Nobel Prize Museum & Viking Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

I just returned from a visit to Stockholm, Sweden for a low-key explore the city type of stay. Nobel Prize Museum and the Viking Museum were a couple of smaller venues I checked out.

The occasion

We went to Stockholm to settle our daughter Anjali in for her study abroad program for the summer. Since this was a more focused trip to be there for her in case she needed our help (not that she needed us as she figured out everything including the metro by day two 😁).

With Anjali in school and Hitesh meeting with his Stockholm team for work, I had time on my hands to explore the city. I checked out a few smaller venues such as the Nobel Prize Museum and the Viking Museum.

The Nobel Prize Museum

The Nobel Prize Museum is a relatively small museum. It takes about an hour to visit this museum that showcases all the Nobel Prize winners over the decades. With a small narrative on Nobel himself and his family, documentaries, a cafe and gift shop, this museum features info on all things Nobel Prize.

The museum gives a glimpse into the prizes that are given out and the events that commemorate the annual Noble Prize winners.

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2012

The museum also has running documentaries on various Nobel Prize winners over the decades. This one given to Shinya Yamanaka was fascinating for his research on the regenerative nature of mature stem cells.

From the Nobel Prize web site:

Shinya Yamanaka

Affiliation at the time of the award: Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan; Gladstone Institutes, San Francisco, CA, USA

Prize motivation: “for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent”

Life: Shinya Yamanaka was born in Higashiosaka, Japan. He studied for his medical degree at Kobe University and later earned his PhD from Osaka City University in 1993. After spending several years at the Gladstone Institute at the University of California, San Francisco, he returned to Osaka, but later moved to the Nara Institute of Science and Technology, where he began his Nobel Prize-winning research. Yamanaka has been affiliated with Kyoto University since 2004. Shinya Yamanaka is married with two daughters.

Work: Our lives begin when a fertilized egg divides and forms new cells that, in turn, also divide. These cells are identical in the beginning, but become increasingly varied over time. It was long thought that a mature or specialized cell could not return to an immature state, but this has now been proven incorrect.

In 2006, Shinya Yamanaka succeeded in identifying a small number of genes within the genome of mice that proved decisive in this process. When activated, skin cells from mice could be reprogrammed to immature stem cells, which, in turn, can grow into different types of cells within the body.

Did you know?

Did you know that Alfred Nobel made his money from the invention of dynamite? When his will was read his family was surprised that he had left his fortune for prizes to be distributed annually ” in the form of prizes to those who during the preceding year have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind.

A beautiful museum in the heart of Old Town

The Nobel Prize Museum is located in a beautiful former Stock Exchange Building on the square at Gamla Stan which is the old town in central Stockholm.

The Viking Museum

I stumbled upon the Viking Museum on my stroll from the Rosendal Garden in the Djurgården neighborhood. I must admit it didn’t look like a real museum but with such a lofty name and time on my hand I had to check it out 😁.

The “museum” was actually mostly wax figures depicting viking life and culture and the exhibit ended in a 15 minute It’s a Small World Disney Land type of ride depicting a Viking lore. As I said, I kind of knew what I was getting into LOL.

Did you know?

I did find out some interesting tidbits here. For example did you know that Vikings as a culture were peace loving people than what’s been widely portrayed? Another interesting observation is that it seems the horned helmet made famous by Hollywood and comics and myths are not what the Vikings wore – in fact all the archeological finds show regular metal helmets with no horns on any viking helmets.

The beautiful cafe and FIKA at the Viking Museum

To be honest the best part of this little immersive museum was the beautiful cafe on the way out.

Situated on the 2nd floor overlooking the beautiful harbor, this surely was the highlight of my Viking Museum tour.

Here I had a FIKA style coffee and pastries. Really a wonderful place to sit and relax and enjoy the scenery outside.

I hope you enjoyed the little tours of The Nobel Prize Museum and The Viking Museum. Both don’t require much time – about one hour each.

If you have time to fill in a gap in your tourist schedule these museums are great quick visits in Stockholm.

The Nobel Prize Museum

The Viking Museum

Tomorrow: Day trip to Vaxholm Island

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