Gotland Museum cannot be described as one museum.
Rather, it is an umbrella under which a lot of the points of interest on the island of Gotland are gathered.
And there are many of those, because this island has plenty to offer.
While presenting some of the most spectacular nature in Sweden, Unlocking
Gotland also attracts those who take an interest in culture and history.
“For the fourth year running, Gotland Museum is the most visited regional museum in the country.
I think there are a few reasons for this,” Jenny Westfält, deputy museum director, begins.
One reason underlined by Westfält is that some of the objects on display cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
That is the case, for instance, with the picture stones.
These are found in a part of the museum called Fornsalen, located slapbang in the middle of World Heritage Site Visby, the biggest town on the island.
Picture stones are similar to the well-known runestones,
but different in that they present just that – a picture rather than runes.
“The stories depicted on these stones tell us about Norse mythology,
but also about the worldwide journeys undertaken by the Vikings.
Visitors from all over the world travel to Gotland specifically to see the picture stones,” says Westfält.
Also exhibited at Fornsalen is a collection of remains of combatants as well as their armour, involved in the Battle of Visby of 1361.
“Because the battle took place on a hot summer’s day, it was important to bury the dead as quickly as possible,
which means that most of them still wore their complete armour. Hence, a lot of it has been preserved,” Westfält explains.
Following the rise in popularity of historical re-enactments,
this exhibition has become well-liked among visitors who want to take a close look at an impressive collection of complete armour from the 1300s.
At Gotland Museum, guided tours and dramatised historical episodes constitute an important part of the operations,
both having proved popular among visitors.
“We strive to be really good, knowledgeable hosts.
We’re proud to say that we own the keys to this fantastic World Heritage Site and we enjoy unlocking it for our visitors,” Westfält concludes.
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