Historic Sites in Sweden

Historic Sites in Sweden


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1. Drottningholm Palace

Drottningholm Palace is a well-preserved royal palace in Sweden, renowned as the “Versailles of Scandinavia”. Since 1981, Drottningholm has been the home of the current royal family. Parts of the Palace are open to the public and fifty minute guided tours of Drottningholm Palace are included in the ticket price.

Amongst the highlights are its restored eighteenth century theatre (the work of Louisa-Ulrika), its gardens and the Chinese pavilion gifted to Gustav III in 1769. In 1991, Drottningholm Palace became a UNESCO World Heritage site.


History of Sweden

From 8,000 BC to 6,000 BC, Sweden as a whole became populated by people who lived by hunting, gathering and fishing, and who used simple stone tools. Dwelling places and graves dating from the Stone Age, lasting until about 1,800 BC, are found today in increasing numbers.

The Bronze Age was marked in the Nordic region – especially in Denmark, but also in Sweden – by a high level of culture, shown by the artifacts found in graves.

After 500 BC, such artifacts become increasingly rare as iron came into more general use. During the early Iron Age, the population of Sweden became settled, and agriculture came to form the basis of the economy and society.


Our Story

An 1851 engraving of Old Swedes Church by John Sartain. Included in Elizabeth Montgomery’s book Reminiscences of Wilmington.

The history of Old Swedes Historic Site dates back to 1638, when Swedish and Finnish settlers arrived on the Kalmar Nyckel and Fogel Grip and established Fort Christina in what is now Wilmington, Delaware. Our site was used as a burial ground for the Fort, but also holds signs of earlier use by the Lenape Native Americans. Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church was constructed 1698-1699 to serve the Swedish community that remained in the English colony of Pennsylvania after Swedish Lutheran missionary Erik Björk arrived in 1697.

Standing the test of time, Old Swedes Church is one of the very few surviving remnants of the New Sweden Colony in the Delaware Valley, and one of the oldest structures in Delaware. It has borne witness to many major events in U.S. history, including the American Revolution, World Wars I & II, and many more. Many individuals significant to local and national history are buried here.

Old Swedes Church and its burial grounds are complemented by the Hendrickson House, dating back to c. 1722. Built by a Swedish-American family in former New Sweden, it originally stood in Ridley Township, Pennsylvania. The House was preserved and relocated to our site in 1960 to serve as a museum, office, and research space.

We invite all to come and discover our story firsthand. Learn more about visiting Old Swedes.


Government of Sweden

Today, Sweden's government is considered a constitutional monarchy and its official name is the Kingdom of Sweden. It has an executive branch made of a chief of state (King Carl XVI Gustaf) and a head of government, which is filled by the prime minister. Sweden also has a legislative branch with a unicameral Parliament whose members are elected by popular vote. The judicial branch is comprised of the Supreme Court and its judges are appointed by the prime minister. Sweden is divided into 21 counties for local administration.


Vikings: The explorers and adventurers of Swedish history

You can’t reflect on Swedish history and culture without touching on one of the most famous aspects: the Viking Age.

This part of Sweden’s history roughly took place between the 9 th and the 11 th centuries and was an exciting time that led to a lot of change.

With Swedish land and resources running out, and the lure of foreign treasures and adventure, Swedish Vikings joined their Scandinavian peers in voyages abroad. They travelled in expertly crafted boats designed specifically for their exploration, allowing them to go further than ever before.

The Swedish Vikings raided and traded in many directions, but one of their famous ventures was when they sailed eastwards, making it as far as Kievan Rus (Russia). This moment in history would have a huge influence on the story and culture of this area.

Looking at the big picture, this era of Swedish history is obviously monumental in that the Vikings introduced Sweden to the rest of the world. They put them on the map, so to speak.

But digging even deeper, its place in the history books is made even more interesting by the shift in religion that took place as a result.


Sigtuna

Situated some 40 miles north of Stockholm, Sigtuna – the oldest town in the country – was founded in the late 10th century and lies on the shores of the lovely Lake Mälaren. History buffs marvel at the town’s many rune stones – the largest collection in all of Sweden – and sites like the 13th-century ruins of St. Lars Church that point to Sigtuna’s history as the first Christian town in the country. Sigtuna’s beautiful town center still echoes its past with narrow medieval streets populated by charming 18th- and 19th-century wooden houses while the beautiful backdrop of Lake Mälaren makes for a perfect boat excursion.


