Grafiska Museet Helsingborg

Last Thursday, as our final touristic activity of the summer in Europe, Oliver and I took the train north from Malmö to Helsingborg to visit the Grafiska Museet – the “graphics museum” – located on the grounds of the Fredriksdal Museums and Gardens.


Grafiska Museet turned out to be a compact by well-resourced museum of letterpress printing, complete with a nice collection of presses, a solid collection of metal and wood type, and, on the second floor, an uncommonly well-designed set of exhibits offering an introduction to printing.




There was, alas, no actual printing happening on the day of our visit – a guide explained that the printers are all pensioners of indefinite schedule – but this was more than made up for by an enthusiastic and thorough demonstration of the Intertype type-casting machine by one of the nicest museum guides I’ve come across.


He cast Oliver his first name in both regular and bold, trimmed the result and wrapped it in masking tape (so as to reduce the lead-poisoning potential), all the while opening hatches and flipping switches to show us how the machine magically turns molten lead into cast type.

While we came for the museum specifically, we were pleasantly surprised to find that Fredriksdal Museums and Gardens itself made for an interesting additional visit: I’m not a “formal gardens” person, but even I was wowed by the breadth and complexity of what they’ve created on this site, from spice gardens to maple orchard, flower gardens to fruit trees, we spent an additional couple of hours wandering the grounds.

If you happen to find yourself in a group mixed between print-o-philes and regular everyday people, a visit to Fredriksal is an excellent choice, as you’ll both be catered to. Take the train from Malmö (or the train and then ferry from Copenhagen) and then catch a city or regional bus from the train station to the site (search schedules for route to “Gisela Trapps v. 1”): it’s about 10 minutes from downtown. There’s a serviceable café surrounded by a lovely outdoor eating area where you can grab a snack or lunch, and you could easily spend an entire day wandering around.