In the footsteps of Astrid Lindgren

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!

Båtmansbacken

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?

Klemens Gränd

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.

Vimmerby Newspaper

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. 

Brothers Lionheart

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.

Tuvelyckan

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.

The proposal

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.

Download your walk here:

The Astrid Lidngrens statue

Båtmansbacken

Astrid Lindgrens grave

The Childhood home of Astrid Lindgren

Klemens Gränd

Photo: Astrid Lindgren Aktiebolag
Astrid Lindgren and brother Gunnar, early 70s

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 Company, we are convinced that the world needs Astrid Lindgren – maybe more than ever – and continue in her footsteps.

Astrid Lindgrens Company

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 Company

Astrid Lindgren in the kitchen at Näs 

The entire family at Näs.

© The Astrid Lindgren Company

Photo: Nils-Erik Pettersson

From the Noicy Village to Katthult

Almost all the books by Astrid Lindgren have had some kind of connection to Vimmerby. When some of the stories were turned into films, Vimmerby became the place to go to, to find the true feeling.

The idyllic Gibberyd outside Rumskulla was home to That Emil and the Svensson family in Katthult between 1971 and 1973. A little later, between 1986 and 1987, the film about the children of Noisy Village was shot by the three small houses in Sevedstorp just outside Pelarne.

Even Troublemaker Street is here in Vimmerby, right inside the gates of Astrid Lindgren’s World. In the beginning of the 1990s, there was a film team headed by Lotta on the hilly little street. On to Mariannelund and Filmbyn Småland where the films continue to take place in the interactive exhibition with classic studio constructions and original costumes from the films.

 

 

The Noicy Village, Sevedstorp

Katthult, Gibberyd

Filmbyn Småland, Mariannelund

Photo: Astrid Lindgrens Värld

A day at Astrid Lindgren’s World

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.

Summerseason – 1 June – 22 August

Under the current circumstances, all admission tickets to Astrid Lindgren’s World must be purchased in advance.

The park is open 10 am-6 pm

Autumn Holiday
23 – 24 October and 30 October – 7 November
10.00 – 17.00
Evenings 2-5 november
10.00-19.00

Astrid Lindgren’s Näs

The childhood home

In the 1960s, Astrid Lindgren recreated her childhood home so that it looks just like when she grew up here. This environment inspired her to some of her most beloved stories.

The whole world’s Astrid Lindgren 

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.

We played and played and played. It’s a wonder we didn’t play ourselves to death.

Astrid Lindgren, from ”Samuel August från Sevedstorp och Hanna i Hult”

Summer
27 May – 29 August
Daily
10:00 – 17:00

Autumn
2 Sept. – 26 Sept.
Thursday – Sunday
11:00 – 16:00

Christmas Market
10 December, 13.00-19.00 o’clock, 11-12 December, 11.00-17.00 o’clock

Take a walk!

Astrid Lindgren’s stories are filled with details and tales from places and people who have been a part of her life in Vimmerby.

In the walk “in Astrid Lindgren’s footsteps” you will get a closer look into the places that have shaped some of your favorite stories.

In the walk “Culture and History” you get a deep dive into Vimmerby’s history mixed with exciting anecdotes about places and people. From the declared heritage house on Storgatan to Vimmerby’s church history, the walk leads you through the city.

Take the opportunity to spend time between experiences, put a cultural stamp on the shopping trip or combine your lunch with lighter walk. Take part in the entire walk or select parts of them. It’s all up to you!

Photo: Karin Andreason
Karin Alfredsson

Vimmerby is the navel of Scandinavia

Text: Jens Andersen. Photo. Karin Alfredsson

“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.