Swedes in Wisconsin

The largest and most significant wave of Swedish immigration to Wisconsin occurred between 1860 and 1890. Almost all came from rural areas in Sweden though once in the U.S., they tended to settle in cities and work as laborers. Wisconsin's first Swedish settlement was along Pine Lake in Waukesha County in 1841 a second emerged along the banks of Lake Koshkonong in 1843. Immigration from Sweden increased significantly following the passage of the Homestead Act of 1862 and crop failures in Sweden in the late 1860s. Wisconsin received its heaviest flow of Swedes between 1880 and 1900 though overall, Swedes constituted a minor part of the state's foreign population. The largest Swedish populations in Wisconsin were in the northwest. Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul were the major urban centers of Swedish settlement.

Wisconsin's Cultural Resources Study Unit, Wisconsin Historical Society


3. Gothenburg

Sweden&rsquos second largest city is known as the most charming city in Europe. The night life is amazing, and the surrounding area is filled with beautiful nature, and the inner city is filled with shopping, cafés, and friendly locals.

Gothenburg is definitely one of the must places to visit in Sweden!


7. The Göta Canal, Gothenburg to Stockholm

The Göta Canal

Often described as Sweden's greatest feat of engineering, the Göta Canal (Göta kanal) dates from the early 19th century and is 190 kilometers in length. It's now one of the country's premier tourist attractions and offers a unique perspective on Sweden's heartland. In addition, by connecting with lakes Vänern and Vättern and the Trollhätte Canal, it forms part of a water link all the way from Stockholm, in the northeast, to Gothenburg, in the southwest.

Featuring 47 bridges and 58 locks the canal stretches from Sjötorp at Lake Vänern to Söderköping on the Baltic Sea. There's a choice of passenger cruise vessels or you can hire a boat and experience the canal in your own way.


History of Sweden

Assorted References

The thick ice cap that covered Sweden during the last glacial period began to recede in the southern region about 14,800 years ago. A few thousand years later the earliest hunters in the region began following migratory paths behind the retreating ice…

In Sweden the Konungaförsäkran (“King’s Assurance”), which was imposed at the accession of the young Gustav II Adolf in 1611 and which formally made him dependent for all important decisions on the Råd (council) and Riksdag (diet), was no hindrance to him and his…

…economic and cultural association with Sweden, the Ålanders claimed the right of self-determination and sought to become part of Sweden when Finland declared its independence in 1917. Finland granted the islands autonomy in 1920 but refused to acknowledge their secession. The League of Nations became mediator of the Åland question,…

…(1818–21), a diplomatic scandal involving Sweden-Norway (then a dual monarchy) and Great Britain. The affair arose over the illegal trading activities of an English company in the Norwegian port of Bodø, where Norwegian officials in 1818 seized a large cargo belonging to the company and arrested one of its owners,…

…bank was that founded in Sweden in 1656 to provide a substitute for Sweden’s copper currency, it issued the first bank notes. Overproduced and not properly secured, they soon lost value. Law’s ambitious scheme for a royal bank in France foundered in 1720 because it was linked to his Louisiana…

The colonial efforts of the Netherlands and Sweden were motivated primarily by commerce. Dutch businessmen formed several colonial monopolies soon after their country gained independence from Spain in the late 16th century. The Dutch West India Company took control of the New Netherland colony

In Sweden it was to the poor gentlemen, a high proportion of its 10,000 nobles, that Charles XI had appealed in his successful promotion of absolutist reforms in the 1680s. After 1718 the same conservative force militated against royal government. The aristocratic reaction of the age…

For example, Sweden had a vigorous nuclear weapons research program for 20 years, from the late 1940s to the late 1960s, before the government decided not to go forward. Switzerland too examined the possibility but did not proceed very far. Even today several technologically advanced countries, such…

