Sweden // The southeast //

Arbetets museum

West along the river on your right is the exceptionally well-presented Arbetets museum, housed in a triangular, yellow-stuccoed factory built in 1917. Known as Strykjärnet (“the iron”) – though its shape and colour are more reminiscent of a wedge of cheese – the building was described by Carl Milles as Europe’s most beautiful factory. The museum has seven floors of exhibitions on living conditions, workers’ rights and day-to-day life in the mills. The most poignant (and the only permanent exhibit) tells the story of Alva Carlsson, who worked in the building for 35 years – a fascinating insight into working-class culture and the role of Swedish women in the first half of the twentieth century.

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