Astrid Lindgrens statue
On the 14th of November, in 1907, Astrid Anna Emilia Ericsson was born on the farm Näs, located a kilometer from the city center of Vimmerby. Astrid Lindgren has with her stories and tales made Vimmerby a rather well-known name, and in 2007 this statue was inaugurated, depicting the author sitting by the typewriter in her study. The statue is designed by Marie-Louise Ekman together with some of her students at the Royal Institute of Art.
The idea behind the statue is that the visitor should be in focus rather than Astrid Lindgren herself, by having a chair placed in front of the author. Please, sit down on the heated chair and enjoy the square!
You now stand at Båtmansbacken among gardens, small cobblestone-covered streets and hilly alley-ways, just like in the town called Lillköping in which the detective stories about Kalle Blomkvist take place. This is the place in Astrid Lindgrens story where a gang fight between the “White” and “Red Rose” played out, before the friend Kalle, Anders and Eva-Lotta began an exciting thief hunt.
Did you know that the thugs used an encrypted language in the Kalle Blomkvist stories?
During the recording of Emil in Lönneberga, filmmakers were drawn to this place, Klemens Gränd in Vimmerby city. The scene filmed in this cobblestone-covered alley was a scene where Emil gets out from the doctor in Mariannelund after having smashed a soup bowl that got stuck on his head while trying to eat the last of the soup at the family dinner.
Astrid Lindgren was 16 years old when she got her first job at Wimmerby Tidning which at that time was located here on Storgatan, to the left of Klemens Gränd. She had already made it clear that she could write, as one of her papers had been publicised in the newspaper three years earlier. “Vimmerby’s Selma Lagerlöf” is what people started calling her, and it was after this occurrence that she decided never to become an author.
She did however eventually become a writer, and it’s evident that the experience of her work at Wimmerby Tidning coloured some of her earlier books. The father in the stories about Madicken is a newspaper editor, and the importance of the newspaper is an important element in the story about the Children of Noisy Village, where Britta, Anna and Lisa read aloud from the newspaper for their grandfather.
Pippis candy store
When Astrid Lindgren was a child there was a grocery store in this yellow house. When the story about Pippi Longstocking was written in 1945, this store would become role model for the candy shop from which Pippi buys 18 kilos of candy.
In case you’ve also heard about Kajsa Kavat, then you might recognize this store from the scene where Kajsa looks at the beautiful doll during the Christmas fair.
Here at the graveyard, by the black steel cross on the right side of the lane towards the chapel, the Phalén brothers lay buried. The brothers suffered from dysentery in the mid-1800s and eventually died in 1860. This grave memorial would play an important role as it is one of the many sources that inspired Astrid Lindgren to write the tale about the Brothers Lionheart, which was released in 1973.
Astrid Lindgrens grave
Furthest down at Vimmerby graveyard you will find Astrid Lindgrens grave, where she rests with her parents Hanna and Samuel August, and two of her siblings. She had already decided before she died in 2002 that it was here she wanted to be buried, and even though she lived most of her life in Stockholm, it was still Vimmerby and Näs she would call home. Her memorial stone is made of Småland granite that has been picked on the farmyard Näs’ property, and maybe even dug up by her father Samuel August himself.
Astrid Lindgren’s best friend Mardie lived in Tuvelyckan. Madicken’s name was actually Anne-Marie Ingeström, and was daughter to the town’s bank director. Mardie and Astrid Lindgren also had their first meeting just outside of here.
The maid Alva also lived here in Tuvelyckan, just like in the books about Mardie. The character Lisabet however, doesn’t have any connection to the family Ingström, but is said to rather bring Astrids little sister Stina to mind.
Astrid Lindgrens Näs
Here in the red house behind the trees at the farmyard Näs, Astrid Lindgren was born in 1907. Astrid lived here until she moved to Stockholm at the age of 18. Astrid Lindgren have told us how the siblings lived a happy Bullerby life, in safety and liberty together with the parents at the farmyard Näs.
Astrid drew a lot of inspiration for her stories from the area, including games, experiences and people. This is also evident in today’s museums, exhibitions and gardens.
Along the fence reaching to Näs you can see the elm tree that became role model for not only Uggleträdet (“Owl Tree”) in Alla Barn i Bullerbyn, but also Sockerdricksträdet (“Lemonade Tree”) in the stories about Pippi Longstocking.
It was the 1st of April, the snow was whirling through the cold night and under the weeping ash in the small church park Samuel August and Hanna was sitting. Samuel August had finally gathered the courage to ask for Hannas hand. He didn’t get a yes to the proposal that night, it would take a few more years. But the couple shared their first kiss right here, in the church park.