Want to know some of the Viking History that Swedish towns and cities have to offer? If YES, then read below.
Uppsala was a national center of the Svear (“swedes”) kingdom in the Viking age, especially before the Christianization of the country. In Uppsala there was pagan feasts that German church historian Adam of Bremen wrote about. Before I present his text, please note that this was written by a Christian about pagans in the 1070’s. His chronicle is far from non-partisan.
Adam is saying that the pagans/Vikings meet for a sacrificial feast every ninth year. If you were a Christian you could buy yourself free from the blot, the sacrifice. Here is his account, please note that this is my translation of a Modern Swedish translation:
“The sacrifice is being performed in the following way: of every male living being, nine are scarified, their blood pleases the gods.
The bodies are hanged in a grove near the temple. This grove is sacred to the pagans, every tree is regarded to have a divine power as an effect of the bodies death and rotting.
There hangs dogs and horses beside humans, and one of the Christians have told me that he has seen 72 bodies hanging there “
Adam is also telling of a temple called Uppsala, he wrote that it was covered in gold. The “temple” might have been a meeting place where people gathered for ritual feasts, a hall building. And was it really covered in gold?
The present city of Uppsala is from the medieval times, you find the Viking history in Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala). There are burial mounds of approx. 60 meters in diameter and a great museum that tells the history of the place and the age. The museum also displaces Viking and Vendel Era artifacts. You can visit it on a custom tour with us. Enquiry by e-mailing [email protected]
One of the most Viking dense areas in the world. The area around lake Vallentuna is covered by rune stones (at least 27 within 1 kilometer from the lake) and grave fields. There is also one of few preserved Viking councils here, Arkils tingstad. There is also a place called Jarlabanki’s bridge. This Viking causeway was reconstructed in 2005-2006 before the inauguration of Runriket, a Viking attraction area. (runriket.se)
Sweden’s oldest town is Sigtuna and it was found by Vikings. Around year 970, king Erik the Victorious (Segersäll) established a settlement by a bay linked to Lake Mälaren.
Mälaren is the third largest lake in Sweden, 120 kilometers long from Stockholm in the east and towards the west.
Sigtuna was founded as a Christian settlement in a time when Sweden where starting to form as a nation and to become Christian. King Erik formed bonds with the Viking elite by giving them plots in Sigtuna where they could build houses and produce luxury goods.
By forming these alliances King Erik layed the foundation for a Swedish kingdom and his son Olof, king Olof Skötkonung.
In Sigtuna today you find:
- A great museum with many artifacts from the towns Viking and Medieval History.
- 3 amazing church ruins which gives the place a sense of mystery.
- A main street with lovely shops, cafés and restaurants.
- Beautiful wooden houses from the 19th and 18th
Sources: Destination Sigtuna. Destinationsigtuna.se
Anundshög is one of Sweden’s most indcredible Viking age sights and very important in Swedish Viking History. Anundshög is the name of one of place’s huge burial mounds. It and the other graves was situated by an important trade route. Therefore, it was a central meeting place in the Western Mälardalen region. A major Viking assembly meeting where also held here (thing).
The mound is 64 meters in diameter and 9 meters high, making it the largest burial mound in Sweden’s Viking History.
There is also a stunning ship setting in Anundshög.
Sources and tours: anundshog.se