…time been true, namely, that Sweden was an evangelical state. The outstanding Swedish reformers were the brothers Olaus and Laurentius Petri. Finland, under Swedish rule, followed suit. The reformer there was Mikael Agricola, called “the father of written Finnish.” The Baltic states of Livonia and

Although contiguous with the Swedish polity, Skåne belonged to Denmark when the Middle Ages began (c. 500). The Danes thus controlled the Baltic–North Sea passageway, and this accounted in large part for Denmark’s great power status. Skåne was coveted by other Baltic powers at least since the 14th century,…

Battles and conflicts

…League, (1788–89), a conspiracy of Swedish and Finnish army officers that undermined the Swedish war effort in the Russo-Swedish War of 1788–90. Shortly after the outbreak of war, 113 officers in the Finnish town of Anjala dispatched a letter to Empress Catherine II the Great of Russia calling for peace…

…battle marked the emergence of Sweden as a great power and the triumph of the new Swedish flexible linear tactics over the old massive infantry formations that had long dominated European warfare.

…called Dacke Rebellion, (1542–43), a Swedish peasant revolt against the autocratic Reformation policies of Gustav I Vasa (ruled 1523–60). Although unsuccessful, the revolt proved a challenge to the King’s centralizing efforts and caused Gustav to moderate his regime.

…Courland to Poland, Estonia to Sweden, and Oesel to Denmark.

…the Novgorod army defeated the Swedes on the banks of the Neva River in honour of this battle the Novgorod commander, Prince Alexander Yaroslavich, received the surname Nevsky. The conflict between the Swedes and the Novgorodians was based largely on Swedish efforts to expand into northwestern Russia and to force…

…Thirty Years’ War, it ended Swedish domination in southern Germany, and it led France to become an active participant in the war.

…Saxony-Poland challenged the supremacy of Sweden in the Baltic area. The war resulted in the decline of Swedish influence and the emergence of Russia as a major power in that region.

The Swedes occupied Karelia, Ingria, Estonia, and Livonia and blocked Russia’s way to the Baltic coast. To dislodge them, Peter took an active part in forming the great alliance, comprising Russia, Saxony, and Denmark–Norway, which started the Northern War in 1700. This war lasted

His competition with Sweden for supremacy in the Baltic broke out into open warfare in 1563, the start of the Seven Years’ War of the North. Frederick hoped to take over Sweden and resurrect the Kalmar Union of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. He was unable to gain any…

…loss of Baltic provinces to Sweden. Christian’s defeat and the Peace of Lübeck in 1629 finished Denmark as a European power, but Sweden’s Gustav II Adolf, having ended a four-year war with Poland, invaded Germany and won many German princes to his anti-Roman Catholic, anti-imperial cause.

Gustav II Adolf of Sweden (1611–32) had spent most of the 1620s at war with Poland, seeking to acquire territory on the southern shore of the Baltic. By the Truce of Altmark (Sept. 26, 1629), with the aid of French and British mediators, Poland made numerous concessions in return…

…French and allied with Saxony, Sweden entered the conflict in 1630, winning commanding victories at Breitenfeld (1631) and Lützen (1632) but suffering defeat at Nördlingen in 1634. This phase of the war was marked by unprecedented brutality for example, in 1631, imperial troops massacred two-thirds of the population of Magdeburg,…

International affairs

Norway

Haakon’s successor was Magnus VII Eriksson, the young son of his daughter, Ingebjørg, and Duke Erik, son of Magnus I of Sweden. The child was also elected to the Swedish crown in 1319, creating a personal union between the two countries that lasted until…

Norwegian independence got no support from the Great Powers, and Sweden attacked Norway in late July 1814. After a brief war of 14 days, Christian resigned. Jean Bernadotte (later known as Charles XIV John called Karl Johan in Sweden and Norway), the Swedish crown…

Austria, Finland, and Sweden suddenly felt politically free to apply for full membership in what soon would become the EU. Norway followed suit, applying for membership in November 1992. In a national referendum in November 1994, however, the Norwegian electorate again rejected the treaty negotiated by the government,…

…union’s king usually resided in Sweden, he was represented in Norway by a governor-general. This gave rise to the governor-general conflict, which was not resolved until 1873, when Sweden yielded to Norway’s main demands. The result was that in Norway the king was regarded as Swedish, and his right to…

