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Geoffrey C.

Location: Windy City, USA
Joined: 17 Apr 2009

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed 22 Jun, 2011 3:35 pm    Post subject: Requesting advice on trip to Sweden         Reply with quote

Hi all,

This is only my second post ever but I am not completely new to myArmoury and I hope this questions is relevant and in the right place.

So in a couple of weeks I'll be going to Sweden for the first time ever and I wanted some advice on what sword/armor/WMA type things I should definitely try to see. Specifically I'm going to Stockholm, and I am not sure what kind of mobility I will have with the local transportation so I will probably only be able to see things near or in Stockholm.
That being said I am interested in museums with good weapon and armor collections, period art and such. Also interested in any beautiful castles or similar in the area that are must see. I have heard that there are amazing weapon-smith's in Sweden but I have no idea how realistic it would be to visit them (do they have store fronts?). If there are any other places or things of note that you think I should see or visit don't hesitate to tell me, I actually know very little about Sweden.
Also if anyone has any useful tips on culture-shock differences or things that I should definitely not do or say that would be helpful too. For reference, I'm American and have some experience with Euro culture from growing up around 1st and 2nd gen Euro-Americans.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
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Daniel Staberg

Location: Gothenburg/Sweden
Joined: 30 Apr 2005
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Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 570

PostPosted: Wed 22 Jun, 2011 5:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In Stockholm there are several museums worth visiting

A must visit is Livrustkammaren, the Royal Armoury which saddly can only display a minor part of it's remarkable collection at any one time. The display includes both clothing, arms and armour.

The Army Museum ("Armemuseum" has a number of fine weapons on display, mostly swords, sabers and firearms from the 17th Century and later. The ground floor has some superb examples of the cannon makers art on display if you are interested in artillery while Trophy chamber display a small but fine selection of the unique collection of military flags taken as trophies by the Swedes in the 17th and 18th Centuries.

If you are at all interested in naval history there is the Vasa museum were the 17th C ship of the line HMS Vasa is on display It's actually well worth a visit even for most landlubbers Wink

If you can make the trip Skokloster is a 17th C palace built by Fieldmarshal Carl Gustav Wrangel has an armoury with a fine collection of mostly 17th Century arms & armour on display

"There is nothing more hazardous than to venture a battle. One can lose it
by a thousand unforseen circumstances, even when one has thorougly taken all
precautions that the most perfect military skill allows for."
-Fieldmarshal Lennart Torstensson.
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Mikael Ranelius

Location: Sweden
Joined: 06 Mar 2007

Posts: 252

PostPosted: Thu 23 Jun, 2011 7:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You're not likely to experience any dramatic cultural differences. Swedes tend to be somewhat timid and reserved, which might be interpreted as cold and unfriendly by foreign visitors, but it is not the case.

Apart from Daniel's suggestions I strongly recommend a visit to the Museum of Medieval Stockholm (Stockholms medeltidsmuseum), which exhibits a number of excavated weapons and armour fragments as well as a few superb reconstructions made by Albert Collins and a sword by Peter Jonsson. The National Historical Museum (Historiska Museet) also have a number of weapons and armour on display, mainly Iron Age and Viking stuff but also finds from the battle of Visby (1361).

I would also like to suggest a visit to the Storkyrkan Church to check out the magnificent St George sculpture by Bernt Notke (1480s)
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Johan Gemvik

Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: 10 Nov 2009

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PostPosted: Sun 26 Jun, 2011 7:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Swedes tend to be somewhat timid and reserved", I was laughing my head off when I read that. Big Grin
Compared to some ultra-extrovert americans perhaps yes, but then everyone else in the whole world is timid and reserved. Wink Having seen a few iron maiden concerts and soccer games , I wouldn't call swedes exactly timid. We can be a rowdy lot at times, especially with large amounts of alcohol or spectator sports involved.

Anyway, most swedes tend to like americans in general unless they're loud and bossy. Also, most swedes today speak excellent english, which surprises some as you can actually talk to people here at length, not just stuttering phrases and simple basic communication. Should be obvious from the number of swedes on this forum.
This still means there will be some minor language, or perhaps more of a cultural barrier. If there's miscommunication that's noticeable, just explain with a different angle to it and it usually works out. Not a big issue but it's there and just knowing about it helps a lot.

