Tanum is a manucipality in Bohuslän. It is best know for the numerous bronze age and iron age rock carvings (petroglyphs, Swedish: Hällristningsområdet), which were inscribed on the UNESCO cultural heritage list in 1994. In addition, Tanum seaside region is well-known for the small port towns facing a beautiful archipelago, which are popular holiday places.
Tanum consists of several towns, none of which has more than 2,000 inhabitants:
- - a summer tourist seaside resort; scenes from the movie Ronia, the Robber's Daughter were shot in gap at the King's cliff (Kungsklyftan)
- - a seaside locality
- - a harbour town
- - a small coastal locality
- - around Tanumshede many ancient rock carvings have been found
phone: +46 525-61188address: Apoteksvägen 6, Tanumhede
phone: +46 525-338 95address: Gästhamnen, Skolvägen 3, Hamburgsund
phone: +46 525-61188address: Nedre Långgatan 48, Grebbestad
phone: +460525-61188address: Ingrid Bergmans Torg, Fjällbacka
By planeThe closest major airports are Oslo Airport OSL and Landvetter Airport GOT 25 km East of Gothenburg. Trollhättan-Vänersborg Airport THN in Trollhättan serves regional flights.
By trainThere is a direct connection with Västtraffik from Gothenburg to Tanum station several times a day, travel time over 2 hr.
By carThe E6, one of the main traffic routes on the Swedish west coast and the main north-south link between Sweden and Norway, runs through Tanum. From Gothenburg it is about 135 km to Tanum on the E6, and about 160 km from the Norwegian capital Oslo.
By bikeTanum is located along the long-distance EV12 The North Sea Cycle Route.
Rock carvingsThe petroglyphs are located where at that time was the sea shore. Nowadays, due to post-glacial rebound, the sea level is several meters lower in many parts of Scandinavia. Depicted are mainly ships, people (men are characteristic by erect penises, women by long hair), animals (oxes, horses, deer, birds, dogs, geese, snakes, and even a whale), footprints, weapons and cupmarks. Some carvings can be interpreted as scenes, such as hunts, weddings, fights, dances, mournings, celebrations or ceremonials.
Many of the ancient carvings are painted red to highlight the motifs. However, it is not known exactly, whether or not the carvings were highlighted in a similar way at the time of their creation. Experimental archeologists showed, that the fresh rock carvings are lighter than the background rock and contrast sufficiently to be easily spotted and admired. This is not the case for the aged carvings. Those not highlighted by the paint or chalk can be best seen in the morning and evening sun, on a rainy day or at night with artificial illumination from the side. It is demaging for the petroglyphs to touch them or walk on them.
- , only 200 m from the Vitlycke museum. The largest panel contains the "Bridal Couple", one of Bohuslän’s most famous carvings.
- : the most prominent carving is a 2.3-m tall warrior known as the "Spear God".
- : a hill virtually covered with carvings. The main pannel with beautiful and numerous carvings of bulls, warriors and ships, as well as a ploughman, is badly damaged by weathering, and therefore covered in winter. Many other carvings are not highlighted by paint, and therefore more difficult to find.
- : images of people, ships, footprints and animals, as well as cupmarks. Further along the path, at Balken, there are unpainted carvings, including the "Sun Horse".
SkräddöA restplace along the E6 motorway south of Tanumshede with information about the Tanum UNESCO site and the bronze age landscape.
phone: +46 525 295 55This non-fancy museum is a non-commercial institution run by the Scandinavian Society for Prehistoric Art. This is where you can get a very detailed and expert information about the petroglyphs in a wider context, their documentation, registration, protection and preservation. The museum organizes tours, workshops or courses.
Vitlycke museumLocated near the Vitlycke carvings, the small museum contains an audiovisual exposition of the life in Tanum 3000 years ago. The outdoor area includes a reconstruction of a bronze age farm, the way archeologicsts imagine it. A large part of the information center consists of a souvenir shop and a caffeteria with local and organic food and a great view over the Vitlycke site. The information center offers guided tours and bicycle rentals.
Other archaelogical sites
Greby grave fieldIron Age grave field.
phone: +46 523-500 00address: Norra Kajen 1An a la carte restaurant and pizzeria, notable for their lobster dishes.
phone: +46 70-551 30 43address: Falkerödsvägen 8A garden café specialized in pancake dishes.
Restaurang Hertigenphone: +46 525-615 31address: Nedre Långgatan 21
phone: +46 525-338 82address: Strandvägen 8
phone: +46 525-617 18address: Grebbestadbryggan, StrandvägenSpecialized in seafood.
phone: +46 525-299 22address: Brehogsvägen 1A resting stop with gas station by Road E6.
phone: +46 525-101 67address: Nedre Långgatan 28Traditional Swedish cuisine.
phone: +46 525-612 11address: Grebbestad CampingHas guest houses and a camping site.
phone: +46 525-76 50 20address: Galärbacken 2
phone: +46 525 200 02address: Vitlycke 4, TanumshedeCamping site, RV park and huts neighbouring the Vitlycke museum.
phone: +46 525-290 10address: Apoteksvägen 1
phone: +46 525-190 00address: Tanum VFour star spa and conference resort.
phone: +46 523-577 00address: Övre Hogslättsvägen 19In a renovated villa built in 1933.
phone: +46 70-836 29 35address: Skolgatan 2Family owned hostel/hotel.
phone: +46 525-320 01address: Fjällbacka Fyren, Falkev 3, Väderöarna, Fjälllbacka
- Gothenburg - The second largest city in Sweden is on the southern edge of Bohuslän. Follow The E6 ~135 km South.
- Kungälv - Has Bohus Castle, after which Bohuslän is named. Follow the E6 ~115 km South.
- Oslo - The capital of Norway. Follow the E6 ~160 km North.
- Uddevalla - The largest city in Bohuslän. Follow the E6 ~60 km South.