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WHC List #0558 – Skogskyrkogården

WHC List #0558 – Skogskyrkogården

A large and delightful cemetery outside of Stockholm with trees, hills and several chapels.

The UNESCO World Heritage List includes several hundred properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.

Country: Sweden

Date of Inscription: 1994

Category: Cultural site

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 558:

“This Stockholm cemetery was created between 1917 and 1920 by two young architects, Asplund and Lewerentz, on the site of former gravel pits overgrown with pine trees. The design blends vegetation and architectural elements, taking advantage of irregularities in the site to create a landscape that is finely adapted to its function. It has had a profound influence in many countries of the world.”

My visit:

There are quite a few funeral sites, graves or cemeteries on the List. The Skogskyrkogården (“Woodland cemetery”) on the southern outskirts of Stockholm is quite different from many of the others. (Get a round-up of them in this special article.) I was here in late 2014, just a few years before the cemetery rounded its first one hundred years.

The cemetery is easy to reach from central Stockholm. Take a suburban train (green line towards Farsta Strand, 12 minutes, frequent departures) to the station called Skogskyrkogården and keep to the right when you leave the station. Look up the map provided on the cemetery’s official site and enjoy your walk on numerous roads and gravel paths.

Make sure you pass the main bulk of four chapels with the granite cross in front, and also the Woodland chapel set inside the wood. See if you can find Greta Garbo’s grave near it. Walk up on the Almhöjden (Elm Hill) for a moment of meditation and view. In summer there is a visitors centre open for those seeking out more information.

The pine trees makes this a wonderful place to visit even in winter.

Read more about my visit to Stockholm.

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