Lapland (World Heritage)

By | August 2, 2021

The natural heritage covers an area of ​​9,400 km² in northern Sweden. According to areacodesexplorer, it is one of the few large areas with largely untouched nature in Europe. The area forms the habitat of the Sami, who have lived nomadically there for millennia. The world heritage includes four national parks and various nature reserves. It was awarded for its species-rich flora and fauna as well as its historical importance for the Sami culture in taiga and tundra.

Lapland: facts

Official title: Arctic cultural landscape of Lapland
Cultural and natural monument: researched by the Swedish botanist Carl von Linné in 1772/73; includes the national parks Padjelanta (appointed 1962), Sarek (appointed 1909), Stora Sjöfallet (appointed 1909) and Muddus (appointed 1941) as well as the nature reserves Sjaunja (appointed 1986) and Stubba (appointed 1996); Total area of ​​national parks and nature reserves 8660 km²; Total area of ​​the world heritage 9400 km²; 7 Saami villages with up to 50,000 reindeer
Continent: Europe
Country: Sweden
Location: Lapland, Northern Sweden
Appointment: 1996
Meaning: Europe’s largest area with almost untouched nature, home of the once nomadic Saami for thousands of years
Flora and fauna: Habitat for 25 mammal species, including Moose, mountain hares, ermines, weasels and lemmings, and a nesting place for over 100 species of birds, including Snow bunting in the alpine meadows, blue jays and golden eagles in the evergreen forest, as well as gyrfalcon, rough-footed buzzard, short-eared owl, goshawk, snowy owl and owl; Occurrence among others golden plover, golden plover and golden plover; large conifer and birch forests, among others Mountain birch forest in Terusdalen (Stora Sjöfallet), also there arctic poppy in bloom yellow, on the Lulep Kierkau (Stor Sjöfallet) occurrence of narrow-leaved arnica and silver arum, dry pine heather forests in the Muddus National Park, there also large lakes such as Muddusjaure, lapplum, and goldenrod Greater celandine, as well as peat moss, cloudberry and dwarf birch on the edges of the bog;

The Alps of the Lord of Linnaeus

“Indeed, it was my first time in the Alps of Lapland. Snow-shrouded mountains surrounded me. As in the harshest winter, I trudged around in the deep snow. All the rare plants that I had seen before and that gave me great pleasure from time to time, I saw here only as tiny plants, but others in such abundance that I was amazed. So I thought to myself that I had found more than I had dreamed of «are a few words that the famous Swedish botanist Carl von Linné wrote down in July 1732 after visiting the Padjelanta region in Lapland.

Other scientists and environmentalists followed in the footsteps of this Swedish botanist, who recognized the importance of the region two centuries after Linnaeus’ “Lappish voyage of discovery” and established the first national park in Europe. The result of these efforts is by far the largest contiguous nature reserve in Scandinavia, a seemingly endless landscape in northern Sweden with an almost intact ecosystem.

Heights of 170 to 2000 m, partly trapped in the eternal ice, determine the landscape profile. In the eastern part of the region the taiga extends with extensive wetlands, forests and lakes. Hundreds of kilometers are covered with almost untouched coniferous forest. Here you will also find the largest contiguous swamp area in Scandinavia. Deep valleys with crystal clear rivers such as the Muddus and the water of cascades such as the “Bridal Veil Waterfall” in the Stora Sjöfallet National Park are just as characteristic of the landscape as the Laitaure Delta, which expands by five meters every year. Ice-covered massifs rise up to 1,800 m into the Nordic sky in the Sarek National Park. Eternal ice like the Sevonius Glacier has frozen into frozen turrets. The expansive Rapa Valley radiates majestic beauty,

Bears, lynxes, wolves and foxes roam the vastness of Lapland. Peregrine falcons, golden eagles and white-tailed eagles find here, like other bird species, undisturbed nesting opportunities far from human access. Whooper swans rise from the damp lowlands, while moose move leisurely, stop and graze in peace.

The Saami people have lived in this region since prehistoric times and have preserved a centuries-old tradition of nomadic life. Traces that are up to 7000 years old, sacred sites, burial grounds, pitfalls and fences are closely linked to reindeer herding, which is still pursued today. For centuries, the nomads of the far north lived exclusively from hunting and fishing. During the Iron Age, beginning in the eighth century BC, they began to keep reindeer herds, which were still quite small. It was not until the 16th century that these herds were significantly enlarged.

The first settlements emerged with the increasing economic importance of reindeer herding. Such a settlement of the Saami consisted of several families, whose common reindeer herding depended on the pastures to be visited depending on the season. In spring their herd was herded into the mountains and in autumn back to the evergreen forest of the lowlands. This resulted in an unsteady way of life for the Saami, who until a few decades ago still lived in tents made of cloth or tent-shaped huts made of round wood and covered with moss and grass. Such dwellings can still be found today on the summer pastures. However, they are only used temporarily, because nobody lives all year round in one of the seven Saami villages in Lapland.

Lapland (World Heritage)