Stepping into Sweden past at Kulturen in Lund

You might remember that last March I visited the small Swedish town of Lund for the first time. My friend intended to go study there, and we decided to spend the day there to explore the city more. We visited its old cathedral (one of the oldest in Sweden) and its historical museum.

Well, my friend was finally accepted into anthropology at Lund University and she is now traveling from Copenhagen almost every day to attend her classes. She suggested that we go back spend a day in Lund together, this time to explore Kulturen, the open-air museum in the city.

It’s funny, because last time we walked by Kulturen without even knowing it was there. The open-air museum blends in perfectly with the surrounding scenery and occupies two complete blocks in the very center of Lund.

Kulturen in Lund
Exploring the old buildings of Kulturen

Kulturen is made up of around thirty old buildings and shows what life was like in the south of Sweden, from the Middle Ages to the beginning of the 20th century. The buildings include a church, farm buildings and historic houses. Gardens can also be found on the ground, to recreate a typical landscape of the past.

The interior of the Professor’s house

Kulturen would be one of the oldest open-air museums of its kind in Sweden. It was created in the late 19th century. Its creators wanted to protect the cultural and architectural heritage of southern Sweden from rapid urbanization. They protected some old buildings, and other historic buildings were moved and reassembled on a nearby lot.


I like this type of museum. It was raining when we went there, so we had the site almost to ourselves. The buildings are well preserved, and a good majority of the historical explanations are available in English.

Kulturen in Lund
My friend Signe exploring the alleys of Kulturen

And in December, Kulturen organizes a “Christmas trail”. Just follow the indications from one building to another (a map is offered at the entrance) to understand how was celebrated Christmas at different times and in different social classes in Sweden. Examples of traditional dinners are also recreated in the old houses. And I enjoyed seeing the evolution of the Christmas tree decorations!

What a Swedish Christmas dinner used to look like

Kulturen is located in the center of Lund, just a few metres from the old cathedral. The site also includes the History Museum of Lund University, a collection of artifacts from around the world and a museum on fashion. Plan enough time to visit!

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