Hercules busts, so-called “Schwedenköpfe”

around 1700, oak, height with red colour: 83.7 cm, height with blue colour: 78.5 cm

The wooden busts today symbolise the Swedish Wismar. Two examples made of oak wood have survived and have different colours to show the connection with Mecklenburg (red/white) and Sweden (blue/yellow). They were originally part of a baroque ship’s decoration. Around 1800 a specific hairstyle was understood under the term “Schwedenkopf”: instead of the powdered braided wig the “Schwedenkopf” was worn as short natural hair.

This hairstyle was considered to be a symbol of modernity and intelligence. The Hercules busts also have this hairstyle. That is probably how they became known as “Schwedenköpfe.”


The exhibit refers to:

Mecklenburg until 1945

Look here for the original exhibit:

Stadtgeschichtliches Museum der Hansestadt Wismar

Stadtgeschichtliches Museum der Hansestadt Wismar


Beguinenstraße 4
23966 Wismar