Quick facts about Uppsala

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Quick facts about Uppsala
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Rune stone


First, here are some quick facts about Uppsala. It is the fourth largest city in Sweden with the municipality of Uppsala, as of November 2011, reporting a population of approximately 200,000. Roughly 150,000 of those people live in the city, which developed around the banks of the Fyris River winding through it.

Uppsala is also the home of two universities. And while the city is probably best known for Uppsala University, which was founded in the 15th century, it has been an important place for much longer. By the 6th century, it was already a center for religious and political activity. Heathen kings reigned from Uppsala.

There is a legend that every ninth year the mid-winter sacrifice was held in Gamla Uppsala and that there was once a splendid temple there. People from all the other provinces of the Kingdom of Svea came there in order to sacrifice to the Nordic gods. Today there are royal burial mounds standing as a permanent symbol of its important past. The Aesir cult eventually gave way to Christianity, and Uppsala became the seat of the archbishop for Sweden.

The city boasts having the largest cathedral in Scandinavia, Domkyrkan. The impressive cathedral, along with the pink-colored castle, dominates the city skyline. Read further to gain more insight into Uppsala’s unique history.


Photo: Rune stone located near the University Hall.