Here's a quick guide to get along with swedes as an american:
Be politely charming in a typically american way, but avoid being loud and bossy as this is a negative (at times unfair) stereotype for americans you want to avoid being cast as. This'll solve just about all issues with talking to people, or them being anything but as helpful and nice as can be.
Of course there are instances when being rude, bossy and loud is quite justified. Wink

Another tip: Since most swedes are basically bi-lingual speaking both swedish and english there is no safe haven speaking english about other people around you. I have lots of fun, or at times sad stories about tourists who don't get this. Let's say I go to Greece for a holiday with my family or some friends, or why not to the USA, I could get away with talking about people I see around me with my friends in Swedish. It's a typically human thing to do, something most people do at times when abroad in a thight knit group. Well, you can't do that here with english and people tend to forget.

Regarding museums in Stockholm:
Stocholm has about 200 museums in easy reach of the central city. Most are excellent. The ones to pick out as primary targets for history buffs has already been pointed by the guys posting above.
As I recently visited the Armémuseum again I have only great things to say about it. On the upper floors (floor 3 I think) they show war throughout the ages, from cavemen to 19th century napoleonic era. It has some about viking age, early medieval and then it continues with excellent wax dolls showing off landknechts in a town setting you can walk right through. The dolls are made lifelike and ugly real, some like grisly old veterans and most with disease or various forms of handicaps of lifelong soldiering. A far cry from the "pretty model" smooth skin and perfect symmetry dolls you usually get in museums. Going further you go into a room where caroligians (as in swedish 17th century cavalry) charges you knee to knee on horseback with drawn rapiers. Then you walk through fortification scenes and winter storm landscapes with frozen corpses.
There's another exhibit where they let you handle muskets, mauser rifles and modern military carbines, not loaded of course, and display the damage they do to ballistic gel and tree trunk targets. Very cool.

But also a visit to Skansen, a zoo and also a heritage museum all-in-one is also a good idea. They have wood buildings transferrred from all over sweden to keep them safe. Including one or two from 14th century, as well as several from 16th century and most of these are pretty much intact.

We also have some great classic and modern art museums.

Then in summertime there's a regular boat trip you can take from the pier close to Statshuset (very central) to Birka. Though it'll probably steal an entire day, the boat trip is pleasant but about 2 hours each way. There's a small museum there but all the real finds are kept at the Historiska museet, the historical museum in central stockholm.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Geoffrey C.

Location: Windy City, USA
Joined: 17 Apr 2009

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue 05 Jul, 2011 3:05 pm    Post subject: Thanks!!         Reply with quote

Just wanted to say thanks to those who responded my query.

I really appreciate the advice and am now really, really, looking forward to Sweden (just few days till I go). I will definitely stop by the Vasa-ship museum, it sounds like a great opportunity to see craftsmanship on a large scale. I'm wondering if it will be anything like going through the German U-boat that is here in Chicago.

I of course can't wait to see all the weapons and armor. At this point my big concern is that I won't have time to go to all the museums I want to see, but hopefully I can. Also the fact that "The Livrustkammaren" and probably other museums have only part of their collection available at any one time is going to inspire me to make the trip to Sweden again sometime.

Thanks to Johan for the advice on culture. Based on what you said I don't think I will have any problem in Sweden Wink .
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Greg Coffman

Location: Lubbock, TX
Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 254

PostPosted: Wed 06 Jul, 2011 7:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I enjoyed the Swedish Museum of National Antiquities, Statens Historiska Museum.
It had a very good collection of viking swords and artifacts and the gold hoard was particularly impressive. Unfortunately the gold room is the only place they do not allow pictures.

While the Royal Armory did have a broad selection of weapons, I was disappointed with the limited amount they had on display. But then, I had just seen the Royal Arsenal in Copenhagen which was pretty good.

Greg Coffman

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
-Hebrews 4:12
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Chris Artman

Location: USA
Joined: 12 Apr 2008

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 441

PostPosted: Wed 06 Jul, 2011 9:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If anyone happens to see Christina Hardin from Ornskoldsvik Sweden, tell her I hope she is doing well :-) I lost touch with her after meeting her skiing in Chamonix around 1987... She is probably around 40-43 now...
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Martin Wallgren

Location: Bjästa, Sweden
Joined: 01 Mar 2004

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 620

PostPosted: Wed 06 Jul, 2011 4:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I live just 10 minutes from Örnskoldsvik, I ask around!


Swordsman, Archer and Dad
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