Saturday, 28 July 2018

Visiting the Past in Värnamo

After lunch at The Inn (see previous post), we went for a walk to Värnamo’s Museum of Local History; situated in a park named Apladalen = Apple Tree Valley.

On the way to the park, we passed a couple of other houses that caught my eye.


No idea what the story behind the impressive sculpture in this garden may be, but I do think the house was No 3 on that street…


And this was No 5!


Walking a bit further, these typical old-style wooden fences hinted that we were probably on the right track…

DSC03667 DSC03684


Outside the main museum building in the park, there is this group of carved wooden sculptures, illustrating an old folksong about a couple – farm hand and farm maiden - who exchanged rings (got engaged) at the Värnamo Market, but were too poor to get married straight away. So they agreed to meet in the same place again in six years time. In the meantime, they each saved all the money they could; and after six years they met again, and still wanted to get married. But then the town ‘sherriff’ appeared and made an announcement about a currency devaluation; which meant that the young couple’s savings were still not worth anywhere near as much as they'd need to buy a piece of land and set up a home of their own. And so the song ends with a repetition of their promise to each other – to meet once again at the market in another six years…

(The couple in the song are called Per and Kersti. According to the back of a postcard I bought, the name of the sculptor is Harry Weidmann.)

It’s a poignant story for the general situation in Sweden back in the 1800s, when a lot of poor people ended up leaving Sweden to emigrate to America. We were reminded of this part of our history several times during our trip, so I’ll be getting back to that topic in future posts as well.

Meanwhile, here’s me next to the unhappy couple.
(As you can see, it was already very hot!)



I think this must be the back of the main museum building; an old vicarage.


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Old painting/wallpaper


A more contemporary exhibition on the fairy tale theme of “trolls” in various sizes and shapes


Old vehicles on display in one of the barn buildings



  1. Such a rich and wonderful post today!! My favorites are you with the poor unfortunate couple, the second house that is red with the blue door and trim, the beautiful wall painting, and that gorgeous tall green clock! I lOVE it!!!

    1. Ginny, my grandfather actually had a green grandfather clock (bought at an antiques auction I think). It wasn't quite as magnificent as this one, though.

  2. my first ever viewing of a green clock and I like it a lot. the pole fence is a new way to do it, or one I have never seen before. I love the pics of the buildings and you are right, a roatrip back in time is what you had.

    1. Sandra, that kind of fence was/is very common in the countryside here, at least where there are also many trees in the neighbourhood. In other places, they built stone walls instead!

  3. sad story of the poor couple who wanted to get married.

  4. I found the story of the couple very poignant and a sad reminder of those times. I can remember delivery bicycles like that being in use. The sled would never have been used in Britain though. I certainly would not want to meet a troll on a dark night - any time come to think of it.

    1. Sleds were commonly used in winter in Sweden in the past - back in the days before motor vehicles took over (i.e. before sanding and salting etc)... Nowadays, at least down south, it will be hard find a road or path where one can use them even if there is snow. But still in my childhood, mum could sometimes take a kick-sled to the nearest grocery shop in winter. (And I had a little one, too!)

  5. Poor Per and Kersti! As you say, a poignant reminder of the far from glorious past for the majority of people. Aren't we lucky to be alive today?

    1. Meike, we had a lot of such reminders during this trip, visiting various museums and exhibitions of The Past.


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