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Photographer: Wikimedia Commons

Skogskyrkogården in Enskede in southern Stockholm were created between 1919 and 1940 by the architects Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz. Of pine-covered hill, they built a sacred landscape with several smaller chapels arranged in harmony with nature. The whole plant is considered one of modern architecture’s most important creations.

Skogskyrkogården express a large scale the form of aspirations that characterized Swedish architecture before and after World War II. Modern society is required so both beautiful and functional solutions – something that also concerned the death of resting places. In a major international competition was announced in 1915 for the design of the Southern Cemetery in Stockholm, Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz.

The two architects winning proposals started from the landscape. Lewerentz contribution mainly concerned the landscape and the classically Chapel of the Resurrection was built in the 1926th Asplund devoted himself mainly to the buildings, where the crematorium – which was built in 1934-40 – stands as a central work in both his own and 1930s architecture in general. The architects designed the entire complex, from landscapes to the smallest lamp. Skogskyrkogården was completed in 1940 and the final result can be described as a harmonious unity of nature and architecture.

Architectural commission placed great demands on a variety of useful features – cremation instead of burial was an example the architects.Crematorium with the three ceremonial rooms – Faith, Hope and Holy Cross Chapel – located near the main entrance to Skogskyrkogården. Landscape here is completed by the large granite cross that is freely placed on the grass.Actual chapels are restrained in form but rich in choosing materials with decoration by artists invited by Asplund: Sven Erixson, Bror Hjort, Ivar Johnsson and Otte Sköld. The actual graves are arranged in blocks in the pine forest. There is also a memorial and a monumental mound, and a columbarium in the open, the location of the burial urns.

Visitors Center for World Heritage Skogskyrkogården has free admission and open daily throughout the summer with a bookshop, exhibitions and a cafe.Public tours on Sundays during the season.

Skogskyrkogården was inscribed on World Heritage List in 1994.

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