The Skåne region

Anyone traveling to Scania can expect an atypical piece of Sweden: instead of endless forests as in central Sweden, large stretches of the province at the southern tip of the kingdom are characterized by fields, pastures and meadows - a colorful, fertile patchwork quilt on which wheat and rape thrive.


Around half of the area is used for agriculture, which is what Skåne - as the region is called in Swedish - earned the nickname “granary”.

Only towards the northeast do you find forests with gnarled trees and boulders lying around - the landscape for which Sweden is so famous.

For a long time, Skåne belonged to Denmark, but with the Peace of Roskilde in 1658 the province and neighboring Blekinge fell to Sweden.

Even today the Scania use many terms similar to their Danish counterparts.


There is also a lot to see for those interested in history: in Lund, for example, the cathedral, built in 1104 - the oldest in Scandinavia.

Mölle on the Kattegat peninsula Kullaberg developed into Sweden's first seaside resort around 1890, which soon acquired the reputation of "Biarritz of the North".

Today Mölle is a well-known surf spot because of the winds in an exposed location.

Almost like a peninsula, Skåne has an extensive coastline of 400 kilometers.

One of the most beautiful sections is in the dune-rich nature reserve Sandhammaren in the southeast - including the sandy beach.

Source: WORLD infographic

A cold bath in the Baltic Sea

With a milled wool hat and otherwise naked - that's how the professionals do it.

When it's freezing cold outside, they step into the cool Baltic Sea and swear by it.

Cold bathing is normal in Skåne.

Even the Vikings are said to have known about the health benefits.


Today Helsingborg, the port city at the entrance to the Kattegat, is a stronghold of winter bathing, which has been practiced there for 150 years in cold bathing houses that can also be found elsewhere in Skåne.

The lakes, rivers and beaches by the sea are also used by people for the self-chosen cold shock.

Finally, when the warmth creeps back into the body, it is followed by well-being.

Hard-core fans dare to jump straight into the ice-cold water, while beginners should warm up in the sauna beforehand.

As a rule, the cold bathing houses are located on the coast with direct access to the sea

Source: Per Pixel Petersson /

“Billy” became the best-selling shelf in the world

Gillis Lundgren was born in the medieval town of Lund in 1929, and he was supposed to write furniture history.

In 1978 the designer created “Billy” for Ikea, and he scribbled his first sketches on a napkin.


Coated veneer panels with metal pins in between - simple and affordable, “Billy” advanced to become the best-selling shelf in the world, one of the most famous pieces of furniture ever.

Lundgren, who is considered to be the inventor of furniture for quick self-assembly, passed away in 2016.

An island for observing the stars

The astronomer Tycho Brahe was the first to discover a supernova in 1572.

The Danish King Frederick II then left the island of Ven, with its manor and observatory, to him.

There he measured 800 fixed stars with the naked eye, shook the view of the world with the earth as a fixed point in the universe, and calculated the length of the year with amazing accuracy.

His restored observatory Stjerneborg now houses an astronomical museum.

A multimedia show at the Stjerneborg observatory on the island of Ven

Source: mauritius images / Niels Poulsen

Eels can live well over 100 years

There are eels all over the world, but one particularly large specimen once lived in Brantevik in Skåne.

It is said to have lived in a well on the Kjellman family farm since 1859 as a kind of useful pet.

Eels used to be put in wells to keep the water free of bugs and algae.

The nameless Methuselah did not die until 2014, at the age of 155.

Eels can actually live well over 100 years in captivity.

Most of the animals in Skåne end up in the saucepan: fishermen organize eel festivals in midsummer (Ålagille).

Then there is the fish salted, pickled, deep-fried, smoked, as a soup or ragout.

A fisherman puts fresh eels in a net

Source: Getty Images / Maskot

The Stonehenge of Sweden

59 stone blocks stand like menhirs on a plateau on the Baltic Sea near the village of Kåseberga: Ales Stenar, also known as the “Stonehenge of Sweden”.

Scandinavia's oldest stone circle dates from the sixth century AD, well before the Viking Age.


The sandstones, which are up to three meters high, are arranged in the shape of a ship: 67 meters long, 19 meters wide.

It is not known who dragged them here.

Ales Stenar apparently served as a grave and 1400 year old bone fragments were found.

Ales Stenar, Scandinavia's oldest stone circle, dates from the sixth century AD

Source: Getty Images / Anders Blomqvist

The quote

"Then he realized that the large plaid piece of cloth was the flat land of Skåne, over which he was flying"

In 1902 the well-known children's book “Little Nils Holgersson's wonderful journey with the wild geese” by Selma Lagerlöf was published, an imaginative portrait of Sweden.

Shrunk to a tiny figure, Nils embarks on an instructive journey in Skåne on the back of a wild goose.

The Swedish writer was the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1909.

Quirky, record-breaking, typical: You can find more parts of our regional geography series here.