Saturday, December 27, 2008

Nordic Museum – Ballard / Seattle

Danish Room - Nordic Museum
We spent a couple of hours in the Nordic Museum located in (the northern part of) the Ballard neighborhood in Seattle. Considering how long we’ve been in Seattle and that we feel like we’ve passively absorbed a little of the Nordic vibe that still exists, it was worth a visit to this museum. On the whole it was an interesting presentation and worth a stop if you are into understanding different cultures, the immigration experience, some early Seattle history, or just plain love dioramas.

First things first, geography: “Nordic” means of, relating to, or characteristic of Scandinavia. “Scandinavia” refers to the region of northern Europe which includes Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland (east of Sweden), and Iceland (an island in the North Atlantic Ocean between mainland Europe and Greenland). The museum is on three levels in an old school house (for now, before it moves to new digs sometime in the future). The first level gives you an overview of life in Scandinavian countries before the immigration started in the late 19th and early 20th century and what led people to immigrate. The second level talks about life in Washington that Scandinavian immigrants were involved in like the fishing and logging industries. The third floor is a gallery with a room dedicated to each of the five Nordic countries. (Did you know that Swedish Hospital (duh?), Frederick and Nelson, and Nordstrom were all founded by Swedish immigrants?)
Floor Plan of Nordic Museum

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