Decorated Farmhouses of Hälsingland
The Decorated Farmhouses of Hälsingland are seven large timber farmhouses with richly
decorated interiors. They date mainly from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The decorations were made in the regional folk art tradition, and reflect the prosperity of the farmers of that period. A special room or even a separate house was set aside for festivities.
The 7 farmhouses are:
1. Kristofers farm, Stene, Järvsö
2. Gästgivars farm, Vallstabyn
3. Pallars farm, Långhed
4. Jon-Lars farm, Långhed
5. Bortom åa farm, Gammelgården
6. Bommars farm, Letsbo, Ljusdal
7. Erik-Anders farm, Askesta village, Söderala
They are located in the rural landscape of a small region called Hälsingland.
Visit July 2012
I was looking forward to write a first review of this new WHS. It sounded like just the kind of site I enjoy: rural, remote, vernacular architecture. So I had added it to my short trip to Sweden already before the WHC announced that the Farms were granted WH status. Unfortunately, my visit turned into a big disappointment.
"Searching" for a WHS is part of the life of a WH spotter, and it can be a joyful part of the visiting experience. Since this was a new heritage, there was still not much known about it. In advance I did my research via the Internet and discovered that 3 out of 7 farms are located along the route between the copper mine of Falun and the highway south towards Stockholm. For only 1 out of the 3 I was sure that it is opened to visitors (most of these farms are still lived in by the owners).
I first stopped in the hamlet Langhed - unknown to my TomTom navigation, but I was just able to find it using a map that I had printed. Well, it turned out that Langhed is full of traditional red wooden farmhouses, but the 2 of them that are designated as WHS I could not find among them. There were no signs. At least not to these 2 farms: originally the nomination was much larger, in this region there are about 400 of these kind of farms. Some are now used as bed & breakfasts or restaurants. But most are just private homes. It was a nice village to drive through, but I had not earned to tick it off.
That I had left for a farm some 50 kilometers away, in the village of Söderala. The Erik-Anders farm is open daily for everyone in summer. But here also I had the greatest difficulty to find it. I drove three times through the town’s main street in search of a clue. I also tried all side streets (not so many fortunately), but nothing turned up. I didn’t want to leave without trying everything, and decided to go for a last try and ask around. Just then I discovered another exit from the main road. And even a sign to the Erik-Anders farm. It turned out to be a mile or 2 away from the town, on a small street hidden in the forest.
I was so surprised to see that I was not even the only visitor, but that there were already 6 people or so enjoying a coffee and cake in the farm’s cafe. The owners had even made a special visitor parking on a nearby lawn. And they charged an entrance fee of 40 krones to the interior of the decorated house, a separate building from the main farm. There was also ample information available in both Swedish and English. It’s all quite small however, and that’s no problem as long as the interior would have given me a “Wow!”-feeling after I entered. But it did nothing for me, it felt like just any old farmhouse that one can see in Germany or the Netherlands. There are painted decorations around door openings and just below the ceiling. And a lot of its uniqueness seems to lie in the use of wallpaper. Hello – a WHS about wallpaper?
Maybe I visited a lesser impressive example of these 7 farmhouses. I’ve seen more flashy decorations on the Hälsingland farms website, so maybe there’s something in it after all. I would love to hear from others which farms they visited, and what their impression was.
More photos can be found in the Picture Gallery
|Philipp Peterer (Switzerland):|
It was really hard to gather information about this WHS. As much as I know the houses are either privately owned or not accessible for about 11 month a year. I “visited” the Erik-Anders farm in Söderala. They way to the farm is now signposted so I found it in no time coming from Stockholm (E4 – exit Söderala a few km before Södermalm). I couldn’t see much more than a house that looked exactly like almost every house in Sweden. If I trust Els’s review I didn't miss much inside the house. I’m going to add this site to my list of odd sites (like the Stoclet House or the Berlin Housing Estates). If anyone knows about one of these houses being both publicly accessible and worth a visit I will gladly go back, check it out and eventually change my mind.
| Date posted: March 2013|
|Åsemi Byström (Farmhouse Byström, Hälsingland, Sweden):|
WHS Farmhouses of Hälsingland: Unfortunately you tried to find those two that are completely private homes, and therefore not have signs, though they have had guided tours during the summer 2012 announced at the touristoffices. Pallars have paintings made by the bluepainter, remarkable landscapes. A certain stop for the crownprincess Victoria when visiting the area with her sister Madeleine, the duchesse of Hälsingland-Gästrikland, while one of the paintings show the crownprincess own castle of Haga. For me a WOW feeling! The problem has been to compromise private ownership, availability, highly decorated ... in the same object. Please do visit a couple of them all around the region of Hälsingland and I believe you will be able to feel the WOW feeling!
| Date posted: August 2012|
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