Introduction: A World Heritage on Life and Death

The importance of the Woodland Cemetery for Stockholmers cannot be overestimated. For more than a 100 years, the site has been revered by people facing life’s most difficult passage, dealing with the passing of a beloved relative or friend, or visiting graves and the Remembrance Garden to recall loved ones. But also as a place to visit for reflection or rest, or simply to experience its beauty.

It is a place that inspires many emotions and with its respect for the natural contours of the landscape and the composition of the buildings comforts visitors, reminding us of life’s progress and its cycle.

Since 1994 the cemetery has belonged to all humanity following its listing as a Unesco World Heritage Site, to be preserved for all time.

The following exhibition takes us through the years since the consecration of the cemetery, from the background and the initial decisions, the architects’ own ideas and the long development of the landscaping and service buildings, to the future and coming renovations.

We look back in history to funerals, cremations and burial traditions, and see the site also as a centre for public works projects and remember all the hundreds, even thousands, of cemetery workers and others who have laboured here.

Curators: Eva Larsson, Stockholm City Museum; Karin Söderling, Stockholm Cemeteries Administration/City of Stockholm

Layout and production: OneMotion IMC

Historical photographs: Cemeteries Administration and  City Museum archives; National Centre for Architecture and Design (ArkDes) archives