The Gotland Museum
Fornsalen – the Historical Museum
Gotland’s museum of cultural history is called ‘Fornsalen’ (lit. ‘Hall of Antiquities’) in Swedish. Here you can see the hedgehog girl from the Stone Age, picture stones found nowhere else in the world, Viking Age silver hoards, church sculptures, medieval armour from the Danish invasion in 1361 and much, much more. You can learn more about the coral reefs, which form the bedrock of this island, follow human life on the island over 9 000 years and plunge into our medieval golden age. Children find skeletons and treasures exciting to look at, but when they start getting ants in their pants, take them to the exhibition Ship o’Joy. There they can play together in boats, fishing huts and cargo ships.
At the Historical Museum, you will find clear and instructive exhibitions on the geological formation of Gotland, the first inhabitants, the Viking Age, Medieval Period and present day. Here you can see Bronze Age jewellery, picture stones, pillbox-shaped brooches from the Viking Age, 1200-year-old coins from the whole world, Marian art from the numerous churches on Gotland and much, much more. You can easily make your own way around the museum. Images, text displays and touch screens will give you lots of information.
Most of our objects have been registered in a database called Collective Access. If you wish to find out more about some specific item, try this database! Click on the link below to create a user name and personal log-in code. Then the collection is at your fingertips! Search in Collective Access.
Museum Everyday 10–18
Shop Everyday 10–18
Café & restaurant Everyday 10–18
Adults May–Sept: 150 SEK, Oct–April: 100 SEK
Students May–Sept: 120 SEK, Oct–April: 80 SEK
Under 19 years Free
Where to find us
The Historical Museum is at Strandgatan 14 in Visby, very close to Almedalen Park and Visby harbour.
he main road (140) running down towards the harbour.
There are car parks at the University, harbour and Gunpowder Tower. For a map of car parks, see Region Gotland’s web site. http://www.gotland.se/44104
Visby bus station is east of the town centre and about 1 km from the Historical Museum.
Norrby’s rural museum
Norrbys is the only rural museum on Gotland which is also a cultural reserve.
Within the gates at Norrbys, time stands still. No stress to disturb peace of mind.
In summertime you can visit a well-preserved farm environment from the 1930s-‘40s with hens, sheep, pigs and rabbits. This is the home of Gotland’s oldest watermill, which is still operated every May when the water level in the pond is high. The waymarked nature and culture trail is open all year round.
Children love Norrbys! They can dress up in old-fashioned clothes, adopt a suitable name, do the laundry in a tub of hot water, card fleece, study insects with a magnifying glass and see farm animals at close quarters.
Guided tours (summertime)
We conduct guided tours daily at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. during opening hours.The tour takes about 45 minutes and is included in the admission fee.The guide will talk about the cultural reserve and the three siblings – Edvin, Martha and Erik – who were born on the farm and and spent their whole life there.
Nature & culture trail
The three-year project to make the nature and culture trail at Norrbys more accessible was completed in 2015. The work was funded by the County Administrative Board: Länsstyrelsens Lokala naturvårdssatsning (LONA).Within the project, vegetation was cleared from the trails. Information boards and a folder were also produced, increasing accessibility even when there are no staff available.
Admission and Opening Hours
Opening hours23 June–14 August: open daily 11–17The cultural reserve with a waymarked nature and culture trail is open to visitors for self-guided visits all year round.
Pay at the café, in the former granary to the left of the farmhouse.
Where to find us
Norrbys is in Väte parish, about 25 km south of Visby.
Drive along road 142, turn left at the sign ‘Kulturreservat Norrbys’. At a bend in the road you will see the entrance in front of you.
There is a carpark to the right of the entrance.
Catch the no. 12 bus running from Visby to Hemse. Get off at Väte Parish Church.
Norrbys is about 200 metres from the bus stop.
57 271582 N, 18 221552 E
The bulk of Gotland Museum’s collections are stored at Magasin Visborg. This is where we store every object accumulated by or donated to the museum. Our collections comprise about 450 000 items. Magasin Visborg was inaugurated in 2014, a modern museum collections centre, where items are stored and visitors are welcome. Here you will find Gotlandic picture stones, furniture from different eras, ecclesiastical and secular art, prehistoric artefacts, textiles, our natural history collection and much much more.
Book a Visit
Are you interested in Gotland Museum’s collections? Do you have a specific interest, such as archaeology, textiles, armoury or ecclesiastical art? Are you a postgraduate or student? Make an appointment with us.
Our collections include items of archaeological and cultural historical interest, natural historical objects and art. We store photographs, photographic plates, negatives and films. We also have reports, inventories and other documents.
Many of our objects have been registered in a database called Collective Access. We work continuously on digitalizing photographs and other information, as well as photographing items so that the digital catalogue is always up to date.
Click on the link below and create a user name and personal log-in code. Then the collection is at your fingertips! If you can’t find what you are seeking, then please contact us, we will be only too willing to assist. Search in Collective- Access
Where to Find Us
Magasin Visborg is at Vädursgatan 12-14 in Visby, a stone’s throw from the roundabout in the southwest of Visby on the main road leading up from the harbour terminal.
Head for the roundabout in the southwest of Visby, at the top of the hill leading up from the harbour terminal. Turn into road 140 going south. Turn left at ‘Oskarsstenen’, signposted ‘Visborg’. Turn right into Vädursgatan and Magasin Visborg is a bit further on, on the right.
There is a car park south of the building next to the main entrance.
