Vintersol celebrates its 50th anniversary
The history of Vintersol rehabilitation center began in the late 1950s when three men with multiple sclerosis found in Tenerife, specifically in the fishing village of Los Cristianos, optimal weather conditions for people with MS.
Los Cristianos main street 1962
It was in 1958 when the pioneers Bengt Rylander, Karl-Erik Jonsson and Alf Henriksson first visited Los Cristianos. They came to the island without any nursing assistant even though they used wheelchairs. The warm weather and the sea bathing made them feel so good that they wanted to give more Swedes the opportunity to visit Tenerife. They informed friends and acquaintances with MS and other diseases and from that point the number of Swedes with physical disabilities increased on the island. Together they decided to rent a house and hire a nursing assistant.
Bengt Rylander at the beach Los Cristianos ca. 1958
The beach El Camisón ca. 1959
The locals called the rented house “Casa Sueca” (The Swedish House). However it wouldn’t take long before they wanted a building of their own in order to accommodate more people with physical disabilities. The entrepreneur of this major project was Bengt Rylander. A Swedish architect was hired and in December 1963 they inaugurated the new house which had ten rooms, a meeting room and a large terrace with sea view. They called the house Vintersol, which in Swedish means “winter sun”. The name Vintersol was transferred to the Foundation, constituted in 1960. The first house that had been built inherited the name “Casa Sueca” and since 1972 SKUT (Swedish Church Abroad) rents it for religious and social activities.
Casa Sueca, 1963
Åke Vännam and Esteban Valentín were photographed where the facilities of Vintersol were going to be built, 1961
When the first stone of Vintersol was laid, February 1963
The opening ceremony of Vintersol, November 16, 1965