Where the Viking Gods lived
According to a legend, Odin had a vision that he would become the father of northern people and the ruler of a majestic land. He went to the north and founded a city which was inhabited by the Suiones. The city was called Uppsala.
Uppsala is one of the oldest cities in the world. Already in VIII centuries AC the people of Suiones lived here. In his lifetime, the city has been the witness for many historic events: Vikings wars, kings grandeur and overthrow& The first Swedish university was founded here, Uppsala cathedral became the last shelter for many politicians and scientists that made their contribution to the countrys history.
Modern Uppsala is a nice and exceptionally beautiful city, and in many ways its life is defined by a large amount of local students. As a historic city, Uppsala has many attractions. Let us name some of them.
Gamla Uppsala can be translated as the Old Uppsala. It was here that the ancient, pre-Christian political centre was established. Here rulers gathered to discuss problems and warriors buried their chieftains. According to legend, the body of Freyr, Odins descendant is buried in this place. After his death, many warriors wanted to be buried in Gamla Uppsala this is how the whole valley of tumuli appeared. Nowadays The Royal Mounds forms a part of Gamla Uppsala museum complex. Another interesting object is the 12th-century Church. This building was preceded by a pagan sanctuary, richly decorated with gold and silver the legend says that sculptures of Odin, Thor and Frey could be found here. However, after the Christian religion was adopted, all the pagan sanctuaries were destroyed. Gamla Uppsala can actually be called one of the few pre-Christian monuments left.
Uppsala castle was constructed during the reign of Gustav Vasa. The king wanted this castle to be located opposite cathedral. It was not only the kings residence, but also a stronghold. Vasas sons did a lot to make the erection even more magnificent, and during the period of 1580-90 many foreign architects worked here. One of the castles bulwarks houses the Gunilla Bel its a gift given by the kings Johan III wife. Twice in its lifetime the castle faced fires, in 1572 and in 1702. The last one was extremely severe there was an utter desolation and after it its stones were even partly used to build the Royal Castle in Stockholm. Part of the castle was restored in 1744, the State hall restored in 1932. In 1980s it became the residence for the University of Uppsala and nowadays there is a lot to see here. The Museum of Arts is one of the castles main attractions.
Among the other citys attractions is the Uppsala Cathedral the largest one in Scandinavia. The cathedral had been built for 175 years and was consecrated only in 1435. Many important Swedish figures are buried here, including Gustav Vasa and Johan III, Nathan Soderblom and Carolus Linnaeus
Uppsala University Library (and its main building Carolina Rediviva, translated as Carolina Revived - after the fire in 1702 it had to be fully restored) contains more than 400.000 million books and is actually the largest book storage in Sweden.
Uppsala Botanical Garden is located right in front of the castle. It was just a regular park when it appeared here in the middle of the 17th century. Nowadays this is a huge park with 10000 of plant species collected from all over the world. Go along the lane, and you will find a greenhouse where unique tropical plants, cactuses, orchids and giant water-lilies grow. Another wonderful botanical garden is called The Linnaeus Garden. Its plants are planted according to the scientists classification there are about 1300 species here.
Finally, make a visit to Wik castle next to the Malaren lake, 20 km from Uppsala. It is adorned with numerous spires and towers and produces an impression of a true fairytale castle. The building is surrounded with a ditch that makes it unassailable for one year, Gustav Vasa tried to conquer it , but never managed to.