Ballard’s Nordic Museum

Ballard’s Nordic Museum

Ballard is one of Seattle’s hippest neighborhoods. It is home to breweries, trendy restaurants, and indie shops. Historically Ballard’s culture is primarily Scandinavian. Ballard still celebrates it’s Scandinavian roots with big festivals. Every May 17th Ballard celebrates Syttende Mai, which includes the largest Syttende Mai parade outside of Norway. Summer festivals of Seafood fest, and Viking days, Fisherman’s Fall Festival and Winter Yulefest. Ballard is also home to the Nordic Museum. A museum full of history and stories.

My grandmother’s family came from Sweden, so this museum made my heart feel like it had a connection to family. It was surprising how many of the Nordic values and ways of life have been passed down and resonate with me.

Start your tour with their traveling exhibit: Vikings Begin.

Warrior Shield

The museum staff and volunteers were a wealth of knowledge.

Your friendly neighborhood Viking
This modern day viking fabricated his own tools to make this chest.
Sharing the steps and his passion with visitors.

Nordic Journeys

This is the Nordic Museum’s permanent exhibit. It is made up of five galleries: Nordic Orientation Gallery, Sense of Place, Nordic Region, Nordic American, and Nordic Perspective forum.

Nordic Orientation Gallery

What does it mean to be Nordic? The different Nordic countries have their own history and character, but they share common values and perspectives. Learn about each country in this gallery before you embark upstairs to the sense of place gallery.

Sense of Place Gallery

The sense of place gallery, located upstairs has seating to view a film full of majestic scenery of the different Nordic regions.

The Nordic Region Gallery

With artifacts and facsimiles from thousands of years ago; a story of how the worshipers of the old gods adopted Christianity in the 12th century unfolds, leading up to the Lutheran reformation, and modern Nordic society.

Facsimile Rune stone Sweden: 1000 AD

Nordic American Gallery

Here you will find information and artifacts on the Nordic Americans, immigration, and way of life.

Folk Costumes remain symbols of Nordic Identity.
Right to left: Norway, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden

Nordic Perspectives

In the Nordic Perspective Forum you learn about the “Nordic Way”. Modern values of openness, social justice, connection to nature, and innovations from these countries. Even our beloved Washington state plans to follow Norway’s example of an electric ferry Norway debuted in 2014, to replace diesel ferries.

It is obvious that there is a lot of passion and dedication that went into this heritage museum. The building design itself creates a sense of place. The exhibits are well done and very informative.

Twittering in the Royal Copenhagen Tree.

When you are finished enjoying the exhibits, have a late lunch that is a fusion of Nordic and PNW cuisine, at their cafe, Freya.


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