Gotland's largest open-air museum
With a multitude of historical buildings, the open-air museum Bungemuseet, not far from Fårösund in the north of the island Gotland, offers an exciting insight into former rural life on Sweden's largest island.
Founded in 1907, Bungemuseet is the largest open-air museum on the island of Gotland and, with around 70 historical buildings from three centuries, it is one of the largest open-air museums in Sweden. Within the 7-hectare museum grounds, the buildings are grouped into individual ensembles, each with its own appropriately designed surroundings, providing a complete picture of the individual historical milieus.
The oldest buildings at Bungemuseet
After entering the museum, you come across the oldest and first buildings of the Bungemuseum, a farm from the 17th century.The buildings, arranged in a rectangle around a courtyard square, were built with solid wooden planks in post-and-beam construction, the walls of the houses are tarred and the roofs are covered with thick layers of reed. The dwelling house is furnished in a manner typical of the period, the outbuildings consist of a barn, stables, shed, smithy, smokehouse and a sauna. In the middle of the courtyard stands a metre-high so-called courtyard cross, which served as a symbol of protection and under which people met for evening prayers.
Separated by a reconstructed burial ground with various types of stone settings as well as some image stones typical for Gotland, to the right behind the entrance is a farm with buildings from the 18th century. The farm consists of two dwellings from the middle part of the island and some farm buildings – including a large barn with a threshing device and a large stable building. A low fence running across the yard separates the residential buildings from the farm buildings.
The residential buildings were also largely built in post-and-beam construction and the roofs are tiled. Both houses are furnished accordingly, whereby the house to the south was the main dwelling house and the wing building was used as an old people's quarters and servants' quarters.
More historic farms & buildings
In another part of the Bungemuseet is a smaller farm from the 19th century. At that time, most buildings on Gotland were already made of stone, but the buildings on this farm were still constructed as timber frame structures.The farm stands for the small farmers who could not exist on agriculture alone, but at the same time had to pursue an additional occupation, in this case as a cooper. The house is furnished with original wallpaper, cotton curtains and furniture, and the surrounding garden is planted with flowers and fruit trees.
An adjacent ensemble shows the home of a former boatswain of the Swedish navy from the time before the introduction of compulsory military service, when every village in Sweden still had to provide accommodation for the soldiers assigned to them. The so-called Båtsmantorpet consists of a small brick dwelling house with very spartan furnishings, an outbuilding and a small garden.
In another part of the museum, a group of fishermen's huts and smaller outbuildings as well as various tools show what the numerous small fishing settlements along the island's coast used to look like.
The farms are joined by several pre-industrial buildings scattered around the museum grounds. They include water and wind mills, saw mills, fulling mills, lime kilns, coal burners and tar burners. A few steps outside the museum grounds, the school museum, set up in a former village school, shows a faithfully furnished 19th-century school room as well as a teacher's dwelling of the time.
Further information on the Bungemuseet
The museum shop in the entrance area offers numerous products in the context of the museum. These include textiles, woven carpets and toys, as well as various utensils made according to old motifs or even honey made in the museum.
Next to the parking lot is the museum café. Set up in a historic building with a fitting ambience, the café offers hot meals, snacks and salads as well as saffron pancakes and a variety of pastries with coffee.
You may bring your own picnic to the museum grounds and sit down in the outdoor areas of the buildings or in the large open space between trees and blooming flowers. Only barbecuing is prohibited on the grounds for fire safety reasons due to the old buildings. Dogs may be brought along, as long as they remain on a leash at all times.
The museum has two toilets, one of which is directly at the parking lot and is also wheelchair accessible. The paths in the museum are gravelled and can be used with wheelchairs to a limited extent. Many of the historical buildings have high thresholds in the entrance areas – but you can borrow a ramp from reception.
Bungemuseet: Opening hours & admission
Thursday – Sunday: 11:00 – 16:00
Monday – Sunday: 10:00 – 17:00
Monday – Sunday: 11:00 – 16:00
Thursday – Sunday: 11:00 – 16:00
Last update: 06/2022 | Errors and omissions excepted.