We basically only had one day to see as much of Gothenburg as possible so it was always going to be a long day. After our inspection of the ‘Five Continents’ fountain, we turned around and headed back along Linnegaten towards the city’s main park, Slottskogen. The name literally means ‘Castle Forest’ as in the Middle Ages it was a deer hunting area connected to an old fortress.
Along the way we were able to take a quick diversion by turning right and having a closer look at the beautiful Oscar Fredriks Church than the distant one we achieved up on the Skanson Kronan hill. Walking further up Linnegaten we also got a nice view back up the hill where the fortress tower stood above the houses of this area.
We finally arrived at the gates of Slottsskogen and although the Natural History Museum was our main target, we decided we needed to have a stroll in this city park and check out the gardens along the way. In the background to the gardens we spotted the huge Masthugget Church towering over the district. The park is around 137 hectares in area and we were hoping to come across the free zoo that housed some of Sweden’s native animals such as the Gotland Ponies, moose and deer. However our weariness forced a decision to not use up all our walking energy so we headed back towards the entry to Slottskogen and headed up the hill to the Natural History Museum.
I discovered after our trip that there were 17 possible museums in Gothenburg that we could have visited including establishments dedicated to art, history, ships, Volvos, planes and even “world culture”! We decided due to our location that we would visit Gothenburg’s Natural History Museum and we were very impressed. A Natural History Museum is a scientific institution that displays collections and historical records of animals, plants geology, paleontology etc. These collections began developing around the world back in the mid 16th century and the famous Ashmolean Museum in Oxford first opened to visitors in 1683. Many cities around the globe have natural history museums but they are often divided into two sections, one side for researchers and the other side for public displays for the “science-consuming” public.
Even before we entered this museum, its range of exhibits were suggested by items outside the front door; there were two large rocks that were the first geological displays of the visit plus the back half of a plunging whale on the awning over the entrance began the displays on marine life. We didn’t get far inside before we encountered another huge whale balancing above our heads on the first set of stairs. Entry to this museum was free!
This blog is not the place for an exhaustive account of what we saw on our slow stroll around this museum. All I will be doing here is giving potential visitors a small taste of some of the exhibits that we enjoyed on our visit to this museum.
There are five permanent exhibitions in this natural history museum so here is a small taste of what we saw in these categories…
In this section of the museum’s permanent exhibitions, the story of the history of Earth and the evolutionary history of life on Earth beginning 3.8 billion years ago and stretching until the present day.
Note that the staff placed a modern alligator underneath the dinosaur exhibit to show the evolutionary ‘progress’ of these creatures.
The museum’s Birds Galleries have birds from all over the world.
FISH AND REPTILES
Spider Crabs and Nautilus Squid.
THE MAMMALS GALLERY
This was a our favourite Gallery, probably due to the size of so many of the animals on display.
THE WHALE HALL…Spectacular!
We spent a fair portion of the afternoon wandering the Natural History Museum but eventually we had to agree that enough was enough so just before information overload set in, we departed this lovely museum and headed out on the long walk back to our hotel. By now we were starting to get the hang of the city of Gotheburg so we were able to choose a direct route back to the Haga Church (left below) and from there on it was straightforward. We crossed over into the parks that lined the canal that wound its way around the centre of the city. We passed rose gardens on our way and passed one more striking sculpture that deserved a close inspection. It was a 19th century piece called the Knife Wrestlers and was apparently pretty popular in its day so there are multiple copies of the sculpture around the cities of Europe.
We were very pleased with our long day’s walk getting to know Gothenburg!