Astrid Lindgrens Vimmerby

Foto Astrid Lindgrens World

Pippi and Captain Ephraim Longstocking

From the exhibition "The whole world’s Astrid Lindgren"<br />Astrid Lindgren´s Näs
Bullerbyn, Sevedstorp<br />
Katthult, Gibberyd<br />
Katthult<br />Astrid Lindgrens World
Pippi and Captain Ephraim Longstocking<br />Astrid Lindgrens World
The statue of Astrid Lindgren<br />
Båtmansbacken<br />

Welcome to Astrid Lindgren’s Vimmerby in Småland

In the charming town of Vimmerby in northern Småland, there is a really playful destination. Astrid Lindgren, one of the world’s best loved children’s authors, was born here. Astrid has touched people the world over with her books, and it was right here, in the small town of Vimmerby, that she laid the foundations for her fantastic authorship.

There is much to see and do in Astrid Lindgren’s footsteps. How about experiencing the stories for real? Visiting the place where the story about Astrid Lindgren once started? Or seeing the houses and farms that have become world famous through the films? Yes, it’s all here and much more.

Astrid Lindgren’s Näs

Curious about Astrid Lindgren? Then visit the place where it all started, where Astrid Lindgren was born and grew up – Astrid Lindgren’s Näs. And here, in the area around her childhood home, Astrid herself played when she was young. The many memories of the place and the years growing up there later inspired Astrid Lindgren to write several of her stories. Today, the area is an award-winning visitor’s attraction with guided tours, topical exhibitions, gardens, a shop and refreshments.

Astrid Lindgren’s World

Our fantastic theatre park, Astrid Lindgren’s World, is just a few stone’s throws from Astrid Lindgren’s childhood home. Here, the stories come to life and you can walk through the well-known environments and meet Pippi, Emil, Mardie and many of the other characters. Specially written scenes based on Astrid Lindgren’s stories are performed daily, and between the performances you can visit the characters in their homes. 

The settings

Vimmerby’s nature and surroundings are just like in the stories … though in reality it is probably the other way round. The stories give us a living description of the nature and landscape around Vimmerby. Well, we shouldn’t boast too much, but these are in fact often the very surroundings described in the books. Here, you are close to glittering lakes, the tranquillity and mystique of the forests, pastures, meadows, fences, stone walls, red barns and winding gravel roads. Quite simply – a true Småland idyll.

The film town

Almost all the films based on Astrid Lindgren’s books have had their world premieres in Vimmerby. Many of the films have also, fully or partly, been shot in the town or its immediate surroundings. Katthult in Rumskulla and Bullerby in Pelarne have long been well known as film locations, attracting crowds of visitors annually. Two films about Lotta on Troublemaker Street were filmed in Astrid Lindgren’s World in 1991 and 1992. In the beginning of December 2014 it was time for a new world premiere in Vimmerby, when the new film ‘Astrid’ was shown at the Grand Cinema. It is the first feature film about the author’s life and work and reflects her whole life.

Vimmerby town centre

Vimmerby is the town in which Astrid Lindgren grew up. It is also where Astrid Lindgren is buried. Much remains as it was when Astrid lived here, yet it’s so different. Enjoy a walk in the town centre and experience the settings that inspired Astrid: Kalle Blomkvist’s alleys, Emil’s market, the house with Pippi’s sweet shop and much more you are sure to be familiar with.

 

Click on this page and read more about the places and sights we have mentioned briefly here in the introduction. And, above all, welcome to visit and experience them for real!

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Foto Astrid Lindgren Company

Astrid Lindgren and her brother Gunnar, early 1970.

Astrid Lindgren and her brother Gunnar, early 1970.<br />Astrid Lindgren Company

Vimmerby’s Astrid Lindgren

When Astrid Anna Emilia Ericsson was born on 14 November 1907 on the farm Näs outside Vimmerby who would have thought what she would become. Even if there were signs. She was a lively girl, physically and intellectually. She was quick on her legs and in her thoughts, with an agile body and imagination. Adventurous and playful. A talented storyteller already as a child.

Not even when Astrid Lindgren published her first books in the beginning of the 1940s did anyone realise the industry that was being started. Today, we know. More than 165 million copies of her books in 107 languages have been sold, and her books are constantly being republished around the world; about 50 films and TV series have been produced; there have been thousands of theatre productions and musicals; many prizes have been set up in her honour; schools, day-care centres, residential areas, parks and districts have been named after her and her characters – and, not least, we have a huge humanistic legacy from Astrid Lindgren’s fight for children’s and animals’ rights, ecology and equality. 

