Sigtuna is a picturesque city from the Viking period, located in Stockholm’s metropolitan region, not that far from its international airport. It is located right by the waters of Lake Malären, which was once an important marine route between Sweden and other nations.

Lake Malaren
House near the lake

Based on what the legend says, Sigtuna was Sweden’s very 1st city. This is where we can find medieval churches, ruins, castles and runes from the Viking era. Whilst visiting Stockholm, I do recommend checking this place as well. Walking on the Sigtuna’s main lane, just like others did 1000 years ago, is something amazing… It is like we have travelled back in time, arriving in some other era.

Sigtuna Foundation

In the distant year of 970, Erik the Victorious, Sweden’s first king, made the decision to build a city from scratch. This city is called Sigtuna. His goal was to establish a kingdom that would be akin to those that already existed throughout Europe.

Erik was definitely ingenious when building the city. By donating land, he was capable of keeping merchants and owners as his allies.

The streets were built abiding by the typical dimensions of the Viking period, like so many others scattered throughout Scandinavia. Another interesting trait is the fact that Sigtuna grew around one main lane, the Stora Gatan. It is believed that having access to water was what justified this situation. This is the oldest street in Sweden.

Even today, the centre has approximately the same size and shape of when it was founded, which is absolutely one of a kind in the country. Another unique trait is that Sigtuna holds the nation’s largest amount of runestones (around 170).


Olof Skötkonung, the son of Erik, succeeded his father as king, and he was the 1st Christian king in Sweden, a belief that he upheld until his death. When Olof started to rule, Sigtuna was still going through the first stages of its development. He aimed to build a grandiose kingdom.

Like the other Christian Kings, he decided to mint coins. And that was how Sweden had its first minted coins, with the 1st appearing in 995.

The first Christian Churches

The construction of the Saint Olaf Church started at the beginning of the 12th century. This stone church is regarded as the oldest in Sweden. Its architecture is quite interesting, since the choir is greater in width and length than the nave itself. Right next to one of the church walls, there are ruins of an old house which can be visited even today.

Saint Olaf Church

A bit later, around 1250, the 1st brick church was built as an initiative of the Dominican Friars. It’s the Mariakyrkan and, since the 16th century, it is the parish church of Sigtuna.


The main square

The main square was established in the 17th century and it was a stopover point for horses and carriages, and also vehicles later on. As we speak, with the increasing number of cars, it became a pedestrian area.

At the end of each August, a fair is held in this spot, the Sigtune Möte. This event finds its inspiration in the year of 1912 and so the vendors are dressed as if they are living in that period. This time of the year should be great to visit Sigtuna.

The city hall


The city hall was built in 1744, and it is the smallest in all Scandinavia. The building was conceived by its mayor.

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