The dream of a red cottage
There's hardly anything more Swedish than red cottages with white trim. They're all over Småland–by lakes, in forests and on the outskirts of the archipelago. Why not stay in one on your holiday?
There is hardly anything more Swedish than a red cottage with white trim. The red paint originates from the copper mine in the Swedish city Falun and is known as Falu red. It is widely used, not only due to its nice colour, but also for its capacity to protect the house façade. What few know is that the story of the red houses started as a scam.
From as early back as the 16th century, the Falu red was used exclusively by the aristocracy, to imitate more expensive materials. Churches were painted red to look like the gothic cathedrals in Europe, the roof of the Royal Palace in Stockholm was painted red to look like the copper roof of a renaissance palace. This went on until finally, in the middle of the 19th century the red paint was free for anyone, regardless of position, to use. This led to an explosion of red around the farms of Sweden and particularly in Småland. This tradition of red houses with white trim is still very much kept alive today.