The Uppsala Peace Museum
Opening hours: Wednesdays 2 pm to 6 pm, Saturdays 12 am to 4 pm, Sundays 12 am to 4 pm
About the museum
The Peace Museum in Uppsala is Sweden’s first peace museum. It opened its doors in December 2005 and has since welcomed tens of thousands of visitors. The museum prides itself on being a museum of peace. While many museums focused on the topics of peace and war tend to focus more on war than on peace, the Peace Museum firmly believes in the importance of focusing on the concept of peace and how to achieve peace globally.
The museum is located in the Uppsala Castle and dedicated to the memory of Dag Hammarskjöld, Sweden’s first Secretary General of the United Nations, who lived in the castle as a child. Dag Hammarskjöld died in the plane crash in Zambia in 1961, but his legacy of quiet diplomacy and international pace and cooperation still lives on today. United States President John F. Kennedy called Dag Hammarskjöld “the greatest statesman of our century.” He remains the only person to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize posthumously.
In 2009, Sweden celebrated 200 years of peace. It is a remarkably long period of peace, and one of the themes of the exhibition at the museum is how Sweden went from a warring nation to a peaceful country. Few other countries in the world have experienced such a long period of peace, and we hope to raise the question why Sweden has remained peaceful for so long and if there is anything we can learn from Sweden’s history of peace when it comes to creating peace worldwide. Other topics the exhibition covers are the life of Dag Hammarskjöld, Swedish participation in peacekeeping forces all over the world and a general introduction to the concepts of peace, war and democracy. In addition to this, the Peace Museum has displayed a number of temporary exhibits throughout the years, focusing on a wide range of topics such as the lives of Mahatma Gandhi or Anne Frank, the persecution of the Romani people during WWII, sustainable development in South Africa and peace-building and reintegration in post-conflict societies.
The Peace Museum is more than a museum however. We offer schools in Uppsala and neighboring cities the opportunity to come to our museum and learn more about human rights, racism, discrimination, prejudice, moral courage and conflict resolution. Furthermore, we also go out in schools and perform role-playing games with the students. These games are about topics such as how you would run the country if you were a minister, how to handle a nation-wide power outage and how to create sustainable development. Our hope with these activities is to teach youths how to stand up for what they believe in, to make them aware of the issues their generation have to face and to give them the tools needed to solve conflicts, both small and large, peacefully.
Since opening, the museum staff has met with thousands of high school kids in Uppsala and the surrounding region. We hope to have made a difference in these youths’ lives by teaching them about peace building, conflict resolution and how to fight prejudice, discrimination and racism in their everyday lives.