Tanumshede, Vitlycke Museum
The Vitlycke Museum is an experience and knowledge centre for the Tanum UNESCO World Heritage area. There has been a museum at Vitlycke since 1976 when the Tanum Rock Carving Institute was set up as a joint project by Bohuslän Museum, the National Heritage Board, Uppsala University and the Municipality of Tanum. The idea was to connect a research institute with a public museum. Later the Institute changed its name to the Tanum Rock Carving Museum, which contained exhibitions, a cafe and, since 1986, also a reconstructed Bronze Age settlement. In 1996 the old museum premises were demolished to make room for Vitlycke Museum, which was designed by the firm Carl Nyréns Arkitektkontor and completed in 1998. Since January 2005 Vitlycke Museum is a part of Västarvet, Swedens largest organization for natural and cultural heritage.
The Vitlycke Museum offers public educational activities aimed at schools, tourist groups and individual visitors, by using themed permanent exhibitions, the reconstructed farm complex, and guided tours out to the images in the landscape. The museum features a Bronze Age farm that recreates the living quarters of the rock carvers. The farm contains reconstructions of two longhouses, from the Early and the Late Bronze Age, where the visitors can watch and take part at several handicrafts and practical chores of bronze-age daily life, such as dyeing, bronze casting, pottery, cookery, flint-knapping, fire-making or archery. Close to the farm is a 300 m long circular footpath taking the visitors past animal pens. The farming activity also includes growing plants resembling those of the Bronze Age as closely as possible: emmer wheat, einkorn wheat, millet, grey peas, broad beans and so on.
Behind the farm there is a patch of woodland that is being gradually transforming into more typical Bronze Age forest. The forest of the Bronze Age was a mixed deciduous forest of linden, oak, ash, birch and hazel. In the forest the visitors will also find a small sacrificial pond where to enjoy an insight into what the holy places of the Bronze Age looked like, including also a little building where sacrifice might have been prepared and a track-way pointing to the island where the idols are.
In summer the farm is also the base for the Museum’s day-camps and hosts several worskshops and live-in activities, like the "Archaeology School", "Bronze Age life experience", as well as archery and handicraft demonstrations. The Vitlycke Museum offers a wealth of displays and presentations for groups of different sizes, Bronze Age-inspired buffets, guided tours (also by torchlight) out to into the World Heritage area, where to examine painted and unpainted, large and small rock carvings. Finally the Vitlycke Museum is an ideal set for conferences and other meetings thanks to its quite attractive premises in a unique historical environment.
Info & Contact
Address: Vitlycke 2, 457 93 Tanumshede, Västra Götaland county, Sweden
Tel.: +46 0525 20950
Address: Apoteksvägen 6, 457 31 Tanumshede, Västra Götaland county, Sweden
Tel.: +46 0525 18000
The Vitlycke Museum and Tanumshede on Google Maps:
Exploring the Vitlycke Museum:
The World Heritage Area at Tanum
A wealth of prehistoric imagery...
All over the world people have carved and painted on rocks and in caves. Here at Tanum people from the Bronze Age have carved thousands of images into the smooth rocks of the landscape. This pictorial treasure is so rich in content and so distinctive that it is among the world’s cultural heritages on the Unesco World Heritage List.
The rock carvings in Tanum, in the north of Bohuslän, are a unique artistic achievement not only for their rich and varied motifs (depictions of humans and animals, weapons, boats and other subjects) but also for their cultural and chronological unity. They reveal the life and beliefs of people in Europe during the Bronze Age and are remarkable for their large numbers and outstanding quality.
The rock carvings at Litsleby
The carvings at Litsleby are two kilometres south of Vitlycke Museum. The panel is dominated by a warrior 2.3 metres tall, known as the Spear God. The carving has wheelchair access and a tactile information board.
The rock-carving area at Aspeberget
The carvings at Aspeberget, 700 metres to the south of Vitlycke Museum, include images of bulls, warriors and ships. Aspeberget does not have just one panel; from the car park there is a path leading to a number of carvings, both painted and unpainted. At the top of the hill there is an excellent view of the Tanum plain and the World Heritage area.
The rock carvings at Fossum
The Fossum panel is an integrated composition with images of people, ships, foot soles, animals and cupmarks. A few hundred metres to the east is Balken, where there are unpainted carvings.