…of local opposition to the Swedish rule imposed on Norway, it consisted of the red Danish flag with its white cross, long used in Norway, with the addition of the Norwegian arms (a golden crowned lion holding an ax) in the upper hoist canton. In 1821 the Norwegian parliament developed…

July 1630 saw intervention in Germany’s religious strife from a different quarter—Sweden. In that month the Protestant Swedish king, Gustav II Adolf, landed on the Baltic coast of Pomerania. His purpose was to defend the Protestants against further oppression, to restore the…

…of modern Estonia, came under Swedish rule. Livonia, with its capital, Riga, became a part of Lithuania, while Courland became a hereditary duchy nominally under Lithuanian suzerainty. German law and administration were retained. The nobility and the magistrates of the free cities kept their privileges.

…capitulated to the king of Sweden. The Muscovite tsar Ivan IV (the Terrible) had captured Narva in 1558 and penetrated deep into Estonia, bringing devastation with him, and it was not until 1581 that the Russians were expelled by the Swedes. In 1559 the bishop of Saaremaa had sold the…

In 1561 the Latvian territory was partitioned: Courland, south of the Western Dvina, became an autonomous duchy under the suzerainty of the Lithuanian sovereign, and Livonia north of the river was incorporated into Lithuania. Riga was likewise incorporated into…

…an ombudsman office—the first outside Sweden, its country of origin. The Succession to the Throne Act, which accompanied the 1953 constitution, provides for female succession. This allowed the accession of Queen Margrethe II in 1972.

…in expectation of support from Sweden, the Danish government separated Holstein from the rest of the kingdom and applied a constitution to both Denmark and Schleswig. This “November constitution” effectively meant that Schleswig was annexed to Denmark, in contravention of the agreements of 1851 and 1852.

…of unrest in Finland, and Swedish and Danish raids were made on the area, where Russians and Germans also traded.

…had changed sides from the Swedes to the Habsburgs and had thus been drawn into the struggle on both sides. Residing until 1643 not in Brandenburg, the heartland of his domain, but rather in Königsberg (now Kaliningrad, Russia), the capital of the remote Duchy of Prussia, the Elector at first…

Sweden, which also had acquired an interest in the area, seized northern Estonia. This territorial distribution remained in effect until 1621, when Sweden took the cities of Riga and Jelgava (Mitau, the capital of Courland) and subsequently won all Estonia as well as northern Latvia…

…coalition, led by France and Sweden, tried to support Ottoman integrity. They were backed in that stance by neutral Britain and the Netherlands, who sought to guard the commercial privileges that they had secured from the sultan through the Capitulations by preventing any country from gaining control of the entire…

…to the crown of Lutheran Sweden, and a 10-year succession struggle ensued. His attempts to secure the throne involved Poland in a series of wars with Sweden. Although one of Lithuania’s great military commanders, Jan Karol Chodkiewicz, triumphed at Kirchholm (1605), and the Gdańsk-based navy defeated the Swedish fleet near…

…a short, successful war against Sweden, peaceful. In domestic matters, he returned to the modernizing and standardizing policies of the mid-century. He reorganized the land-tenure system, commerce, and taxation.

…conclusion of the peace with Sweden. Not only did the title aim at identifying the new Russia with European political tradition, but it also bespoke the new conception of rulership and of political authority that Peter wanted to implant: that the sovereign emperor was the head of the state and…

…preoccupied since the 16th century: Sweden, Poland, and Turkey. The policy toward these countries also determined Russian relations with France, Austria, and Great Britain.

