Background of Old UppsalaOld Uppsala is situated in the valley of the River Flyris, surrounded by working homesteads on cultivated plains. The story of Old Uppsala, featured in the medieval writings of Adam of Bremen, was described as the last stronghold of paganism.
The center of Uppsala was framed by an enormous temple called the Temple at Uppsala , in it containing magnificent idols of the Æsir gods. The temple was removed during the 11th century when Christianity arrived and a Christian church was constructed on the archaeological site instead. It later became the archbishopric of Sweden from the latter part of the 12th century to the end of the 13th century.
Old Uppsala’s most distinctive feature, although there are many, is the burial mounds amounting to 3000 in number. Many of the mounds have been covered by farmland. Among these mounds are the Royal Mounds, situated in close proximity to the Christian church.
History of Old Uppsala
The site thrived until the Middle Ages, boasting political meetings for the “Ting of the Swedes (general assembly). The general assembly convened annually so that the king could summon individuals to war. Later on during the 13th and 14th centuries Old Uppsala became a significant economic, trade, and religious center.
Archaeology at Old Uppsala
When the West Mound was excavated in 1874, a shaft was dug down to the bottom of the mound. Picture Courtesy of Swedish National Heritage Board