Welcome to explore the history of the Gotlandic people!
Summary In English
Entrance fees during the summer 2023
Adults 120 SEK, children free (up to the age of 18 together with adults)
A guided tour in English or German can be arranged –
please send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The open-air museum at Bunge is a folk museum which shows how the Gotlandic peasants of the past lived. The museum´s creator, schoolteacher Th. Erlandsson (1869 – 1953), moved to Bunge from central Gotland at the end of the 19th century. At that time most of Gotland´s old buildings had already disappeared and he decided to try to save those that remained. Many local people also became interested in this idea and a piece of land was obtained from the Church. It was to this land that old buildings threatened with demolition could be transported.The first buildings arrived in 1908 – a couple of very old houses from Biskops in the parish of Bunge.
The Society of the Bunge Museum was set up in 1909 and the foundations gradually developed into one of Sweden´s most distinguished open-air museums.
The museum is surrounded by an imposing fence called a ”standtun”. As far back as the Iron Age these protective fences shielded the farmers´ holdings on Gotland.Most noticeable is the imposing gateway – a copy of one at Riddare farmstead at Hejnum.
During the Middle Ages gateways like these were erected outside churches, vicarages and the larger farmsteads of northern Gotland.There are many good examples of Gotlandic building traditions inside the museum.
Typical of the island were the timbered post and plank tar-coated houses, in Gotlandic called ”bulhus”. Since the early Middle Ages, these, as single-roomed buildings, would have been the standard type of farmhouse on rural Gotland. Though rare, cross-timbered houses existed and were said to be erected in the ”Swedish style”.
The roofs of the farm buildings were thatched with ”ag” (Cladium Mariscus – a type of sedge growing in Gotland´s marshes) and the roofs of the dwelling houses laid with planks (”falar”) or stone slabs (”flis”).
During the eighteenth century tar-coated timbered buildings gave way to whitewashed limestone houses. Floor construction was improved by lifting the joists to give the houses a dry foundation.In 1757, in order to save the forests, the state granted a 20 year tax-exemption to anybody building their house in stone rather than in wood.
On display at the Bunge Museum are three farmsteads from three different centuries along with the buildings and constructions that were important to the ancillary industries, such as mills, sawmills, limekilns, charringpile for extracting tar etc.