Gamla Stan Museums

Gamla Stan Museums

In addition to Old Town, Gamla Stan island in Stockholm Sweden also has a few noteworthy museums. These include:

The Nobel Museum, which profiles the life of Alfred Nobel and his legacy, provides overviews of the discoveries and works for which winners of the Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, and to a lesser extent, Literature, Economic Science and Peace (the latter of which, as discussed in our Oslo Museum post, is awarded by a totally separate group and awarded in a totally different ceremony in Oslo) prizes. Displays are an attempt to illuminate the most important common among all laureates and their discoveries—the trait of creativity.

The Gallery of Artifacts displays instruments used by some of the Laureates, shows video clips portraying their work, and in a particularly popular section, are invited to use crayons to briefly summarize their discoveries on paper and then to briefly discuss their work and its potential implications. And, as is the case with virtually every Stockholm museum we have visited, it has a special section in which children can explore and exercise their own creativity. An interesting museum, although we prefered Oslo’s Nobel Prize Museum.

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Royal Coin Cabinet, one of the two primary museums (along with an Armory Museum that we did not visit) in the Royal Palace. This museum contains numerous galleries, each of which examine some aspect of coins and money. Among those in which we had the greatest interest are those on:

  • “Money of the World”, which traces the different types of money used in different societies and countries, and how they change over time. We especially enjoyed the rather large display of American bills, including numerous examples of bills issued by individual banks (before formation of the U.S. Treasury) and how the size and shape of U.S. bills have changed over time.
  • “Plate Money”, which are flat, nondescript slabs of precious or semi-precious metal that are valued by their weight. This exhibit included the “largest coin in the world”, a roughly 2.5×1-foot slab of copper (weighing 43 pounds) that was used in Sweden in the 17th and 18th centuries when the copper-rich country (its most abundant mined metal, along with iron) was short of silver and gold. (For reference, the coin’s value was roughly equal to the value of a cow.)
  • Entrepreneurism, which briefly profiled the lives, business, motivations and philosophies of some of Sweden’s most successful entrepreneurs.

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