From the very heart of Stockholm, we are moving to a wholly different part of the city in this post. While in a couple of previous posts we were looking at some of the eldest and most noble places around such as the Riddarholm Church, this time we go to nature. The place I tell you about today is located in Bromma, a borough in the western part of Sweden’s capital.
Bromma started its life as a recreational area where Stockholmers used to have their cottages or weekend houses where they would go and relax from their big city lives for a while. There are still reminders of the original purpose of this borough visible today. Perhaps I will tell you where to find these areas some time but that is not the topic of this post. What is the topic, though, is the Judarskogen Nature Preserve (Judarskogens Naturreservat) so let’s get right to it.
The nature preserve around Lake Judarn is essentially an incredibly calm and preserved natural area right in the largest city in Sweden. You can find it only a few dozen metres from Åkeshov where you can easily get by subway and it takes only about 20 minutes from the city centre. The Judarskogen Nature Preserve is not only the first preserve in Stockholm but also the largest one there is.
Since it was founded relatively recently, compared to other city parts, in 1995 it is quite difficult to find reliable information sources which tell us more about the place and why it was founded in the first place. Another aspect is that the preserve is constantly being developed in order to meet higher standards for natural preserves.
One thing is for sure, though. The name of this place has undergone some development during the years and you can, therefore, find different names in different sources including Judarskogen, Judarnskogen and even Ljudarn or Ljudaren. While the name might not be exactly clear it seems that the authorities have a clear vision for the present and, most importantly, the future of the nature preserve. As the official statement says, the objective of the preserve is to ‘preserve and develop biological diversity and ensure that the area can be used for outdoor activities.’
I was not able to confirm the first part of the statement myself but according to available sources, the environment in the preserve is very diverse which supports the diversity of animals living there, too. Especially in the northern part of Judarskogen, in the wetlands, one can observe a large number of species of amphibians including newts and frogs. To further support these creatures, several artificial water reservoirs have been built in addition to the lake which extend the natural habitat for these animals.
As far as human water-related activities go, fishing is allowed in the area assuming one has an appropriate fishing permit. Even if fishing is not quite your thing there are a plenty of other activities you can do at Judarskogen which I mention later in the post.
On the other hand, the southern part of the nature preserve is the habitat of various bird species such as tits and woodpeckers. It is said that sometimes it is even possible to view goshawks there which is just another proof of the quality of the air at Judarskogen since these species only live in areas with fresh enough air.
Apart from nature itself, there are other interesting things to see here. The so-called Russian Wall (Ryssmuren) is a wall that can be found in the eastern part of the preserve. It is more than a kilometre long and around 2 metres high but its origins are surrounded with mystery. Several theories exist that describe when and why the wall was built but it still remains unknown which one, or if any, is true.
One of the theories says that the wall was built in the 18th century during the reign of Karl XII when the Great Nordic War (1700 – 1721) took place and that it was built by Russian war prisoners and hence it is called the Russian Wall. Other theories suggest that it was meant to enclose the cattle near Åkeshofs slott or that it is simply a clearance cairn – stones that were removed from fields to improve the agriculture in the area.
Throughout the nature preserve, you can find boards with information about the place, its history, flora and fauna. Moreover, there are many places where you can relax with or without views of the lake and several barbeque areas ready for you to make something delicious directly in nature.
The destination is also popular among dog owners and active athletes. During winter it is possible to meet cross-country skiers at Judarskogen but you can, of course, also run or go power-walking there. It is important to mention the suitability of this place for lonely thinkers and lovers of Mother Nature in general, too.
Lastly, I would like to point out that the Judarskogen Nature Preserve is a truly beautiful natural area as you can see in the pictures. In my experience, if the journey to this place is planned on a nice day, it can be literally breath-taking. Even more so when you realise that you are still in the largest city around.
In the next post at Trevl, we are going to look at a place very close to Judarskogen Nature Preserve with a story behind it that started hundreds of years ago. Until then, do not forget to check out our Instagram account for a great collection of images from Stockholm and other major cities. To find more places to visit in your free time and to learn more about the places you see every day, get Trevl for Android from Google play.