Dr Saedén’s walk
- Tommy Löfgren
Fresh air, nature, and culture. Together, they pave the way to a healthier life. This was the opinion of Dr Carl Viktor Saedén, chief physician at Kroppefjälls Sanatorium, who was not only a doctor but also an imaginative artist with a fascination for Swedish history.
Today, his thoughts on the significance of nature for a patient’s recovery appear incredibly modern. He created a unique environment around the sanatorium where he cared for patients with lung disease in the early 20th century. In harmony with the magic of nature, he had monuments and small facilities built in an Old Norse style. He called all this “our park”. There, he organised theatrical tableaus with historical themes, with both staff and patients taking part. The sites were also dedicated to reflection and contemplation to accelerate recovery.
Wander through the imagination
Over the years, some of the monuments were demolished, but they were later rebuilt. Today, anyone who walks Dr Saedén’s walk, taking part in the thoughts and stories of the monuments, goes on a different sort of time travel in an enriching way.
The walk, which measures about three kilometres, is signposted and passes 22 monuments and small facilities with imaginative names. Anyone who wants to can pass through the Gate of Humility, sit down for a while in Högfjäll Church, or walk across the Bridge over Deep Ravines.
Photographer: Lykke Andersen
Kroppefjäll’s location above Dals Rostock also offers spectacular views of forests, land, and water. Along Dr Saedén’s walk there is a viewing point where a tower once stood in Dr Saedén’s time. From here, as from Brattås at the beginning of the walk, you can see Vänern, Kinnekulle, and the southernmost parts of Halle-Hunneberg.
The wind´s harp
Dr Saedén was interested in the old Nordic sagas. At the beginning of the walk is Vala’s harp. The Vala, or Völva, were Old Norse fortune tellers. It is also called an aeolian harp and consists of hanging logs tuned like a piano. When the forest was not so dense, the wind could play the harp when the logs hit each other. Now, visitors can play the harp using a stick.
Kroppefjäll Sanatorium was closed in 1960. Since then, the area has been used for a number of different activities. Nowadays, the park is privately owned, and the small houses are private residences. But Dr Saedén’s walk lives on and offers its visitors new and unique experiences.
Length of the walk: 2.7 km
Other destinations nearby:
Find Doctor Saedén's walk
Leave road E45 in Mellerud and turn west on road 166 towards Halden / Bäckefors / Ed. After about 8 km turn left towards Dals Rostock. Drive through the community and turn right at the sign "Kroppefjäll". Parking is available at the area around Kroppefjäll B&B.
The culture of Dalsland
Dalsland has a rich cultural life that pulsates through the forests all year round. Maybe it's just the beautiful nature and a promise of a simpler life that attracts so much creativity here. Music, exhibitions, literary events and bread crumbs of arts and crafts to follow all through Dalsland.