At Astrid Lindgren Aktiebolag, we are convinced that the world needs Astrid Lindgren – maybe more than ever – and continue in her footsteps. We are located in Stockholm, but our activities span the world. We work long term with high requirements for quality and faithfulness to the original, and we are proud and happy that all our fantastic partners help us spread Astrid Lindgren’s work. Some of the most important are in Vimmerby, the place where it all started. Astrid Lindgren’s World and Astrid Lindgren’s Näs play key roles in bringing the stories as well as Astrid Lindgren the person to life.

Astrid Lindgren Aktiebolag’s task is to spread and protect Astrid Lindgren’s authorship throughout the world. In everything we do we keep to Astrid Lindgren’s own clear guidelines on what may, can and ought to be done. We want as many children and adults as possible all over the world also in the future to be able to read Astrid Lindgren’s books, watch her films and see her theatre performances, listen to her songs and experience her worlds in the best way possible. The best place to start is here in Astrid Lindgren’s Vimmerby. The place she called home all her life.

Olle Nyman,
grandchild of Astrid Lindgren
and MD of Astrid Lindgren Aktiebolag


 

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Astrid Lindgrens in the kitchen at Näs. 

© Astrid Lindgren Company

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Foto KARIN ALFREDSSON

The author Jens Andersen with Karin Nyman

The author Jens Andersen with Karin Nyman<br />KARIN ALFREDSSON

Vimmerby is the navel of Scandinavia

“Oh childhood peace in Sca-a-andinavia!” bellows five-year-old Lisabeth in Astrid Lindgren’s book about Mardie. Lisbeth is sitting in the sleigh together with her big sister Mardie in a snowstorm on their way home to Mum and Dad at Junedale after the girls’ perilous trip on the smooth, dark ice on the river.

All of us who live in peaceful Scandinavia ought to sing as loudly and joyfully as Lisabeth every day. Imagine being able to move freely across each other’s national borders without feeling foreign or unwanted. We work, start a family, and rent or buy houses in our neighbouring countries like never before. On the outside we are probably Swedes, Norwegians, Danes, Finns and Icelanders, but deep inside – I think – we are also proud of our Scandinavian kinship, which is based on an outlook on life and a feeling for nature that has its roots in the passing of the seasons in the northern hemisphere. We all go through the long, dark winter, the fantastic colourful spring and the short, intensive summer with light nights on the lakes and seas, in the mountains, on the fields and meadows, in the forests and cities.

Through Astrid Lindgren’s books, we get an intense experience of this Scandinavian cultural heritage. This is something that Pippi Longstocking and the Children of Noisy Village, Mio, Rasmus and Mardie, Emil, the Brothers Lionheart, Ronja and Birk have radiated for more than half a century and it is brought to life year after year in Vimmerby. Not just through all the skilful, energetic actors in Astrid Lindgren’s World but also through the unique museum setting at Astrid Lindgren’s Näs and the old streets around the square in Vimmerby where Astrid Lindgren bought sweets and went to the market as a child and danced at Stadshotellet and worked as a journalist student somewhere round the corner on Storgatan when she was young.

In the summer in Vimmerby, visiting families with children from all over Europe get an insight into the Scandinavian mentality, lifestyle and ways of socialising. A cultural heritage based on an understanding of the importance of children and childhood that the rest of the world envies and would like to share with us, if it could. If there is one thing that all the world’s adults share – regardless of political and religious beliefs – it is that we were all children once and have a piece of that child inside us for the rest of our lives.

Few authors in the world have reminded us so strongly and in such detail about this as Astrid Lindgren. She was herself a child and young girl in Vimmerby 100 years ago. Astrid grew up on the farm Näs where her parents Hanne and Samuel August created a home for their four children based on love, respect and tolerance. And within these fixed, safe bounds, Astrid, Gunnar, Stina and Ingegerd had plenty of time to play and fantasise when the day’s chores where done. Astrid Lindgren remembered her happy childhood at Näs for the rest of her life. Not least in her difficult and dark times as an adult. The happy, warm memories of Småland became an inexhaustible source for her authorship, which has been translated into so many languages that it spanned the world long ago. Pippi Longstocking, the Children of Noisy Village, Mio, Rasmus, Mardie, Emil, Jonathan, Skorpan, Ronja and Birk all teach us, much better than even the thickest and cleverest books about bringing up children, how to get along with each other as people and what a good, peaceful life should always be based on. 

That’s why we Scandinavians still read Astrid Lindgren and share her with the rest of the world. And that’s why generation after generation of children and parents make pilgrimages to Vimmerby – the Navel of Scandinavia. 

Text: Jens Andersen

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Jens Andersen (b. 1955) has a PhD in Scandinavian literature and is the author of Astrid Lindgren’s biography ‘Denna dagen, ett liv’ (This day, one life), which has been published in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Germany, and which will be published in 2016 in Finland, the Netherlands, France and Russia.

