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This Stockholm cemetery was created between 1917 and 1920 by two young architects, Asplund and Lewerentz, on the site of former gravel pits overgrown with pine trees. The design blends vegetation and architectural elements, taking advantage of irregularities in the site to create a landscape that is finely adapted to its function. It has had a profound influence in many countries of the world.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0


Ce cimetière de Stockholm fut aménagé de 1917 à 1920 par deux jeunes architectes, Asplund et Lewerentz, dans d'anciennes carrières de gravier plantées de pins. La conception associe la végétation aux éléments architecturaux et tire parti des accidents du terrain. Elle crée un paysage en parfaite harmonie avec sa fonction qui a exercé une profonde influence dans de nombreux pays du monde.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

سكوغسكيركو غاردن

تولى ترتيب هذه المقبرة في ستوكهولم من عام 1917 حتى 1920 المهندسان المعماريان اسبلوند ولويرينتس في كسارات قديمة للحصى مزروعة بأشجار الصنوبر. ويجمع تصميم المقبرة بين النباتات والعناصر الهندسية مع الاستفادة من حوادث التربة، ويتجلى في منظر كثير التناغم مع وظيفته التي تركت أثراً بالغاً في عدد من دول العالم.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0



source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Скугсчюркогорден – «Лесное кладбише» в Стокгольме

Это кладбище в Стокгольме возникло в период 1917-1920 гг. по проекту двух молодых архитекторов Асплунда и Леверенца на месте отработанных гравийных карьеров, заросших сосновым лесом. Проект соединил эту растительность с архитектурными формами, используя преимущества неровного рельефа местности для создания ландшафта, оптимально приспособленного к функциональному назначению. Этот памятник оказал большое влияние на деятельность архитекторов во многих странах мира.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0


Este cementerio de Estocolmo fue construido entre 1917 y 1920 por dos jóvenes arquitectos, Asplund y Lewerentz, en antiguas graveras plantadas de pinos. Proyectado para combinar los elementos arquitectónicos con la vegetación y aprovechar perfectamente los accidentes del terreno, el paisaje creado se armoniza perfectamente con la función del sitio. El diseño de Skogskyrkogården ha ejercido una profunda influencia en muchos países del mundo.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0


source: NFUAJ


Deze begraafplaats van Stockholm werd tussen 1917 en 1920 opgericht door de architecten Asplund en Lewerentz, op de plaats waar voormalige grindgroeven overgroeid zijn met pijnbomen. De twee jonge architecten wonnen in 1912 een internationale architectuurwedstrijd voor een nieuwe begraafplaats waarvan het concept duidelijk, eenvoudig en efficiënt moest zijn. Het ontwerp van Asplund en Lewerentz combineert vegetatie en architectonische elementen, door gebruik te maken van de onregelmatigheden van het gebied. Zo werd een landschap gecreëerd dat nauwkeurig is aangepast aan zijn functie. De begraafplaats wordt gekarakteriseerd als romantisch naturalistisch en heeft mede hierdoor grote invloed gehad op ontwerpen in andere landen.

Source: unesco.nl

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Skogskyrkogården © Ko Hon Chiu Vincent
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief Synthesis

Skogskyrkogården, located south of central Stockholm, Sweden, is an outstanding early 20th century cemetery. Its design blends vegetation and architectural elements, taking advantage of irregularities in the site to create a landscape that is finely adapted to its function. In 1912, Stockholm City Council acquired a tract of former gravel pits overgrown with pine trees for the purpose of creating a new cemetery. An international architectural competition for its design was won by two 30 year old Swedish architects, Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz. Work began in 1917 and the formal consecration of Skogskyrkogården (The Woodland Cemetery) and its Woodland Chapel took place in 1920. Additional chapels and service buildings, each designed by Asplund or Lewerentz, were added between 1923 and 1940. Unlike most of its contemporaries, which are reminiscent of well-disciplined English parks, Asplund and Lewerentz’s cemetery design evokes a more primitive imagery. The intervention of footpaths, meandering freely through the woodland, is minimal. Graves are laid out without excessive alignment or regimentation within the forest. Asplund and Lewerentz’s sources were not “high” architecture or landscape design but rather ancient and medieval Nordic burial archetypes.

