From the beautiful blues of archipelagos to the northern lights, Sweden is the ultimate Scandinavian dream for travelers. While browsing about it, you will always stumble upon the busy streets of old town Gamla Stan, the changing of the guards in front of Royal Palace or the lush greens and museets (museums). What often every travelogue misses out is that Sweden is also home to a lot of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. As of 2016, the country has about 15 of them and each has their unique stand in the list. If your main destination is the capital, make sure you reserve one day for visiting these beautiful places that often slips off one’s ‘must visit’ places. Below are three you can easily add to your itinerary while visiting Stockholm.
Engelsberg Ironworks, situated in central Sweden, is the best preserved and most complete example of a Swedish iron-working estate (järnbruk) which produced superior grades of iron back in the 17th to 19th centuries. It is an example of how influential European industrial complexes worked back in times. It takes about 2 hours from Stockholm via car and 3 hours via train to reach this beautiful village of Fagersta. Embedded into the typical Swedish landscape with lakes and forests, it has more the feel of a large picturesque agricultural estate.
(1)Engelsberg Ironworks, Jürgen Howaldt, (2) Slag Stone Towers, Bengt Oberger
On the way from the station to the Ironworks you will cross a fascinating Sculpture Park to explore among the lush along the veins of Synten lake.
Sculpture Park (1) Waterfalls, (2) Glass Pyramid , (3) Three Figures; Source: Itminan Tasneea
Summer should be the ideal time to visit the Ironworks and guided tours can be pre-arranged but the area can be easily visited for free. The premises are now under the Johnson Foundation and can be booked for official programs and stays. If you are a Classical Architecture enthusiast, you can apply for the Engelsberg Summer School in Classical Architecture that takes place for the whole month of July every year. The highlight of this will be the area around the manor house with the clock- tower, two ornamental slag-stone towers and the ironwork’s blast furnace and forge where the water wheel, ore crusher, blowing engine and hammer are all still functioning for demonstration purposes. The original houses around Engelsberg are adorned in the red sediments after the iron production that once indicated wealth and power. The red color is still prominent in all the houses to maintain the tradition.
Dating back over 1,000 years, the mine was at its peak in the 17th century and accounted for 70% of the western world’s copper production. It is one of Sweden's most important industrial monuments and you can spend a whole day exploring the site which is now a museum in 2001 was designated a UNESCO world heritage site.
Falun Mine; Source: Itminan Tasneea
Descending into the depths of the mine’s underground tunnels with your orange raincoat and helmet, guides engage you with captivating stories and legends of the austerities and bravery of the mine’s workers. Above the grounds, the enormous ‘Great Pit’, a prominent result of a subside of 1687, dominates the landscape. In spite of being a mining site, you can still experience stylish Scandinavian design at the site’s newly renovated ‘fika’ café and gift stores that sell beautiful uncut mine stones.
Entrance to Mine Village; Source: Itminan Tasneea
It is 200km from the airport with a comfortable train ride will take you to Falun's center. If you are lucky enough to be visiting the mines in December, you can experience a typical Swedish tradition called Lucia Day, deep down in the Falun Mine’s underground chambers.
Skogskyrkogården (The Woodland Cemetery)
No matter how morbid it may sound, a visit to the Woodland Cemetery will surely have an everlasting impact on your mind. The cemetery is a milestone in modern architectural creation. Its Nordic landscape and exemplary architecture have influenced the design of cemeteries all over the world. Since 1994, it has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz won an international architectural competition for its design and the cemetery was created between 1917 and 1940.
Skogskyrkogården; Source: Itminan Tasneea
Walking through the grounds, one witnesses the fusion of life and death. The towering pine trees live among the buried, watching over the tombstones with an unimaginable depth of comfort.
Unlike any other cemeteries, there is no rigid structure of the layouts but a unison of landscape and tombstones. Standing near the entrance and silhouetted by the sky, is a large dark granite cross which is kept open to interpretations by the architects, who denied its obvious symbolism of Christianity.
The granite Cross, Source: Michael Turtle
There is an operating Crematorium, five funeral chapels and an outdoor ceremony site in the cemetery with around 1,00,000 graves maintained by the family members. The architects’ designed each element (Meditation Grove, Remembrance Garden, Seven Springs Way) to heighten one’s emotional bonding to the demised souls. Every tombstone has a different story and has been personalized with great details. The famous musician Avicii has also been buried in this ground.
Chapel of the Holy Cross, Source: Itminan Tasneea
Child’s Tombstone, Source: Itminan Tasneea
These sites may not be everyone’s cup of tea but are essentials to dig deep into Swedish culture. An additional site to visit would be the majestic Drottningholm Palace in Stockholm which I have already added to my ‘must go’ places for next summer.
Dhaka, Oct 11 (UNB) – Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) launched a yearlong thematic art camp on the life of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the National Art Gallery and Art Plaza on Friday.
The art camp is titled ‘Bangabandhu: Jeebon Theke Chitropotey’ (Bangabandhu: From reality to the canvases).
One hundred artists are participating with 100 of their artworks based on two autobiographical books by Bangabandhu – ‘Oshomapto Atmojiboni’ (Unfinished Memoirs) and ‘Karagarer Rojnamcha’ (Diary in Jail).
Prime Minister’s Political Affairs Adviser HT Imam inaugurated the camp as the chief guest where National Museum’s President Dr Shamsuzzaman Khan and Bangladesh National University’s Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Harun-or-Rashid spoke.
Presided over by BSA Director Liaquat Ali Lucky, the event also saw the presence of participating artists including Mustafa Monwar, Biren Shome, Jamal Uddin Ahmed, and Sanjib Das Opu.
