An ambitious project is taking place in the Swedish province of Hälsingland to keep farms open to visitors, spread knowledge of them, and make sure that they are cared for and developed for the future.
”Hälsingegårdar” – Farmhouses of Hälsingland – is the name of this collaboration, which is run under the mottoes Know, Care, Show and Develop. The farmhouses, as the living cultural heritage, a bearer of identity, and a source of power for the future, are the focal point.
Many people are involved in the project, such as museums, tourist organisations, the popular heritage movement, guides, building convervationists, and not least the farm-owners themselves. Many have been working with these issues for a long time, but the project has meant that work can be co-ordinated and melt into a whole.
There are around one thousand old farmhouses preserved in the province, all with their own story to tell.
July 1 2012 seven decorated farmhouses where inscribed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
The seven timber houses listed in this site represent the zenith of the regional timber building tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages.
They reflect the prosperity of independent farmers who used their wealth in the 19th century to build substantial new homes with elaborately decorated ancillary houses or suites of rooms reserved for festivities.
The paintings represent a fusion of folk art with the styles favoured by the landed gentry of the time, including Baroque and Rococo. Decorated by painters, including known and unknown itinerant artists, the listed properties represent the final flowering of a long cultural tradition.
For tourist information, contact the tourist offices in Hälsingland.