Skogskyrkogården is an outstanding example of the successful application of the 20th-century concept of architecture wholly integrated into its environment: the chapels and other buildings there would lose much of their meaning if isolated from the landscape for which they were conceived. The Woodland Chapel is intimately integrated into its setting, whilst the impact of the later group of chapels is heightened by the use of their landscape as a background. In both cases, the architecture has a quality of austerity that is appropriate to its function and does not compete with the landscape. The success with which Asplund and Lewerentz integrated natural with artistic and architectural values gives this cemetery an outstanding independent cultural value. Considered to be of the highest artistic quality, Skogskyrkogården has had a profound influence on cemetery design in many countries of the world.

Criterion (ii): The creation of Swedish architects Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz at Skogskyrkogården established a new form of cemetery that has exerted a profound influence on cemetery design throughout the world.

Criterion (iv): The merits of Skogskyrkogården lie in its qualities as an early 20th century landscape and architectural design adapted to a cemetery.


Within the boundaries of the 108.08 ha property are located all the elements necessary to express the Outstanding Universal Value of Skogskyrkogården, including the landscape dominated by a forest of tall pine trees, the Woodland Chapel (1920), the service building designed by Asplund (1923-24), the Chapel of Resurrection designed by Lewerentz (1925), the group of three chapels (Faith, Hope, and the Holy Cross) with common mortuary and crematorium facilities designed by Asplund (1937-1940), the granite cross on the lawn outside the chapels designed by Asplund, and the 4 km-long surrounding granite wall. Its boundaries adequately ensure the complete representation of the features and processes that convey the property’s significance. There is no buffer zone. The property does not suffer unduly from adverse effects of development and/or neglect. A potential threat to the overall experience of the property is the spread of various tree diseases, which can severely damage plantings.


Skogskyrkogården is authentic in its location and setting, forms and designs, materials and substances, spirit and feeling, and use and function. Its buildings and landscape are maintained and restored in accordance with the original design concept, atmosphere, and use and function as a cemetery, and the living material in the pine forest as well as other plantings are carefully regenerated. Every development concerning modern demands on burial service is done with utmost consideration. 

Identified threats and risks to the property include environmental and developmental pressures. The majority of trees at Skogskyrkogården are now near the end of their natural life cycle and the number of pine trees is decreasing. One of the major challenges therefore is replanting the pine forest, including re-creating the characteristic “pillar hall of pine” at the cemetery. Modern demands for accessibility, safety, and technical solutions could also represent a threat to the authenticity of the property, including accessibility for visitors by car and the related need for parking, and maintenance of the property using heavy machinery, which requires different pavement and more space. The Woodland Cemetery is located in an urban environment, which raises risks associated with expansion of the city and exploitation in areas near the property.

Protection and management requirements

Skogskyrkogården’s cultural heritage is protected under the Historic Environment Act (1988:950). The Act of Burials (1990), Planning and Building Act (1987), and Environmental Code (1998) also apply. The property is owned and managed by the Cemeteries Administration of the City of Stockholm, a public body; a formally constituted steering group provides a forum for information, consultation, and regulation of the management of the property, though no formal decisions are taken by this group. The Cemeteries Administration has a management plan for the property (implemented in 2005). Skogskyrkogården is an integrated part of the burial service in Stockholm, and its management and maintenance are financed by burial taxes. The Stockholm City Museum is an important partner in the management and maintenance of Skogskyrkogården, providing it with antiquarian expertise, managing the Visitor Centre, conducting guided tours, and educating visitors about the property.

Issues to be addressed in order to sustain the Outstanding Universal Value of the property over time include defining and protecting the buffer zone and managing the identified environmental and developmental pressures, particularly those related to the tree regeneration program and other restoration programs, which must be continuously upgraded in collaboration with the management council.