Located on the island of Lidingö in the Stockholm Archipelago, Millesgarden is a spectacular sculpture park and art museum created by renowned Swedish sculptor Carl Milles in the terraced gardens of his clifftop house. He built a fanciful mansion at Millesgarden in 1907 and spent many years adding to his sculpture collection before donating it to the Swedish nation in 1936. Milles died in 1955 and is buried there along with his artist wife Olga.
The works are beautifully displayed against an ever-changing backdrop of the sea, with statuary featuring in ornamental pools, on columns and in spouting fountains. Containing many stellar examples of sculpture from medieval to modern, the collection is cleverly interspersed Milles’s own sinuous creations in bronze, including his famous sculpture, Hands of God.
Although the sculpture garden is the premier attraction there, the Milles’s flamboyant, red-roofed family home is also open to the public, where Olga’s paintings are displayed alongside original castings of Carl’s sculpture. The design of the house is eclectic, with Pompeii-influenced frescoes and mosaics in the Red Room, ancient musical instruments in the Music Room and rooms full of valuable antiques. Temporary exhibitions of contemporary art can be found in the Art Gallery and the smaller Anne’s House in the grounds is packed with furniture designed by Austrian-born architect Josef Frank.
Herserudsvägen 32, Lidingö, Stockholm. Open May–Sept daily 11am–5pm; Oct–Apr Tue–Sun 11am–5pm. Admission adults 150 SEK; students 120 SEK; younger than 18 free. Free with the Stockholm Pass. A 30-minute trip from central Stockholm; take the subway to Ropsten, then bus to Torsviks Torg plus a short walk.