From an art project to a Monarchy, or How a Swedish Eccentric created the Kingdom of Ladonia

Who among us as a child did not dream of his own country, where special laws and rules will apply, and all residents will be happy? As it turned out, not everyone said goodbye to this utopian dream, and some even managed to bring it to life. Ladonia — a tiny state in the south of Sweden, founded by the artist Lars Vilks, not only exists in reality, but is also ready to grant citizenship to everyone!

From an art project to a Monarchy, or How a Swedish Eccentric created the Kingdom of Ladonia

Despite the fact that the Kingdom of Ladonia is a virtual state and it is not on any political map of the world, it has its own territory, government, population, language, coat of arms, flag and even public holidays. The fantasy of the Swedish cartoonist Larks Vilks turned out to be so realistic that Ladonia has become the dream of thousands of people from different parts of the world and residents of the most prosperous countries seek to obtain its citizenship.

From an art project to a Monarchy, or How a Swedish Eccentric created the Kingdom of Ladonia

The history of the state, whose area is only 1 square kilometer, began in 1980. Lars Vilks-an artist, sculptor and just a creative and extraordinary person, decided to decorate his favorite corner of Sweden — the Kullaberg Nature Reserve with an unusual sculpture. Lars ' creation of stone and wood, which received its own name Nimis, soon appeared in the place chosen by the author, giving rise to an amazing story and numerous misadventures of the creator.

From an art project to a Monarchy, or How a Swedish Eccentric created the Kingdom of Ladonia

The artist spends the decade following the "birth" of Nimis in courts and law offices. He is being tried for illegal construction, damage to a natural monument, vandalism and many other sins. Lars is subject to administrative penalties, fined, acquitted and fined again. His brainchild, Nimis, during this time managed to sell for 1.5 thousand US dollars, partially destroy and restore again.

From an art project to a Monarchy, or How a Swedish Eccentric created the Kingdom of Ladonia

Arx is another brainchild of Lars Vilks

In between court sessions, Lars Vilks visits Kullaberg, which is dear to his heart, and erects another sculpture there-Arx. This is followed by a new wave of accusations and lawsuits. Fortunately, the artist is still left alone — the authorities of Len (an administrative unit of Sweden), an official letter came from higher authorities about the improper management of the entrusted territories. Local officials, realizing that the hype around the reserve brings only problems, moderated their ardor and limited themselves to official letters to Lars, with demands to remove the structures and stop any activity in the protected area.

From an art project to a Monarchy, or How a Swedish Eccentric created the Kingdom of Ladonia

Vilks could not give up the places that had become his native places on the coast of Kullaberg, and on June 2, 1996, the emergence of a new state-a monarchy and the choice of a ruler was announced. The new political unit is located around the sculptures of Nimis and Arx on a piece of coast with an area of only 1 square kilometer. The authorities of Len made one last attempt to curb the artist, but they were too late. Officials accompanied by police arrived at the time of the inauguration of the monarch, which was attended by thousands of tourists from all over the world.

From an art project to a Monarchy, or How a Swedish Eccentric created the Kingdom of Ladonia

This is how Nimis works

Soon after, Lars Vilks won another trial, and his tiny monarchy was visited for the first time by a foreign politician, which forced officials to reduce the pressure on the eccentric. The first official guest of Ladonia was Elisabeth Gerner-Nilsson, the Minister of Culture of Denmark. Despite the fact that the minister was motivated only by curiosity, the visit was regarded as a working trip and another confirmation of the official status of Ladonia.

From an art project to a Monarchy, or How a Swedish Eccentric created the Kingdom of Ladonia

Flag of the Kingdom of Ladonia

It should be noted that the sluggish struggle between the virtual monarchy and the Swedish authorities continues today-due to the lack of precedents in world practice and legislative casuistry, the end of this debate is not yet visible. Meanwhile, the country that is not marked on the maps is living its own life. The ruler of Ladonia since 2011 is Queen Carolina, and the founder himself holds the modest post of Secretary of State under her.

From an art project to a Monarchy, or How a Swedish Eccentric created the Kingdom of Ladonia

Queen Caroline I of Ladonia

In modern Ladonia, there are 2,0007 citizens divided into estates, including 841 noblemen, 125 ministers and at the same time not a single real resident. The citizens of the country represent 50 countries of the world, including our compatriots. Everyone can get citizenship — it is enough for an applicant to fill out an application on the website. All decisions on granting citizenship are made by Secretary of State Wilks, while no fees and duties are charged from those who wish.

From an art project to a Monarchy, or How a Swedish Eccentric created the Kingdom of Ladonia

The currency of Ladonia is Ortug (Ortug)

The state of Ladonia has a coat of arms created personally by Lars, a flag and two whole anthems. The first is a solemn song about rights and freedom, and the second is just the sound made by a stone when falling into the water. The language of the country includes only two words, or rather exclamations: "waaaall" and "help", but in the country it is allowed to use Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, English, German, as well as Latin. The currency of Ladonia is "ortyug", the exchange rate of which is 1 to 1 with the Euro.

From an art project to a Monarchy, or How a Swedish Eccentric created the Kingdom of Ladonia

The state holidays of Ladonia are very peculiar. The citizens of the country celebrate the Day of Madness, the Day of Riots, the Day of Shopping and several other equally strange dates, evenly distributed throughout the year. The most revered days in the monarchy are the Day of the Foundation of Ladonia and the birthdays of the monarch, Nimis and Arx.

Administratively, Ladonia is divided into several counties, the size of which is so small that they can be neglected. The Government of Ladonia officially declares that in the near future the monarchy plans to increase its area. According to Queen Caroline and the Secretary of State, the country is too small to accommodate all the good people.

Keywords: Country | Utopia | Sweden

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