Top Historic Sights in Uddevalla, Sweden

Explore the historic highlights of Uddevalla

Uddevalla Church

The Neoclassical Uddevalla Church was built in 1810-1814. The architect was Gustaf af Sillén. It replaced a 17th century stone church on the same site that was largely destroyed by the great fire in the city a few years earlier. The altarpiece is a painting by Frederic Westin.
Founded: 1810-1814 | Location: Uddevalla, Sweden

Dragsmark Abbey Ruins

Dragsmark Abbey was a Premonstratensian canonry, also known as Marieskog in Norwegian. It was founded before 1260, with the support of King Håkon Håkonsson, and was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The abbey was very wealthy in its heyday and ran a prestigious school, but declined during the 15th century, and as early as 1519 was in the control of a lay administrator, the first monastery in Norway to be s ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Uddevalla, Sweden

Bokenäs Old Church

Bokenäs Old Church is one of the most well-preserved medieval churches in Bohuslän. It was founded at some point in the early 12th century, and has been in use since. Except for parts of the interior, the weapon house from the 17th century, and the tower from 1752, most of the church is original. The church is open to the public daily during the summer, and for pre-arranged visits during the rest of the year, du ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Uddevalla, Sweden

Granhogen

Granhogen is one of the largest prehistorical mounds in Bohuslän region. The 30m wide and 3,3m high mound has been dated to Iron Ages, c. 500 AD.
Founded: 500 AD | Location: Uddevalla, Sweden

Dynge Castle Ruins

Dynge Castle, also Dyngehus as it was once called, was a Norwegian fortified castle in use from approximately 1250 and onwards towards the beginning of the 16th century, when it burnt down. Located in central Bohuslän, since then passed into Swedish possession, the castle was mentioned several times in Norwegian records. The site was excavated 1912-1913 by Wilhelm Berg, who had also excavated the contemporary and lar ...
Founded: 1250 | Location: Uddevalla, Sweden

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.