HT Imam said Bangladesh would not exist as a nation if it was not for Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
“Throughout his life, he served Bangladesh as a true patriot. The glimpses of both his journey as a warrior and a common man are presented in his two books,” he added.
Presenting the reviews of the two books, both Dr Harun-or-Rashid and Dr Shamsuzzaman Khan urged the artists to portray the imageries as real as possible according to the narrative of Bangabandhu.
The art camp is part of BSA’s yearlong plans to celebrate the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 2020.
Dhaka, Oct 10 (UNB) – To celebrate World Children’s Day and Child Rights Week 2019, Bangladesh Shishu Academy and private voluntary organization Khelna Bank are jointly organizing the second edition of ‘Khelna Mela’ (Toy Fair)- a unique fair dedicated to children and upholding some lofty principles at the academy premises.
The event was inaugurated by State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Fazilatunnesa Indira on Wednesday. Bangladesh Shishu Academy’s chairperson Lucky Enam and director Anjir Liton were also present at the inauguration.
With the motto “Learning through playing”- the fair is offering play zones for kids and amusement features such as toy train rides and bioscope, gift corners and a great number of toy stalls.
Besides, the event is specially focused to promote traditional Bengali games and sports which the children visiting the fair can partake in.
According to the organizers, the initiative has drawn a great response from kids and parents from all over the city. Having no social and class discriminations in mind, guardians are bringing their children to take part in vintage, traditional games and activities and also rewarding them with a grand collection of toys.
“Our traditional toys are not getting featured prominently and losing market to the international toy manufacturers at an alarming rate. The distance between the two parties is also ruining our children’s opportunities to explore both- thus we took this initiative with the hope to close the gap as much as possible so that our traditional toys can also get a deserving fan-base from this generation and also the global market,” an organizer told UNB regarding the event.
Khelna Bank and Build Bangladesh, the official co-organizers of Khelna Mela, are operating a ‘caring through sharing’ initiative since 2015, which is designed to inspire privileged children to share their toys with the unprivileged children in society- through which they can learn to grow and live together forging a society free from discrimination.
The fair is scheduled to run till 14th October, with entry open and free for all, from 3pm-8pm every day.
New York, Oct. 9 (Xinhua/UNB) -- The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) in New York City on Tuesday unveiled the key exhibits and events to mark its 150th anniversary in 2020.
The centerpiece of the celebration will be Making The Met, 1870-2020, which will feature more than 250 works of art of nearly every type from The Met collection, including visitor favorites and fragile treasures that can only be displayed from time to time, according to a press preview held in the museum located on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue.
To be on view on March 30-Aug. 2, 2020, the museum-wide collaboration will lead visitors on an immersive, thought-provoking journey through The Met's history.
Other highlights of the year will include the opening of the newly renovated British Galleries, the display of new works of art gifted to the museum in honor of its 150th anniversary, the launch of cross-cultural installations, and a robust schedule of programs and events.
"This anniversary is an exciting moment to celebrate what The Met means to its audience," Daniel H. Weiss, the Museum's president and CEO, told the press. "It is also an opportunity to reflect on our history, to plan thoughtfully for our future, and to say thank you."
Max Hollein, director of The Met, said that the museum "strives to be a seminal encyclopedic museum of the world, for the world, and in the world."
Founded in 1870 by a group of American businessmen, financiers, leading artists and thinkers, The Met is the largest art museum in the United States and is among the top three most visited art museums in the world with some 7 million visitors from across the globe every year.
Lhasa, Oct. 9 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Over 18,000 precious ancient books written in the Tibetan language have been filed for future study and protection as part of a decade-long general survey in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.
Among the filed books, 291 have been selected for inclusion on the list of valuable ancient books of the state. A dozen of books on survey results have also been published.
China has hundreds of thousands of works of ancient Tibetan literature, with more than half of them collected in more than 1,300 temples, monasteries and libraries, museums and archives across Tibet.
In 2009, as part of the ancient Chinese literature protection program, Tibet launched a general survey of its ancient books. Staff with the autonomous region's ancient literature protection center visited almost all the collection sites across Tibet over the past 10 years.
"We have worked closely with over 1,200 collection sites and several thousand collectors during the survey," said Penpa Tsering, deputy director of the center.
Tenzin Guyzang manages a temple in Xigaze. Instead of the old way of preserving ancient books by shelving them, hidden from view, the books of indigo pages and golden characters are neatly labeled and displayed in glass cabinets.
He said the precious literature, over 40 works in total, now have their own unique "ID" and have been registered in the national database of ancient literature.
"Most of them were donated by private collectors over the past decade. Now under the guidance of experts, they are effectively protected," said the 53-year-old monk.
In June 2013, Nyishar, an expert with the center, received a call saying a large number of ancient books were on the brink of destruction in a dilapidated chapel in a village under Gyirong, a county on the China-Nepal border.
The village had no roads, electricity or optical cables connecting it with the outside world, and heavy snow was forecast, which would seal its isolation until the following spring.
Nyishar raced against time to reach the village. With the help of local villagers, he filed and restored all the 270 books, each having over 500 pages, in just 16 days.
He said the books were extremely delicate and contained large quantities of information about the society, economy, culture and folk customs from the 12th to 14th centuries.
In 2016, the regional government earmarked 400,000 yuan (about 56,000 U.S. dollars) to build Tibet's first ancient book protection station in the village.
The central and local governments have invested over 10 million yuan in ancient book protection in Tibet over the past decade. Besides the 18,000 filed books and nearly 3,000 restored pages, 14 local collection sites have been renovated and two protection stations built.
A digital standard for ancient Tibetan literature is being developed so that a database can be built for the benefit of the whole society, Penpa Tsering said.