Three summers ago we visited a place not too far from Halmstad that I happened to catch in a documentary earlier in the year. The place is called Landonia and it is an “independent” nation within the borders of Sweden. Landonia is the creation of artist/provocateur Lars Vilks: He is the Swedish cartoonist who infamously drew some unflattering cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed which inflamed the already inflammable Muslim world. For a time he had to sleep in a different house each night because of a price put on his head. At any rate, Landonia lies about 60 miles south of Halmstad in a spectacular nature preserve. Vilks and the Swedish authorities have kind of a frosty relationship because even though Landonia is not mentioned on any map or tourist brochure for the area, it is the largest source of tourism in the area.
This is still a working farm, I believe, though mostly a cafe for tourists on the way to or back from Landonia. The buildings date from the 1600s.
To get to Landonia takes about a 45 minute walk down rocky trails to the water’s edge but once you get there it is all worth it.
That is Mariette’s son John at the bottom. The structures here are built entirely from driftwood and nailed together in such a way as to cause maximum damage to chain saws should the authorities try and take them down. There have been numerous court actions against Vilks by the government but he mostly wins. The government did win one case dealing with a sculpture that he was ordered to get rid of. He proposed that in honor of the centennial celebration of the death of Alfred Nobel that he blow up the sculpture with a 100 kilos of dynamite. His proposal was not accepted and the Modern Museum in Stockholm acquired the piece.
Here I am with Mariette’s uncle at the entrance to Landonia.
As luck would have it we ran into Lars Vilks himself who graciously chatted and posed for a photo.
Mariette’s cousin Helena coming down the entrance.
Here is a better shot of her up in one of the towers. Really a super person. (Actually that could be said of her whole family.)
Mariette hanging out.
John, me and Helena atop one of the towers. It is a little shakier than it looks.
You can see from this photo that it is quite a steep climb in or out. Of course you can approach by boat and save the climb.
Landonia’s Twin Towers. Muslims want to take them down, too, but for different reasons.
These must have been build when driftwood was in short supply.
Anyway, if you think this must have been a great day trip, you are 100% right. We hope to get back there this summer again.