Minneapolis has the American Swedish Institute which was started when Swan Turnblad, head of a Swedish immigrant family built a castle like mansion with a Carriage House on Park Avenue in 1908. The Turnblads lived in the gorgeous mansion for 21 years and then in 1929 donated it to the community which then founded the American Swedish Immigrant organization.
The mansion has been maintained and used as a museum and cultural center over the years with many different exhibits and programs year round but Christmas time is always the most special. The mansion alone is a beautiful site to see!
This summer the Nelson Cultural Center opened its doors. It is directly connected to the old mansion and was built with donations from Carl and Leslie Nelson, thus the name Nelson Cultural Center. The new center offers a reception area, café, gallery event center, classroom for crafts and a new museum shop.
This week the King and Queen of Sweden will be in the Twin Cities to dedicate the new Nelson Cultural Center on October 6th. The King and Queen have visited in the past and will surely be back in the future. King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia will be spending unofficial time at the Swedish institute today, October 4th, on the 5th they will travel to Gustavus Adolphus College to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the college by Swedish immigrants in 1862 and then Saturday the 6th they will be back for the Nelson Cultural Center.
Minnesota is very proud of its Swedish heritage and we do our best to preserve it! Who knows, maybe you can catch a glimpse of a real King and Queen about town the next few days!