a museum in the middle of the forest

“Bilkyrkogården”, in Småland, Ryd. A giant car cemetery with an over 50-year history. Road 119 from Hässleholm and of course, we are in Sweden. 

The floor is soft of green moss. The walls are majestic trees that reach the sky. The roof is the rays of the sun rays between the branches. All breathe nostalgia and bygone times!
Here you will find a car cemetery with trucks from the 30’s. Round bulky screens and reminder that it was once a left-hand traffic. The car wreck has slowly broken down and today the sheet is only paper-thin.
Between the seats of an old Chevy, the fern grows lush and the ants wriggle over the seat of the Volkswagen bus which dropped halfway down the moss. Nature is regaining its right, but slowly, slowly slowly.
“Kyrkömosse” (bog) has taken itself from the Småland forest to the government office and as an art exhibition to a beautiful palace in Rome. “Kyrkömosse” leaves no one untouchable, no matter what one thinks.

The man that founded the car cemetery, was Åke Danielsson but he was called “Åke on the Bog”. Åke was born in 1914 and started working as a boy on a farm in Skåne. It was a hard work for long days 7 days a week. 

At the beginning of the 30th, Åke could finally return to Småland. After a few years, Åke bought a little peat bog and a large broad-leaved shovel. He would become a peat manufacturer!

The turf was broken and “enriched” in the stables to become a sought after fertiliser. But the turf was tough and competition increased, so Åke built his own tearmill driven by old end-of-life car engines.

In addition to the peat mill, he even built a house. Not big, at 12 square meter he housed both the kitchen and the bedroom and living room. For isolation, he uses his peat! One can expect to see the house today, as well as the remains of the peat mill.

Life became brighter for many people during the postwar period. Not least the brand with the car dealers and in the mid-20th century, the car became a bit of “every man’s property”. But by hand, the cars got up and many ended up abandoned inbound in the woods.

During this period Åke’s car scrap began to be mentioned. Car crash operations grew and peat breakdown declined. After that, Åke became more and more expert in various models and spare parts from different cars were sought after. Åke was aware of environmental regulations and emptied the cars on oils, batteries and other hazardous substances.

Was it perhaps that Åke without the expectation of it became one of our pioneers in recycling. The car cemetery became more and more popular and the visitors were many!
But Åke grows older and begins to pull down the pace.

In 1974, he buys his last scrap truck and the business now only consists of the sale of spare parts.

Everyone does not appreciate the business and at the end of the 20th century, the municipality decides that all car wrecks on the moss should be cleared and submitted to an authorised recycling industry. A penalty is condemned unless everything is gone within the deadline.

At this time, Åke lived in a body shop and had health problems, and the scratch decision is being thanked for the fact that he has taken care of cars that would otherwise have been in the fields and been environmental barges.

And it’s a bit so it’s when you walk today among the old bodies – awesome!

A strange contrast between a contemporary ruin and the beautiful beauty of the skies. The worms that grow up through a plate of rust look like a lace upholstery.
The sun that breaks through the foliage of the trees as at dawn gives a warm glow over the place.

Allemansrätten (the Swedish law for the right of public access – a very unique law – Sweden the only country that has it) prevails and there is nothing to wander around among the wreckage.
Enjoy the silence and calm, let all parts remain and still be a friend of the environment!

Åke died in November 2000.

Wellies are recommended and be prepared that the mosquitos bite!!!!

“Now famous and later on the junk yard.”
Deyth Banger

Thanks to;
and to Ann Christine@ Leya – that took me there and provided a very tasty picnic.

19 thoughts on “a museum in the middle of the forest

  1. I LOVE this! I would so enjoy wandering among these relics of the past. I’m fascinated with pictures of things that have grown into trees – bicycles, fences etc – as I see where nature can truly reclaim its own space. Thanks for a wonderful post!

    • Thank you for the lovely comment …. It was truly an amazing place … and as you say, nature reclaims it space in a beautiful way and the colors in the metal in all those old cars blends in so well with the greenery. Just lovely and very peaceful.

  2. Such a wonderful informative post and lovely photos – Sue linked to this to explain to me why there were abandoned cars in a forest. And I enjoyed listening to the accompanying song too: brought tears to my eyes.
    Jude xx

  3. Just wonderful, Viveka! I cannot say how much fun I had that day – seeing you two plunging in and out the paths, cars and remnants of a lifetime of collecting. I love this place and I love that you enjoyed it as well!

  4. I did the same as Jude, but I’m afraid I have no soul. If you took me here I’d just cry. It’s depressing. 🙂 🙂 But I do love that song. Feeling good, Vivi?

    • Jo, it’s a beautiful place .. and colors in the metal of all the cars are stunning. Nothing depressing about this place. Really peaceful and the nature embrace you. Yes, a brilliant song. Yes, thanks … feeling pretty good, but my sorry ass don’t like when I sit too long with the blog. Been sore for days, but I will give it a rest now. *smile

  5. Pingback: WPC: Collage | Leya

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