Foto Astrid Lindgrens World

Pippi Longstocking and friends

Pippi Longstocking and friends<br />Astrid Lindgrens World
Karlsson on the Roof<br />Astrid Lindgrens World
The Brothers Lionheart in Cherry Tree Valley<br />Astrid Lindgrens World
Katthult<br />Astrid Lindgrens World
Pippi Longstocking<br />Astrid Lindgrens World
Ronja the Robber’s Daughter<br />Astrid Lindgrens World
Miss Prysselius’s singalong<br />Astrid Lindgrens World

In Astrid Lindgren’s World stories come to life

Villekulla Cottage is real. Noisy Village, Matt’s Fort and most of the other places from Astrid Lindgren’s stories also exist. They are collected in one and the same place: in Astrid Lindgren’s World in Vimmerby.

All the places in the park can be recognised from Astrid Lindgren’s stories and at any time you can meet many of the characters you’ve got to know through the books. After all, what would Junedale be without Mardie and Matt’s Fort without the robbers? In these living settings, there are performances daily with scenes from the books. Here, the audience can get right up close to the action and, sometimes, even end up in it. 
 
It’s a big experience for children to meet Pippi Longstocking, Karlsson on the roof, That Emil or one of their other favourites in real life. After the performances, the fun continues when all children can hop in and play in the place that was just a stage. And say what child doesn’t want to look for things in Villekulla Cottage with Pippi or maybe sneak up on Tengil’s soldiers with Jonathan and Skorpan Lionheart.
 
Astrid Lindgren cared about the right of children to be children. Free play runs like a red thread through all her books, and it does of course also have an important place here in Astrid Lindgren’s World. As well as the exciting settings from the stories that children can explore freely at their own pace, we have lots of places in the park created just for play.
 
If you’re going to have the energy to play you have to eat. The food we serve in our restaurants in the park is made from scratch in our own kitchen. We think it’s important to prepare good and healthy food suitable for big and small tummies. Most of the raw produce is local and the menus have been drawn up in partnership with one of Sweden’s most prominent chefs, Fredrik Eriksson from Långbro Värdshus. We offer everything from basic dishes to hearty Småland family fare. 
 
We have many accommodation options to choose from in direct connection to Astrid Lindgren’s World. In the newly built The Tiny Town, you can stay comfortably in safe back streets and squares with space to play and socialise. The houses are built in genuine Småland craft tradition in different sizes and designs.

 
 

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Foto Astrid Lindgrens Näs

The Childhood home at Näs

<br />Astrid Lindgrens Näs
From the exhibition "The whole world’s Astrid Lindgren"<br />Astrid Lindgrens Näs
The artwork Despair, created by the Englishman Karl Chilcott. Placed in the Gardens at Astrid Lindgrens Näs<br />Astrid Lindgrens Näs
From the exhibition "The whole world’s Astrid Lindgren"<br />Astrid Lindgrens Näs
The Childhood home at Näs<br />Astrid Lindgrens Näs
The Gardens<br />Astrid Lindgrens Näs
From the exhibition "The whole world’s Astrid Lindgren"<br />Astrid Lindgrens Näs

Astrid Lindgren’s Näs – the place where it all started…

Astrid Anna Emilia was born on 14 November 1907 here on the farm Näs. Astrid was the second of four siblings. It was her and her siblings who, together with the cowherd’s children and the children from the vicarage next door, were the real children of Noisy Village. The story about their playing has now spread around the world. It was here that Astrid climbed the lemonade tree and played ‘got you’ and ‘don’t touch the floor’ with her siblings. It was here that she jumped in the hay and listened to stories in Kristin’s kitchen.

The childhood home
In the 1960s, Astrid Lindgren recreated her childhood home so it looks just as it did when she grew up there. This environment inspired some of her best-loved stories. Today, you can visit the childhood home on our guided tours. During peak season, we offer daily tours in Swedish and German.

The whole world’s Astrid Lindgre
Here you can get to know the person, professional and moulder of public opinion Astrid Lindgren. You can experience the exhibition conveniently with the help of our audio guides, which are available in many languages. We have a special version for children in Swedish, German and Danish. 
 
The gardens at Astrid Lindgren’s Näs 
Our gardens have grown out of important themes in Astrid Lindgren’s life and authorship. The gardens are a place of culture, play, seriousness, debate and humour. Here you can be inspired by Astrid Lindgren’s attitude to nature, to the joy and power of creation and to the fun and serious sides of life. These exciting gardens change every year – like a never-ending story.

Astrid Lindgren’s Näs is about a ten-minute walk from the centre of Vimmerby, at Prästgårdsgatan 24. 

 

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