Karta som visar resvägar.

6 March 2020 – 30 December 2020

Towards the continent

Travelling in first class, highlighted the development of travel around the turn of the 20th century. We are also told here about Wilhelmina von Hallwyl’s many journeys that took place in a time that in the light of history can be seen as the exotic golden age of tourism.

The founders of the Hallwyl Museum, Wilhelmina and Walther von Hallwyl, made over 60 trips abroad. During most of the trips, they passed through Switzerland, Walther’s native land. The family made long journeys that resembled expeditions. Often they were away for several months at a time while visiting many different countries.

Walther and Wilhelmina with sons-in-law riding a donkeys, on their way to Ben Hasan in Egypt. Photo: the Hallwyl museum/SHM (Public Domain).

Spain and Greece were then places outside the established travel routes, while Egypt was an early tourist destination. Railways, hotels and all the luxuries demanded by a wealthy Western European were expected as a given. The entrepreneur Thomas Cook was one of the first to organise group social travel, and due to the British colonisation and the construction of the Suez Canal, transport and tourism to more and more countries became possible. And with that, came the rise of fancy hotels and luxury tourism.

A pasta factory in Sicily.
A pasta factory in Sicily. The von Hallwyls visited Sicily in 1888 and bought the picture. Photo: the Hallwyl museum/SHM (Public Domain).

Collecting and remembering were an important part of travelling

The Hallwyl Museum’s unique collections are a result of Wilhelmina von Hallwyl’s work to save and catalogue not only everything in her home but also from their travels. The exhibition featured objects and memorabilia related to the family’s many journeys: suitcases, travel diaries, photographs, postcards, souvenirs, travel clothes and parasols, among many other items. Room by room, a journey through time was presented showing what it was once like to travel first class.

Railway and a train locomotive in the exhibition hall.
A pair of goggles and a fully covering face mask of grey fabric, used when driving an automobile in the early 1900s.
Model airplanes in the the exhibition hall.

Photo: the Hallwyl museum/SHM (Public Domain) and Ola Myrin, SHM (CC BY).

Images from the family's journey hanging up in an exhibition environment.
Photo: Ola Myrin, the Hallwyl Museum/ SHM.


The exhibition was designed by Ulla Kassius.