{"center":{"lat":"58.031372","lng":"14.344025"},"id":25942,"visited":false,"current_place":{"icon":"https:\/\/theplacesihavebeen.com\/wordpress\/wp-content\/themes\/tpihb\/markers\/marker.site_ao.2.off.png","name":"A Forest of Mighty Oaks Planted 200 Years Ago for Ships That Were Never Built"}}

Atlas Obscura A Forest of Mighty Oaks Planted 200 Years Ago for Ships That Were Never Built

There is good reason that oak has traditionally been used in shipbuilding. The wood is incredibly strong, and if tended just right, the grain is straight and true. Going back to the Vikings, the slow-growth trees have been used in Sweden for vessels of all kinds, including naval ships. On the lake island of Visingsö there are hundreds of acres of tall and orderly oaks, all planted with an eye to the long game.

It was around 1830, soon after the end of the devastating Napoleonic Wars, and the Swedish Crown sent out a delegation to search for ideal spots to plant for future ship production. Three of those emissaries came to a small croft on Visingsö, a narrow island in the middle of Vättern (Sweden’s second largest lake). Here they spied three magnificent oaks just outside of an old woman’s farmhouse. They took one with them back to Stockholm, and it didn’t take much to convince the Royal Navy that Visingsö had nearly perfect conditions for lumber production. Over the next ten years, 300 000 oak trees were planted.

Keep track of the places you have been, log in.
Audio Guide
Audio Guide
I’m Every Lesbian – Boxholm
en sv
Atlas Obscura 2019
Alvastra Abbey

Discover Alvastra Abbey in Ödeshög V, Sweden: The ruins of a monastery where Saint Bridget of Sweden had her revelations recorded.

Atlas Obscura 2018
The Abandoned Sjö-Gunnarsbo Sanatorium

An empty, deteriorating tuberculosis hospital from the turn of the 20th century.

Atlas Obscura 2022
Börje’s Tie Museum

Discover Börje’s Tie Museum in Ramnaklev, Sweden: Around 9,000 ties call this museum home.

Atlas Obscura 2017
The Mother of Polkagris, Sweden’s Iconic Sweet

Amalia Eriksson created the minty confection at a time when women weren't allowed to own businesses.

Atlas Obscura 2017
Mysterious ‘On the Way’ Sculptures in Sweden

Are they insects? Aliens? Giant cloudberries with legs?

Atlas Obscura 2022
Deutsche Strasse Memorial Stone

Discover Deutsche