the locals and kids alike with the exhibit directly taken out of the beloved TV show that draws the kid out of even the most reserved adults. The exhibits stage suddenly bursts to life as the characters create scenes from the show and take you through the famed kissing tunnel and other attractions so loved from the show.

The 70’s continue to roar in its plastic colourful splendour in the recreated 70’s house of suburbia, home to the super green, super hip couple growing their own vegetables and dreaming about a world that makes love, not war. Neighbours to the hippy family are the ultra pragmatic pensioners in their own apartment, kitted out to be super practical for the super independent generation.

Continuing down the passage of time and we find ourselves in an idyllic forest and a summer croft, complete with grazing cows and goats, where the dairy maid is making butter and cheese. A short walk further down and we find the 1942’s, self-sufficient farmyard belonging to family Zetterström, who are bearing the burden of living in world during World War 2. Stop for a cup of “kaffesurr” coffee with Astrid, who listlessly longs for her husband who is serving in the troops. She may take you around and show you the garden while taking care of her washing in her hand turned washing machine.

Astrid doesn’t have all the time in the world so it’s perfect timing to hop on the beautifully restored 1920’s bus that chugs back to the modern world and the main entrance and museum building, which is open year round. Part of the museum is built underground and the best way to get to the lower level is to slide down the Storsjö Lake Monster slide and into the interactive Jamtli world, with displays from the Stone Age, Norway and Mälardalen that can be physically touched, held and explored.

Scenshow med Håkan Borgsten, Emil Grundemo El-Hayek och Malin Grundemo El-Hayek, Jamtli 2012
The Swedish television cult classic ”Fem myror”.
Temaparken

Viking Tapestries

The flagship display at Jamtli is the Överhogdalsbonaderna Viking Tapestry, dating back over 1,000 years. Images of horses, birds, horned animals and people form an intricate artwork depicting a complex history that many have tried to decipher and understand. Despite the age, the tapestry is complete and the colours remain bright.

Jamtli Museum has something on year round with certain highlights that are not to be missed. The Christmas market is an absolute must, which takes place on the second advent weekend in December and regularly attracts over 20,000 visitors. The market offers over 200 local food and craft producers, who gather in a winter wonderland that oozes a yuletide atmosphere. Other events are the Spring market, focusing on the outdoors and gardens, Sweden’s National Day celebration and the ultra Swedish Mid Summer celebrations.

 

Överhogdalsbonaderna, Viking Tapestry, dating back over 1,000 years. Photo: Jamtli
Överhogdalsbonaderna, Viking Tapestry, dating back over 1,000 years.

HERE’S THE SKINNY

ACTIVITY

Indoor & Outdoor museum, guided tours, events, gastronomy.

SEASON

All year round.

START

The bell tower marks the entrance to the museum. In winter you start with the indoors exhibits and go out to see the historical farms if weather permits. In summer you start outdoors and go to the indoors exhibits to get a rest from the sun or rain…

ATTRACTIONS

If you have limited time for the outdoors exhibits you may want to prioritize the 70s area and the 18th century farm to get a good contrast. Indoors you need to see the viking age tapestry “Överhogdalsbonaderna” on display.

GUIDED TOURS

Guided tours in english (and swedish) are offered during summer mainly.

DON’T MISS

Getting a fresh thin leavened bread, “tunnbröd” at the bakery by “Näsgården” farm or a taste of a “Kolbulle” at “Skogskojan”. Another must is buying a cone of candy from the turn of the century shop by the main square. The restaurant “Hov” and the Museum Café serve local dishes and pastry.

WHERE TO STAY

Östersund is the only city within Jämtland Härjedalen with a wide selection of places to stay and eat. Within Jamtli there is a hostel, a Museum Café and the Restaurant Hov.

ARE WE MISSING SOMETHING?

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