The forests behind the Hallwyl House
Visitors to the Hallwyl Museum might wonder how Wilhelmina and Walther von Hallwyl could afford to build a large palace right in the middle of Stockholm and fill it with antiquities and valuables.
This is the story of how Wilhelmina’s father, Wilhelm Kempe, came to Sweden from Stralsund, built up a business based on timber and iron from Hälsingland province and lay the foundations for the enormous fortune that was later to be inherited by Wilhelmina, his only child. It is the story of an intensive phase in the forward march of industrialism in Sweden, of business acumen and inherited wealth, and also of class difference and workers’ protests. A successful company needed a lot of manpower and this sometimes meant conflict.