The province of Hälsingland, located between Gävle and Sundsvall, is known throughout Sweden for its one thousand or so ornately decorated farmhouses, seven of which are on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The buildings were constructed during the 1800s by well-to-do farmers who developed a rich tradition of handpainting to adorn their substantial timber homes. The paintings represent a fusion of folk art and the styles favoured by the landed gentry of the time, namely Rococo and Baroque. One particular characteristic of the buildings is the provision of a separate room or outbuilding known as the herrstuga, which was only used for special festivities.

Around fifty farmhouses, including two of the UNESCO-listed structures, are open to the public. There are full details online at W halsingland.se/en/farmhouses-of-halsingland.

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