Hipsters on Ship Island

Skeppsholmen (yellow)
Skeppsholmen (yellow)

In our ongoing tour of Stockholm’s islands (7/14, so far), we spent a Saturday on Skeppsholmen (Ship Island) east of the old city in the Saltsjön (Salt Sea). In the 16th century it was Lustholmen (Pleasure Island), a recreational park for the aristocracy, but it became the royal shipyard in the early 1600s. The landmark Admiralitetshuset (Admiralty House) was built in 1647; its ornate Dutch gable facades are anchored to the roof to withstand the Swedish winter.

Skeppsholmen remained an important naval base through the 1950s, when it was converted to public and cultural use. The Museum of Modern Art moved into several former military buildings, along with the Center for Architecture and Design (their standing Architecture in Sweden exhibit was helpfully immersive) and Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities. The island marks the western edge of Ekopark, established in 1995 as the first national urban park in the world.

On Skeppsholmen today, weekends also bring the distinctly 21st-century Matholmen (Food Island) food truck fair. Viewing the shipyards over California veggie burritos was a stimulating mix of anachronism and nostalgia.

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