Skåne is Sweden’s southernmost province. In English they sometimes talk about Scania. Although the area of Skåne is only 3% of Sweden, there still live more than 1 million people in the region (more than 13% of the Swedish population). The opening of the Öresund Bridge in 2000 had a major (positive) impact on the region.
The capital of Skåne is Malmö. Other well known towns are Lund, Helsingborg, Kristianstad, Trelleborg and Ystad. Skåne was originally Danish. Following the Roskilde Peace in 1658 Skåne became part of Sweden.
In Skåne you will find the oldest Swedish highway. In 1953 they built the first motorway of Sweden between Malmö and Lund. The oldest, still operational airport can be found in Skåne. Ljungbyhed Airport has been in function since 1910. In the 80s it was even the busiest airport of Sweden!
It was high on my wish list: Attending a Lucia celebration in Sweden. When I heard that a Lucia concert is held every year in the wooden Bosebo church of Kulturen in the pleasant town of Lund, it seemed a beautiful and unique opportunity for my first Lucia celebration.
Luciaconcert by Bella Voce
The Bosebo church in Kulturen in the student city of Lund has for years been the setting of a highly appreciated Lucia concert by the Bella Voce choir. The number of tickets is limited (even though the concert takes place 4 times that evening) and the tickets are sold out in no time every year. On the Facebook event you see messages popping up from people who almost beg for a ticket. So I was very happy that I could be there. Thanks to Visit Lund and Kulturen I was even allowed to sit on a privileged spot so I had an optimal view.
Candles and Lucia celebration
At 19h they turned off the lights in the church and it became silent. The choir walked into the church, with Lucia in the lead. As the tradition goes, Lucia wears a crown in her hair with real candles on. The other choir members follow, also dressed in the white robe with a red bow. They wear a wreath in their hair and hold a candle in their hands. The only light in the church came from the candles of the choir.
It was such an intense moment that I am convinced that every time I hear the song of Sancta Lucia, I will again be touched by the beautiful ceremony in that little wooden church in Lund. The choir performed more than 40 minutes of songs linked to Sankta Lucia and Christmas. Most of the songs were in Swedish, some in English. It was a truly breathtaking experience.
In the Bella Voce choir there are only ladies who either study or have studied at the University of Lund. This four-part ladies’ choir really brought magic. Their voices blended incredibly beautiful. If you are not in Lund around Lucia or can not get tickets for their Lucia concert, I can only recommend going to one of their other performances.
I had been to Lund a few times and visited Kulturen before. I had already been in the Bosebo church and was impressed by this old wooden church. The Bosebo kyrka (= church) comes from Småland and dates from 1652. In 1894 the church would be demolished and replaced by a larger church. Luckily Kulturen could buy up the church, move and rebuild it in the open air museum in Lund.
The church organ (where I was allowed to sit very close to during the Lucia celebration) dates from 1773 and still works completely. When you look up, you see the painted ceilings (painted by Sven Nilsson Morin), also in good condition. The pulpit (1781) was decorated in rococo style by the same artist who did the painting. The church still serves as a setting for, among other things, baptism and marriage celebrations. More about the church can be found on the Swedish website.
One of the top things to see and do in Lund is the open-air museum Kulturen Lund. It is located in centre of the city and receives around 200,000 visitors each year. Kulturen Lund opened in 1892, making it the second open air museum in Sweden, just after Skansen in Stockholm that opened only a few months earlier.
The first houses
In the open air museum you can find authentic buildings from all over Sweden. The association bought houses and moved them to Lund to preserve the culture. The founder of the association was Georg Karlin and he took the initiative to buy the houses. The first houses that were bought were Herrehuset and Lusthuset. They bought these houses together with the big courtyard. These houses are still in their original place. Blekingegården was the first house that was purchased and moved to Lund. Also Borgarhuset, Uranäsboden and Måketorpsboden were part of the first collection of Kulturen Lund.
In 1894 the Bosebo church was moved to Kulturen. With this church they had a building of all the layers from the old society: nobility, priests, citizens and farmers. The following years there were many other historic buildings added to the collection.
The Church of Bosebo is a wooden church from 1652. The church stood in Bosebo in Småland until 1984. The Bishop of Småland, Esaias Tegner, ordered to replace a lot of wooden churches by larger (stones) churches. Kulturen Lund could therefore buy the church for a bargain. The wooden church was demolished, transported by train to Lund and rebuilt. Most wall paintings and the pulpit are the work of Sven Nilsson Morin from Gnosjö. The church is still used for weddings, baptisms and concerts.
Events in Kulturen Lund
Throughout the year you can see how they used to live in the houses. There are also a lot of events. In May there is a folk music festival. In June they celebrate the national day (on the 6th of June) and the midsummer festival (on the Friday closest to the 21th of June). On the eve of St. Lucia there is a special ceremony in the old Bosebo church
The old grocery Hökeriet is also part of Kulturen. You won’t find Hökeriet in the open air museum but on the corner of Tomegapsgatan and St. Annegatan. The house dates back to 1827. The store opened in 1855. Until 1957 it was the local grocer. In 1962 Kulturen bought the building and now volunteers run Hökeriet. You can also go to Hökeriet for fika.
For up to date opening times of Kulturen in Lund you can have a look on their website. Under 18 admission is free. They regularly organize special activities for children. During the summer months there are more things to experience in Kulturen Lund so I would recommend to go then but in the winter it is definitely worth a visit as well. I was there the first time when there was a little snow. The museum at the entry learns you more about the history and culture of Skåne. At the entrance you can find rune stones. Just outside Lund, in Östarp you can visit a second museum run by Kulturen in an old farmhouse.
When Wallander fans hear the name of the town of Ystad, it will immediately ring a bell. This city in Skåne was the place where the popular detective series were filmed. Just outside of the city centre, the studios of Ystad are te be found. Most indoor scenes for Bron/The Bridge were also filmed here. Nearby you will find Cineteket, the Film Museum of Ystad.
Film museum – Cineteket
The film museum gives you a look behind the scenes of a film production. You can see how movies are made. You will, off course, also spot some attributes of films made here. Like pieces of Wallander and The Bridge, they reveal some movie tricks and you can also try out a few things yourself. There is also a small museum shop where you can buy movie souvenirs.
The showpiece of the museum, and certainly for fans of the detective, is the apartment and office of Wallander. The paper is still in the letter box. You can even sit in the chair of Wallander. There are movie attributes from both the Swedish and English versions of Wallander. You will also find screen boards of several recorded scenes. Take your time to have a look around.
Prepare your visit
Cineteket is a 10 minutes walk from the centre of Ystad. In 2016 the admission price was 60 SEK. Children under 6 are admitted free. Children from 6 years till 11 years pay 25 SEK.
During the summer months the museum is open every day from 10 to 16h. During the other months it is closed on Sunday. Also on certain holidays, the museum is closed. You can check the most recent schedule on their website.
TIP: If you’re in the neighborhood… It is possible to join a guided tour in the studios of Ystad. You have to book in advance and it costs 120 SEK.
2018 – From 2018 on Cineteket will be in Ystad Studios, the film studios of Ystad.