· By Herb Lester

Biologiska Museet, Stockholm

Extracted from A Stockholm Interlude, buy yours here.

In an effort to show the people of Sweden the diversity of their country’s wildlife, Gustaf Kolthoff shot and stuffed great swathes of it and then had this museum built in 1893 to house the collection. The intricately carved dark wood exterior, based on Norwegian churches, is a clue that this is no ordinary museum, still that doesn’t prepare the visitor for what’s inside. The centrepiece is a two-floor, 360-degree diorama that places Kolthoff’s trophies against painted landscapes – an amazing sight, at this late date curious and slightly unsettling. Much the same can be said of the glass case of bears on the ground floor, which has them in a family group, tentatively holding each other’s paws.

Biologiska Museet, Hazeliusporten, Djurgården 115 93
Tel: 46 8 442 82 15

Exterior photo of the museum by Flickr user Carles Tomás Martí