Kiruna’s newly built town hall Kristallen (the Crystal) houses the Art Museum in the North, which is Norrbotten’s County Art Museum. The exhibitions begin as soon as you step into the open stairwell of the town hall and extend all the way up to floor five in the large, round building. Socially engaged and critically orientated contemporary art is shown in exhibitions that find expression through various media and techniques. The geographical starting point chosen is the Barents Region, intending to make art an important voice in public discourse. Apart from contemporary art exhibitions, there are also other creative programs and activities offered that give visitors new perspectives on the world. konstmuseetinorr.se
The Klockljung family from Stockholm bought a large wooden house in Glommersträsk some years ago. The ground floor used to be a hat shop, and they were told there were some old hats still in the attic. They weren’t told that the hat collection in the attic actually consisted of around 350 brand new women’s hats made between 1930–1960, put away for safekeeping by milliner Jenny Petrina Stenqvist, a woman with style who knew why a woman should wear a hat.
“You don’t need to be well-off to afford a new hat. A hat elevates your entire being and makes you joyful” – Hattliv, Ylva Elzén. glommers-hatt-och-leksaks-museum.business.site
Up until 1997, large yellow signs with bold red frames prohibited foreigners from staying in the area around Boden. Years later, those same signs proclaimed “the Russians are coming”, inviting people to a powerful art exhibition in one of Boden’s most spectacular buildings: Havremagasinet – the Oat Warehouse. The year was 2010, and Boden’s role as a strategic military ‘lock’ against the east was over. The door to the world was swung open. The Oat Warehouse had been transformed into one of Sweden’s largest art galleries. Since then, it has exhibited contemporary art dealing with current themes. All of them – no matter how different the expressions have been and still are – touch on topics such as democracy, human rights, and freedom of expression. bodeninswedishlapland.se
Norrbottens Museum in Luleå is a county museum in Sweden’s largest county by area. Norrbotten has a varied landscape that stretches from coast to mountain and cultural history spanning over more than 10,000 years. The county is a multicultural environment, characterised by Sámi, Torne Vally Finnish, Finnish, Swedish and New Swedish culture. The museum is a place where activities are carried out relating to the protection of the cultural environment as well as archaeology, ethnology, documentation, archives, libraries and collections, art and education. The museum also hosts an extensive range of exhibitions and programs. Norrbottens Museum collaborates with all the municipalities in the country and is tasked with collecting, communicating, and developing Norrbotten’s cultural heritage. norrbottensmuseum.se
Silvermuseet in Arjeplog is the key to the cultural landscape in the mountains. The exhibitions that populate the three floors at Silvermuseet tell the story of ten thousand years of life in a mountain community, from prehistoric times to the present. Here you find stories of people who have made their way here during millennia to hunt and catch their food, stories about the strenuous everyday life of the Sámi and small farmers, but also stories of people’s celebrations and adventures. The importance of nature for those living here is depicted in a separate exhibition, and the crowning, shining glory is the large collection of Sámi silver. silvermuseet.se
The Defence Museum in Boden is a modern museum that places Sweden and Boden’s fortress in a larger perspective. In the museum’s primary exhibition, the Lock of the North, you are taken on a journey through Swedish defence history from the end of the 19th century to today, through war and peace from several perspectives. The experience takes you from the mobilisation during the First World War through the quiet inter-war period, the Second World War, and the Cold War to a more tranquil local environment where the Swedish defence tasks are re-prioritised and used in peace-keeping operations on all continents. The Defence Museum is a part of SMHA, the Swedish Military Heritage: a network consisting of 26 state and state-supported museums. boden.se
Ájtte is the main museum for Sámi culture, a museum specialising in mountain nature and culture, and an information centre for mountain visitors. Ájtte tells stories about human beings in their environment and about nature and culture from an ecological, holistic perspective.
Ájtte is located in Jokkmokk, a gateway to the mountain world in Lapland. Mining has been carried out in the area since the 17th century, and hydropower was expanded dramatically during the last century. Forestry has exploited the last major, untouched forests here, but this is also the home of World Heritage Laponia. Ájtte’s geographical area of activity covers the entire mountain region, 1,000 km from north to south, and the traditional Sámi settlement area from the national border in the west to the forest land in the east. ajtte.com
The Sauna Museum in Kukkolaforsen (the Kukkola rapids) tells the story of how sauna culture has developed through the ages. Here you get to visit different types of saunas, learn about the positive health effects of sauna bathing, and find out all about how best to go about it. In the area, there are 13 saunas of different kinds, from different eras and different areas. kukkolaforsen.se
The Museum of Tornio Valley – Tornionlaakson museo – is located in Tornio and has its area of activity on both sides of the border: the museum belongs to both Haparanda and Tornio. The exhibition speaks of the common roots of the Torne Valley inhabitants. Why did they come here, and how have they coped with life? The exhibition also covers food culture, rock music, local identity, the area’s identity, languages and dialects. All exhibitions are bilingual (Swedish and Finnish), and you can also expect service in both languages. tornio.fi
In Älvsbyn, people have always been interested in engines. P-O Lindroth’s Petrol Museum in Älvsbyn is a time travel exhibition full of petrol nostalgia. The museum’s 400 square metres house petrol station interiors and exteriors from the 1930s to the 1960s. Vehicles, large and small, the interior of an old café featuring a wonderful Wurlitzer jukebox – all this makes it a true journey in time. Bring your Brylcreem! The outdoor area features a BP petrol station, a mast full of signs that make lovers of nostalgic petrol brands sigh and dream, and the world’s largest VICI pump has also got a dedicated space here. This place started as Lindroth’s Petrol and Cars, but that collection has since been developed into a visit “to the past”. visitalvsbyn.se
The road that takes you up the mountain Rödberget is a small, serpentine road: winding, narrow and partly blasted into the mountain. But there is no need to worry as you make your way up, as traffic takes another route downhill. Instead, enjoy the journey and imagine what it used to be like when people worked here, defending the country and one of the largest defence secrets in Sweden’s modern history. Arriving at the top, you will see the old café, which is where the guided tour commences. The tour takes you from the café, into the moat and then deep into the mountain and the rock chambers there, to end up at the very top of the mountain. fastningsguiden.com