Sweden Crystal

Crystal Kingdom
The Islands in the Sun






The North
and the Land of the Midnight Sun

The Lake and Folklore District

and Surrounds

The Crystal Kingdom and Islands in the Sun

and the West

The Castle
Country and the South





Glass WorkerContemporary and traditional art meet as the glass blowers and artists of the Crystal Kingdom-- in Småland province--ply their wares. The region's glass blowing prowess dates back to the 16th century, when Gustav Vasa brought in artisans from Venice. In the heavily forested region between Kalmar and Växjö, you'll find fifteen of Sweden's most famous glass factories, including Kosta Boda (founded 1742) and Orrefors (founded in 1898).
It was from this area that thousands of Swedes emigrated to the United States in the 1800s.
Today it's a North American glass shopper's paradise, as crystal can be found at substantially lower prices than in the U.S.

Just east of the mainland are the warm, sunny shores of the islands of Gotland and Öland . Enjoy biking, hiking, wildflower picking, and relaxing along sandy beaches as you visit some of the best-preserved remnants of Viking history.

Major Attractions:

Kalmar Castle
Sweden's most well-preserved Renaissance castle is replete with moats, dungeons, and secret passages. Located in the town of Kalmar on the Baltic coast in the province of Småland. This year, Kalmar is celebrating the 600th anniversary of the Kalmar Union.

Gotland's lovely capital was a trade city of immense importance during Viking and medieval times. In fact, it remained one of the most important cities of the Hanseatic League through the 17th century. Narrow lanes overhung with roses, gabled houses and picturesque ruined churches give Visby a special charm. The city wall, "Ringmuren," that was built to protect its medieval citizens is one of the best-preserved in Europe. In 1995 the entire city of Visby was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, ensuring its preservation for future generations. The city also holds an annual medieval week designed to recreate the flavor of old Visby.

The Emigrants' House
Erected in memory of the many Swedes who emigrated to America in the 1800s. It contains an interesting museum and well-maintained files on the emigrants for those interested in tracing their their ancestry. The museum is located in Växjö.

Stora Alvaret
This treeless plain in the center of the island of Öland is famed for its bird sanctuary. It has no less than 400 windmills and is joined with the mainland by Europe's longest bridge. The Royal Family spends a couple of relaxing summer months here and the garden of Soliden Castle is open to the public.

The "balloon capital of Sweden," Gränna is also the birthplace of Salomon Auguste Andrée, an explorer who attempted to reach the North Pole by balloon at the turn of the century. His mission ended in death after he and his crew of two stranded on an ice-floe. Gränna's Andrée Museum holds an impressive collection of artifacts from the expedition, which were recovered 33 years later. The town is also home to some peppermint candy factories.

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