Dalarna is the province in which it is
easiest to come across the richness of
old traditions. Known to tourists for its
costumes, folk art, and music since the
1800's, it is still a tourist mecca in
Sweden. The traditions are genuine,
though, and proudly followed by the
otherwise modern locals.
Here you will find unique churches,
museums, and beautiful nature
reserves. You may take a cruise on
the central lake, Siljan. You can tour a
factory where the finest knives
(Moraknivar) in Sweden are made.
You can purchase antiques at yard
sales. You can visit the homes of
Sweden's most famous artists. And
you can hear some of the richest
traditional folk music in the world!
The town of Rättvik is especially proud of
its musical traditions. There is an old
saying: "If you see 3 men walking down
the street in Rättvik, you can be sure that
4 of them are fiddlers." In central Rättvik
you can see these sculptures of fiddling
men and women.
Two of Sweden's most beloved artists
lived in Dalarna. Carl Larsson's Home
in Sundborn has been preserved by his
descendants precisely how it was when
he lived there, and tours are offered to
those wanting to know more about him.
Dalarna is noted for its official
souvenir, the Dala Horse. They
have been made as a cottage
industry for more than 150 years,
and you can still see them being
made, and hand-painted in the
Some of the best-known towns in Dalarna are
situated around beautiful Lake Siljan. You can take
a day cruise in a restored 1890's steamboat,
stopping at each little port from the southern end of
the lake to the northern end.
Anders Zorn, the great impressionist
painter and folk tradition advocate,
lived in Mora. His home is now a
museum beside a museum dedicated
to his art and collections. Here can be
seen his sculptures, paintings, and
drawings, as well as originals by
Rembrandt and many other artists
from all over Europe.
If you are lucky, you will get a chance
to see the traditional churchboats on
Lake Siljan. In times gone by, these
communal boats -reminiscent of Viking
longships - were the most efficient way
for many people to get to church on
Dalhalla is perhaps the finest outdoor
theater in the world. Built in an abandoned
quarry far from the sounds of the outside
world, the acoustics are almost beyond
belief. It seats over 4000, and concerts
and plays are held here all year round.
You will find here many local traditional foods that
seldom, if ever, reach the tables of outsiders.
Pictured is the preparation of a simple fried bread
and pork dish that used to be a staple of the
charcoal workers in the woods of Dalarna.
Dalarna is still home to hundreds of
folk musicians who love their music.
Every town has its own local fiddlers'
club, and there are dances and fiddle
festivals all over the province
throughout the summer.
The tiny village of Bingsjö hosts one of
the largest festivals in the country,
attracting thousands of attendees.