Sweden annexed Ingria in 1617 and established fortresses along the Neva River. During the Second Northern War (1700–21), Peter I (the Great), seeking a sea outlet to the west, constructed a fleet on the Svir River (which connects Lakes Onega and Ladoga) and, sailing across…

From 1630, when Sweden and France actively intervened in the war, Spain rapidly lost the initiative. The war was fought on a global scale, in central Europe and from the Philippines to Brazil. Spanish armies could still win tactical victories in Italy and Germany, but the number and…

… in 1655 of Poland by Sweden, Moscow’s adversary but Ukraine’s potential ally (see First Northern War). Khmelnytsky again cast about for new alliances and coalitions involving Sweden, Transylvania, Brandenburg, Moldavia, and Walachia, and there were indications that the hetman planned to sever the Muscovite

Swedes were the first European settlers in Pennsylvania. Traveling up the Delaware from a settlement at the present site of Wilmington, Del., Gov. Johan Printz of the colony of New Sweden established his capital on Tinicum Island (New Gothenborg) in 1643. Other Europeans, primarily the…

Role of

), king of Sweden from 1751 to 1771. He was the son of Christian Augustus (1673–1726), Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp, and of Albertina Frederica of Baden-Durlach.

Petersburg, Russia), Swedish statesman prominent in diplomacy and military affairs.

), the virtual ruler of Sweden from 1248 until his death.

…of the regency councils ruling Sweden during the minorities of the monarchs Christina and Charles XI.

24, 1925, Stockholm), Swedish statesman and pioneer of social democracy whose conciliatory international diplomacy in the first two decades of the 20th century was recognized by the award of the 1921 Nobel Prize for Peace, which he shared with Norwegian diplomat Christian Lous Lange.

…1946, Stockholm, Sweden), king of Sweden from 1973.

…15, 1470, Stockholm), king of Sweden (1448–57, 1464–65, 1467–70), who represented the interests of the commercially oriented, anti-Danish Swedish nobility against the older landowning class of nobles who favoured a union with Denmark. He was twice removed from office by his opponents. His disputed kingdom can be regarded as a…

), virtual ruler of Sweden (1599–1604) and king (1604–11) who reaffirmed Lutheranism as the national religion and pursued an aggressive foreign policy leading to war with Poland (1605) and Denmark (1611).

13, 1660, Gothenburg), king of Sweden who conducted the First Northern War (1655–60) against a coalition eventually embracing Poland, Russia, Brandenburg, the Netherlands, and Denmark. His aim was to establish a unified northern state.

), king of Sweden (1697–1718), an absolute monarch who defended his country for 18 years during the Great Northern War and promoted significant domestic reforms. He launched a disastrous invasion of Russia (1707–09), resulting in the complete collapse of the Swedish armies and the loss of Sweden’s status…

…was elected crown prince of Sweden (1810), becoming regent and then king of Sweden and Norway (1818–44). Active in several Napoleonic campaigns between 1805 and 1809, he subsequently shifted allegiances and formed Swedish alliances with Russia, Great Britain, and Prussia, which defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig (1813).

), king of Sweden and Norway from 1859 to 1872 (called Karl IV in Norway). Succeeding his father, Oscar I, on July 8, 1859, Charles was an intelligent and artistically inclined ruler much liked in both kingdoms. The royal power, however, was considerably reduced during his reign as…

…1689, Rome [Italy]), queen of Sweden (1644–54) who stunned all Europe by abdicating her throne. She subsequently attempted, without success, to gain the crowns of Naples and of Poland. One of the wittiest and most learned women of her age, Christina is best remembered for her lavish sponsorship of the…

…Sweden—died January 16, 1703, Stockholm), Swedish soldier, civil servant, and graphic artist who served with distinction in the Swedish war against Denmark (1675–79) and the Great Northern War (1700–21) and directed fortifications as part of the military rebuilding program of King Charles XI.

…August 16, 1652, Stockholm, Sweden), Swedish statesman and soldier who was mainly responsible for introducing advanced Dutch military methods into Sweden. He commanded the Swedish forces in Russia and against Poland and later served as one of the five regents jointly ruling Sweden during the minority of Queen Christina.

26, 1577, Örbyhus), king of Sweden (1560–68) who expanded the powers of the monarchy and pursued an aggressive foreign policy that led to the Seven Years’ War of the North (1563–70) against Denmark.

…politician and prime minister of Sweden (1946–69). His tenure as prime minister coincided with the years when the Swedish welfare state was most successful and the so-called “Swedish Model” attracted international attention.

…29, 1792, Stockholm), king of Sweden (1771–92), who reasserted the royal power over the Riksdag (parliament).

