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Strömsund

Strömsund is the largest town in the municipality of the same name in northern Jämtland. strömsundEven though the small town along highway #45 has only 3500 inhabitants, you will find there everything you need for your trip over the Vildmarksvägen: supermarkets, sporting goods, camping and fishing gear, a pharmacy, banks, doctors, gas stations, clothing, garages, and of course some charming little shops with souvenirs and gifts for the family members at home. At the tourist office you can get information about the many places of interest in the area, and there you can also buy hiking maps and make reservations for accommodation.

strömsund

When in need for a little boost during your shopping round, you can pop your head into one of the cozy pubs or restaurants for lunch coffee or just a nice swedish pastry.

With its 15,000 visitors a year the Hembygdsgården (regional museum) in Strömsund is the most visited place of interest in the area. Here you can see, among other things, the giant Jorm from the Swedish children's movie 'Dunderklumpen', which made the region known all over Sweden.

strömsund strömsund

With its area of 11,857 square kilometres the municipality of Strömsund, which includes the townships of Gäddede, Bräcke, Hoting, Rossön en a lot of very small villages, is one of the largest in the country. Strömsund is especially known for its dense bear population and its magnificent nature. With around 12,300 inhabitants, which means 1 per square kilometre, the area is very thinly populated.

More information at www.stromsund.se

Gäddede

Gäddede belongs to the municipality of Strömsund and it is the main town of the parish of Frostviken. This small town at the Norwegian border is an ideal starting point for hiking, horse riding, and bicycle tours through the north Swedish mountains. In Gäddede, you can also participate in fishing trips, canoe tours, and tours to near by the spectacular natural sights, like the Hällingsafållet end the Koralgrottan, that are not far from there.

Gäddede

In Gäddede itself there are several options for accommodation, two restaurants, an art cafe, several shops, two gas stations and a supermarket. The Frostvikens Hembydsgård invites a visit with its exciting collection of utensils and tools used by the colonists of old, as does the local church and the nature section of the tourist office.

Gäddede

The name Gäddede has, as many village names in Frostviken, its roots in the Sami language. The Sami had a sacrificial place on the spot where the river flows out into the Hetögeln lake. The translation of Gäddede is "sacrificial place".

More info at www.frostviken.se

Vilhelmina

Vilhelmina

In this town with its magnificent view over the Ångermanälven, there are very good shops and a lot of nice restaurants, pubs and hotels. In 'Folkets Hus' there is a swimming pool and a bowling alley, and also a cinema and a library.

Vilhelmina Kirche© Erika Lorde

The municipality of Vilhelmina stretches 160 kilometres along the Ångermanälven, from the Norwegian border towards the south east. It is roughly half the size of Wales. The whole area is filled with countless lakes and extensive marshlands. The highest mountain in the area is the 1598 high Marsfjäll.

Sagostigen© Magnus Ström

More info at vilhelmina.se

Dorotea

Visitors of the most southern town of Lappland are being greeted by the big Dorotea bear, made of Siberian larches.

Dorotea

Apart from the sculpture of Lars Kupparinen, in the municipality, which extends from the southern woodlands to the mountains in the north, there are real bears too, of course. With much luck you can see these fascinating animals, or else elk or beaver, from a canoe when following the "Bear Trail".

Dorotea

For culture minded tourists, Dorotea, which was named after the Swedish queen Frederika Dorotea Wilhelmina von Baden, is very much worth the trip. Next to the church in Dorotea, there is a chapel with Björn Martinius' large sculpture 'the Last Supper'.

Dorotea

Right next to the chapel there is the open-air museum Kulerbacken and the old mill. Camping fans will enjoy the Polar caravan museum.

Dorotea Dorotea

The Doro Camp promises enjoyment for the whole family with its playground and mini-golf course.

More information: www.dorotea.se

Vilhelmina Kyrkstan

Vilhelmina’s “church town” began to be built in the 1840s. This was because farmers from the surrounding villages often had a long way to go in order to come to the church and they needed somewhere to spend the night when they came for weekends and church festivals.

Vilhelmina

Often a group of farmers would join forces and build a communal cottage in which each family would have the right to use one or two rooms. The last church cottage was built in the middle of the 1890s. For most people, attending church weekends and festivals was a welcome break from the hard work of everyday life. As well as going to church services, there were many opportunities for people to get together with friends and relatives. Perhaps a family member had just died and there was going to be a funeral service or people could have an invitation to a wedding or a christening.

Shops, market stalls and cafés were set up for the church gatherings and there people could buy showy decorations, alcoholic drinks and other things that could not be made at home on the farm. At times, there was no doubt too much drinking done during the church gatherings since this is a recurring topic in the old documents, i.e. the widespread drunkenness that took place at many of the church towns in Norrland. If there was no beer or spirits available, people would sometimes drink hair tonic and alcoholic medicaments instead.

Between the church gatherings, the church cottages had to be locked up, this being a very strict rule. At the end of the 19th century, this regulation was waived and more and more of the cottages became permanent homes. This in turn led to business men seeing the potential of setting up permanent shops and businesses in the church town. Slowly but surely, the church town began to turn into a proper town.

The fire in 1921

Then came the fatal day when more than half of the church town burnt down to the ground. It was in the morning of 5 September 1921 when a fire started in one of the cottages west of Storgatan. In no time, the fire took hold of the walls in the old timber cottage and then it spread rapidly to the other cottages. At five o’clock in the afternoon, the whole of the church town west of Storgatan had burnt to the ground, more than 50 buildings. In the ensuing investigation, it was determined that the fire had been caused by a faulty chimney shaft.

The Curch town is saved

In the 1960s, Vilhelmina Municipality began to buy up the old cottages in order to be able to restore them. After having been used as private homes and business premises, they now also began to be rented out as temporary accommodation. Today the church town is classified as a cultural environment of national interest.

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