Catch the no. 1 bus to Visborg. The nearest bus stop is Region Gotland about 10 min’s walk from Magasin Visborg.
Let us show you our fantastic artefacts, environments and tell you stories from bygone days! Our guides are very knowledgeable and popular with children and adults alike. We conduct regular tours at the Historical Museum and Art Museum. At Norrbys Rural Museum, we run two tours a day in the summer season. We also conduct guided town walks in the Hanseatic Town of Visby. They all start out from the Historical Museum (Fornsalen) and take 90-120 minutes.
Personal Group Bookings
You can book a private guided tour for a school class, club or company. Contact Booking, +46 (0) 498-29 27 40.
Guided Town Walks
We offer several different guided town walks in the World Heritage Site of Visby.
The Summer Bloodbath
The most tragic event in Gotland’s history took place in summer 1361. Thousands of Gotland’s farmers were butchered in battles against King Valdemar Atterdag of Denmark and his mighty army. Join one of our guides in finding traces of that summer bloodbath. What is fact? What is fiction?
The Ruins Tell Their Tale
Join a guided walk of Visby – the town of ruins. The tour starts at the site of the first church on Gotland, and then visits some of Visby’s ruins
The Russian Church in Visby
Many secrets nestle beneath a restaurant in the main square (Stora Torget) in Visby. The basement houses the remains of a Russian medieval church and churchyard. The museum guides take you on a trip beneath the modern town.
The museum has keys to some of our most thrilling (and locked) historical buildings and ruins in Visby. On this tour, you will be able to join our knowledgeable guides, who will unlock the doors to exciting worlds where time has stood still.
Visby: 20 Years as a World Heritage Site
The museum guides will tell you about the World Heritage and show you some of the most unique buildings in Visby. How are the historical World Heritage buildings currently put to use? What is it about the historical buildings that makes Visby so unique?
We have four set tours:
- Gotland in 3 hours
- The South
- The East
See Gotland through historical and cultural historical glasses!
Gotland Museum is owned by the association: Friends of the Historical Museum. Our County Museum is thus one of the few in Sweden owned by an association! The board is the highest controlling body. The Association employs just under 50 full-time staff, who run operations at our five attractions, work in three consultative departments, work with our collections and archives, take care of the Association’s properties, run a publishers and conduct promotional activities. Director of The Gotland Museum is Susanne Thedéen.
Gotland Museum was established on 22nd May 1875 by The Friends of Gotland’s Historical Museum and was then known as ‘Gotlands Fornsal’ (lit.Gotland’s Hall of Antiquities). ‘Fornsalen’ is the present day name of the cultural historical museum.
The room, today known as the Picture Stone Hall, was taken over in 1880. Today, the Friends of the Historical Museum association own the entire neighbourhood.
The Friends of Gotland’s Historical Museum
The Friends of the Historical Musem association is a non-profit organisation with just over 3,000 members. The committee runs the organisation, and convenes about 8 times a year. About 50-60 members attend the AGM, which is held in April. Other interesting activities include the opening of different exhibitions and the annual New Year’s celebrations on Twelve Days of Christmas.
Join the Association!
Would you like to become a member of the Friends of the Historical Museum Association? For a small membership fee you will be able to enjoy free admission to all our attractions, our annual publication, Gotländskt Arkiv, often with English summaries, and much much more.
Membership Fees 2021
Individual (from 20 years): 400 SEK
Duo (for 2 persons but only one annual publication): 500 SEK
Life-long member: 8000 SEK
You will enjoy:
- Free admission to the Historical and Art Museum, as well as the rural farm museums.
- The annual publication: Gotländskt Arkiv (worth about 300 SEK)
- 10 % discount in the shops at the Historical and Art Museums, in the Museum’s Café & Eatery, on lectures and guided tours and various cultural events.
You will also become a partner in a museum, which promotes and supports our activities. Note that we have to charge postage for the annual publication (50 SEK within Sweden and 130 SEK international post). You are welcome to fetch your copy at the museum.
How to Become a Member
You can purchase your membership directly at the museum cash desk. You can also pay your dues into our bankgiro account: 308-0728. Remember to state your name, address, e-mail address and purpose of your payment. You can also e-mail Agneta Pettersson, who will send you a payment slip.
A Museum for Everyone!
Irrespective of age, sex, disability, ethnic or cultural background, visitors to the museum will enjoy experiences with opportunities to reflect and create.
By gathering, making accessible and spreading knowledge of Gotland’s art, natural and cultural heritage, we nurture and preserve communal memories.
With art and our natural and cultural heritage as a foundation, we are an autonomous arena for democratic discussions and talks. Our aim is to challenge our ingrained thoughts and principles.
We are Gotland’s most frequently visited attraction and we play a leading role in the tourism industry.
Engaged in Museal Joint Projects
We are a central and proactive participant in museal joint projects on Gotland and in the Baltic Regions.
For Your Sake
We are here for your sake. It is for you, your children and everyone else that we run our operations – whether it concerns building preservation, collecting artefacts or arranging exhibitions.
Support the museum
Thank you for supporting our work! There are several ways to do so:
As a member of our association The Friends of Gotland’s Historical Museum you get free admission to our visiting sites, the annual book Gotländskt arkiv (in Swedish) and 10 % discount off events and in our museum shop and restaurant.
Buy something nice from our webshop
Our webshop is aways open and offer a wide range of products from the museum shop in Visby, Gotland.
We are thankful for all donations, big or small. If you wish to make a donation, please contact:
Katarina Stenius, +46(0)498 29 27 07