), Swedish king whose intemperate foreign policy led to his overthrow in a coup d’état (1809) and the loss of the eastern part of Sweden and Finland.

29, 1950, Stockholm), king of Sweden from 1907 to 1950.

…1950 to 1973, the last Swedish monarch to hold real political power after constitutional reforms initiated in 1971.

…[now in Germany]), king of Sweden (1611–32) who laid the foundations of the modern Swedish state and made it a major European power.

…who, as four-time premier of Sweden between 1932 and 1946, led the nation out of the economic depression of the early 1930s, initiated key social-welfare legislation, and helped maintain Sweden’s neutrality during World War II.

17, 1592, Stockholm), king of Sweden (1568–92), a deeply religious ruler who attempted to reconcile the Swedish Lutheran Church with the Catholic leadership in Rome and to revive discarded elements of the Catholic liturgy.

By defeating a Swedish invasion force at the confluence of the Rivers Izhora and Neva (1240), he won the name Nevsky, “of the Neva.”

…8, 1859, Stockholm), king of Sweden and Norway from 1844 to 1859, son of Charles XIV John, formerly the French marshal Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte.

28, 1654, Stockholm), chancellor of Sweden (1612–54), successively under King Gustav II Adolf and Queen Christina. He was noted for his administrative reforms and for his diplomacy and military command during the Thirty Years’ War. He was created a count in 1645.

…Sweden—died July 12, 1702, Stockholm), Swedish statesman who, as the principal foreign policy adviser of King Charles XI, established a virtually neutral foreign policy for Sweden, breaking the existing alliance with France and forming ties with the Netherlands, England, and the Holy Roman Empire.

…1986, Stockholm), prime minister of Sweden (1969–76, 1982–86), prominent leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Workers’ Party (Sveriges Socialdemokratiska Arbetar Partiet), Sweden’s oldest continuing party. He became Sweden’s best-known international politician.

…rare television interview, she denounced Sweden’s weak child pornography laws and called on the Riksdag (parliament) to take action. Many Swedes, even those who agreed with her motivation, questioned whether it was appropriate for the queen to speak out on the issue, especially in light of the Swedish royalty’s status…

…one of the architects of Sweden’s national social-welfare system.

Treaties

…War of 1741–43 by obliging Sweden to cede a strip of southern Finland to Russia and to become temporarily dependent on Russia. As a result of the Great Northern War (Treaty of Nystad, 1721), Sweden had lost Estonia, Livonia, Ingria, and part of Karelia to Russia. In 1741 Sweden reached…

…of Copenhagen, (1660), treaty between Sweden and Denmark-Norway that concluded a generation of warfare between the two powers. Together with the Treaty of Roskilde, the Copenhagen treaty largely fixed the modern boundaries of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

…the hostilities between Denmark and Sweden during the Napoleonic Wars. By the treaty, Denmark ceded Norway to Sweden, thus ending the union initiated in 1380 and further reducing Denmark’s status as a Baltic and European power. By the accession of Norway, Sweden was partially compensated for the loss in 1809…

…(1617), peace settlement concluded between Sweden and Russia ending Sweden’s intervention in Russia’s internal political affairs and blocking Russia from the Baltic Sea. In 1610 Muscovite leaders, faced with a succession crisis, a war with Poland, and peasant uprisings (Time of Troubles, 1606–13), offered the Russian throne to

…hand to conquer Finland from Sweden. Prussia was forced to join the Continental System and close its ports to British trade.

…the Russo-Swedish War begun by Sweden (with British diplomatic support) in 1788. It maintained, in Russia’s favour, the territorial dispositions of 1743. See Åbo, Treaty of.

At first, he sided with Sweden, but, when that failed to secure his objective, he concluded the Treaty of Wehlau with John Casimir, king of Poland. According to the treaty, Frederick William promised to provide Poland with 6,000 troops from Brandenburg for use against Sweden. In return, John Casimir recognized…

On the other hand, Sweden made a separate peace with the emperor. The Stockholm government, still directed by Oxenstierna, was offered half of Pomerania, most of Mecklenburg, and the secularized bishoprics of Bremen and Verden it was to receive a seat in the Imperial Diet and the territories of…


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