It might seem a little unusual, but Skogskyrkogården is a cemetery in the heart of Stockholm that is also commonly visited by locals and tourists. A serene location amidst nature, the woodlands have gorgeous pine trees and a tranquil ambience that attracts walkers wanting a calm moment away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Architects – Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz
The idea of Skogskyrkogården dates back to 1915 when an international architectural competition was held to convert land that consisted of gravel pits into a cemetery. The winning entry came from two Swedish 30-something architects Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz.
The thought behind the graveyard was not just to be a functional burial ground, but also incorporate the surrounding environment in a manner that all the different aspects merged as one. The young architects took inspiration from Nordic burial archetypes and created a path-breaking masterpiece admired to date around the world.
Work on the cemetery began in 1917 and finished in 1920, although elements were added to it later as well. Comprising of sculptures by Carl Milles, dotted across the entire area, it also houses a Resurrection Chapel completed in 1925.
Often the popularity of any cemetery is linked to the famous people buried there, and Skogskyrkogården is no different as it is the final resting ground of Greta Garbo, a Swedish-American actress who ruled the silver screen in the 1920s, and recently the dynamic Swedish DJ Avicii.
UNESCO World Heritage
Its unique architectural brilliance got Skogskyrkogården listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. For those interested in more details about the cemetery, there is an exhibition at Tallum Pavillion that looks at the many features of this marvellous piece of land that continues to impress visitors with its iconic landscape of rolling hills, green fields, and a sense of peace hard to find elsewhere.
How to get to Skogskyrkogården
Skogskyrkogården in Stockholm is open for public 24-hours a day. You can take metro (green line) from Central Station. Make sure green line is toward Farsta strand. Most of metro stations in Stockholm have some guides available all the time, you could ask them for help.