Saturday, November 20, 2021

Museums, Museums, Museums . . . we do them pretty fast!

The Nobel prizes were given out in October.  We were in the Nobel Museum as they were being announced.  So fun!  Alfred Nobel invented many things, but the thing he is most famous for is inventing dynamite.  And after having lived in Sweden for 16 months, we can see why dynamite was so important.  Bedrock everywhere . . . 

We also visited the City Hall where the Nobel Prize dinner is held every year in December.  Then the ABBA museum (that LeRon has been dying to see), and the Nordic Museum.

Cool things set up at the Nobel Museum because the Nobel prizes are being announced this week.  (You can see that I am far, far behind in putting my pictures on my blog!)

We thought the museum itself was unremarkable but there were some interesting displays of past Nobel prizes.  This one was interesting.  Carl von Ossietzky won the Nobel Peace prize in 1935.  he ran a German newspaper, Die Weltbuhne, which carried out a campaign against the spread of Nazism.  We didn't know that.
In 1945, Alexander Fleming and others won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of penicillin.  That certainly changed our lives!  And wasn't Fleming a Canadian?

And in 1990, Mikhail Gorbachov won the Nobel Peace Prize for helping the fall of the Berlin Wall.  I remember that happening so distinctly.  It was around November 11, 1989 that the wall came down.  We were astounded.  We never thought we would live to see that day.  I have a piece of the wall that I bought in the Frankfurt airport, but I doubt it's really a part of the wall.  But in this display is definitely a real piece of the Wall.  And our cousins, Ellen & Dave Eldredge, who were living in Germany at the time, have a real piece of the Wall.

Kenyan woman, Wangari Maathai, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her work with the Green Peace movement.  If you want to read an inspiring book, read her autobiography called Unbowed.  Absolutely fascinating!  And you will understand more about the politics of Kenya.  I highly recommend it.

And of course, LeRon's hero, Winston Churchill, won the prize for literature in 1953.  We were surprised.  We thought he might have won the Peace Prize for what he did during World War II.  

Apparently the Nobel Prize dinner in Sweden is a BIG event even for those who won't be attending, which is almost everyone.  Swedes celebrate it with special dinners and they always watch the proceedings on TV and keep track of the clothing attendees wear.

The Nobel Museum is housed in what was once a stock exchange building.  Classic architecture but much smaller inside than we had imagined.

What would you do if you received a phone call in October saying, "Stockholm calling!"  We have heard that some have even turned down the prize.

Because we were there on the day a prize was being given, we were awarded our own Nobel prizes.  Fun!

Another Saturday and we're at City Hall, where the Nobel Prize Dinner is held every year.  The building is not that old.  It was built about 1915, which is the year my dad was born.  But it is built to look old.

The 3 crowns on the right represent Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, which at one time were one country.  The crescent moon on the left must represent eastern influences.  I will have to find out.

Love these columns.

Lots of Heather and other plants growing in pots everywhere.

Good view of the 3 crowns.

We're on a guided tour of this fabulous building.  This is the "blue room" which originally was intended to be all blue but the architect liked the brick work so he didn't cover it with blue like he had wanted.  This is the room in which the Nobel Prize dinner is held each year.

For the dinner, royalty enters from the door above and to the right of the picture.  This smallish room seats about 1300 people.  They plan on so many inches per person.  I think I would be claustrophobic.  Dinner is served to everyone within 6 minutes of the king being served.  In another room, university students can attend a special dinner during the Nobel prize dinner.  For this dinner, the student must purchase a lottery ticket, and then those that win the lottery still have to pay for their ticket.  Funny! 

No, this is not where the government of Sweden meet.  This is where the Stockholm city government meets.  Pretty fabulous!

Because most of those in city government have daytime jobs, their meetings are held at night, so the room is decorated in rich colors because there is so much darkness in Sweden.

Love that ceiling that is supposed to look like the sky.

The city leaders sit according to party.  Interesting that there are differing parties even in city politics.  Unlike in the west.

Above the blue room is the gold hall, decorated in 18 million gold leaf tiles.  It is stunning.

Here is the famous King Vasa on his horse.

These tiles represent the Eastern World

and these represent the Western World.  You can see the Eiffel Tower and other buildings.

We almost missed the organ in the Blue Room.  It has 10, 270 pipes, but where are they?

There they are . . . hidden behind that facade way up there.  It's the biggest organ in all of Scandinavia and we almost missed it.

Now we're walking toward the ABBA museum and there is . . . the World Trade Center!  We thought it was destroyed on September 11, 2001, but no, here it is.  Well, it's the Swedish World Trade Center anyway.

The ABBA museum was interesting but we were able to do it in 35 minutes!  It was more than we wanted to know!  ABBA is still very big here even though the singers are now in their 70's.  The king plays ABBA music at all royal events!!

LeRon found the recording studio interesting.

Well so much for the ABBA Museum that LeRon has been dying to go to.  We don't need to see it again!  But it had some really fun things for people to do, such as recording yourself singing with ABBA etc.

We were so fast at the ABBA museum, that we now have time to do the Nordic Museum.  The building is incredible.

It's fall and the colors are lovely.

Beautiful doorway!

But inside . . . it was just a museum!  

with a larger-than-life sculpture of Gustav Vasa.

An exhibit about Swedish life was interesting.  These are the hats that high school graduates wear.  They look like sailor hats to us, but no, they are graduation hats.  Very different from our mortar board hats.  Isn't a mortar board the thing a stonemason puts his masonry on to build things?

This display was so sad.  A little boy crying as his mother is being hung as a witch.  Apparently if you could heal someone, you would be determined to be a witch.  What a cruel time.

Is this a baptismal font?

The yule goat (or Jul goat) delivered presents to children at Christmas (Jul) time.  Sometimes Santa Claus rode a goat instead of a sleigh.  Small straw goats are a popular Christmas ornament. 

I love Nativities.  I have probably 60 at home.  I like this because of the horses on the left and the yule goat on the right.

I waited for a very long time for this little boy to leave this display so I could take a picture of it.  Then I realized that the little boy was actually a sculpture of a poor boy looking into the window of a rich family all ready for Christmas.

The Sami are the people living in the far north of the Nordic countries.  We in Canada would call them the Inuit.  They make their own clothing out of reindeer hide.

Happy Birthday, Aldste Gilbert!  He is one of our Swedish missionaries, but he is actually a dual Swedish/Canadian citizen.  His dad was born in Quebec and his mom in Sweden.  They met on their missions to France.  So their family is fluent in English, Swedish, and French.  

Another Sunday night sing-along.  L-R: me, Elder Gilbert, Elder Hancock, Elder Brown, Elder LaRose, and a senior couple, Elder & Syster Racker.


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