My wife and I are on a mission to visit all the oversized local landmarks throughout Minnesota. This blog chronicles those visits and covers other related topics.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

World's Largest Dala Horse

August 2nd, 2008 - Mora, MN

World's Largest Dala Horse

Well, it may not actually be the World's Largest Dala Horse, but I'll get to that later.

This weekend we had a family party thing with my wife's family at a cabin in the woods near Hinckley. We arrived there Friday evening and set up camp. We were tenting it for the weekend. The party wasn't until Saturday, so we figured we had some time Saturday morning to go and see 2 or 3 Big Stuffs in the area before too many people start showing up. That morning we headed out to Mora.

The Dala horse, or Dalecarlian horse or Dalahäst, is a traditional wooden statuette and toy. It is a symbol of Sweden and, more prominently, a symbol of the Dalarna region of Sweden where it is said to have originated. There is a legend that the Dala horse became the national toy in 1716 after Swedish solders fighting under King Charles XII were forced to seek quarters in homes in the Dalarna region and carved the wooden horses as gifts for their hosts.

World's Largest Dala Horse

Mora, Sweden is at the center of the Dalarna Province and the center of the Dala horse craft. Mora, Minnesota is the sister city of Mora, Sweden. In 1971, the Mora (Minnesota) Jaycees built this giant Dala horse. The plaque below the horse reads:
This is a replica of the Dalecarlian horse, hand carved in Mora, Sweden since the 1840's. It was built by the Mora Jaycees in 1971 and presented to this community as a reminder of their cultural heritage and as a tourist attraction.

This Dala horse is made from fiberglass and stands 22-feet tall, 17-feet long, and 6-feet wide and weighs about 3000 pounds. There is another Dala horse in Minot, ND that appears to be similar in size. I don't have dimensions for that one. There is a Dala horse in Avesta, Sweden that, from what information I've been able to gleam from the internet, is about 13 meters tall, which would be 42.6 feet. That would dwarf the Mora horse. It seems the moniker of "World's Largest" can be a hard thing to shed or say goodbye to, whatever the case may be, once you've been surpassed.


Anonymous said...

I like your article about Dala Horse. There are small, midium and largest sizes of Dala Wooden Horses. Many turists of different countries when they visit Sweden many of them like to buy one piece of Dala Horse to take home as a valuable Swedish craft. Find more..

Anonymous said...

Hey, still a nice try! Probably the second largest. Been in Sweeden recently, and saw the Avesta one. Man, it's a monster (I think it's made of concrete, actually)! Other than that, there are a few others scattered around various municipalities of Dalecarlia, (Mora, Rättvik, etc...) but they are far from reaching yours (they stand around 7-8 ft tall).

Josh said...

I'd really like to see the Avesta one. I've seen some pictures and it must be really impressive in person.

Anonymous said...

I was given a life-size dala horse recently. It was brought in by crane, seeing it weighed over 1000lbs. It came from the Scandinavian Living Center in Newton, Massachusetts. It has murals off New England landmarks painted all over it. An artist signature is on the right front leg. Looks like Asa Buyda. I am looking for info on the horse and possible value. Jay Gaulin 1-508-294-7955