Main Exhibition

The war ship Riddarholmsskeppet. Photo: Alexander Mahmoud.

The exhibits tell of Stockholm’s emergence and the town’s development in the Middle Ages. The exhibition describes with compassion how people lived and made a livelihood.

An excavation brought to life

Part of the city wall in the exhibition.

The Museum is built around the findings from the largest excavation in Stockholm. Our underground exhibition features 55 meters of the original 16th century town wall, the medieval graveyard of Helgeandshuset and Riddarholmsskeppet, a war ship from the 1520s. Behind the Knight’s armour you’ll also find the King’s secret tunnel to the castle.

Modern technology is used to bring to life the day-to-day existence and destinies of the medieval Stockholmers — the mundane and the festive, the happiness and the misery. Since Stockholm was a fortified town, the history includes power struggles, war and soldiers.

From Town Square to Gallows

Model of the gallows in the exhibition.

The museum also features a market square, a church and a place for councils, which were central in the lives of the towns-people. A cloister with a garden gives an added dimension to the picture of medieval life. Many of the towns-people worked at a craft or were traders, which is another story.

Life was not all sombre – there was also enjoyment, there were feasts, dancing, music and children’s games. A dark section of the museum however tells a more frightening story, that of gallows and other punishments.

An instructive presentation tells of the sources and methods that have given us knowledge of the history of Stockholm.

Illustration of a medieval party.

Read more

Read more about the archeological investigation of Helgeandsholmen 1978—1980.