Ancient sites in Sweden

Gene Fornby

Gene Fornby is a reconstructed Iron Age settlement. The earliest traces of human activity found in the area date back to the Nordic Bronze Age, but the settlement itself dated back to the Roman Iron Age, from around the years 400-600 AD. The settlement was located just by the waterline of that time, but due to the post-glacial rebound in the area, the waterline is now about 500 meters away from the settlement. Historical ...
Founded: 400-600 AD | Location: Domsjö, Sweden

Valsgärde Burial Ground

Valsgärde or Vallsgärde is the ancient centre of the Swedish kings and of the pagan faith in Sweden. The present farm dates from the 16th century. The farm's notability derives from the presence of a burial site from the Swedish Vendel Age. The first ship burial is from the 6th century and the last graves are from the 11th century. The site was found and excavated by archaeologists in the 1920s, and before this ...
Founded: 500-1000 AD | Location: Grillby, Sweden

Lugnarohögen

Lugnarohögen is a burial mound dating from the late Bronze Ages. The excavation made in 1926-1927 revealed a 8 meter long stone ship in the cairn. Archaeologists also found bones and three small bronze items made in 700-500 BC.
Founded: 700-500 BC | Location: Laholm, Sweden

Domarringen Burial Ground

Domarringen stone circle Skärholmen is a burial site dating from the Bronze Age to Iron Ages. The outer circle was removed in 1960s, but the inner one still exists. The existing circle consists of nine stones and is 12m wide. The outer one was about 50x100m. There are about 80 graves in the area from the 3th century AD to the 8th century. Arcaeologists have found several cheramic items, bones, iron key and bronze jew ...
Founded: 200 - 750 AD | Location: Skärholmen, Sweden

Ivars Kulle

Ivars Kulle (Ivar"s Hill) is a 4m high and 40m wide family grave built probably in the Bronze Age. In 1972 excavation revealed five graves from the mound.
Founded: 1800 - 500 BC | Location: Halmstad, Sweden

Tolarp Dolmen

Tolarp dolmen (passage grave) dates from the Stone Age (2300-1800 BC). In 1926 Folke Hansen found amber jewels, cheramics and other artefacts from the grave.
Founded: 2300-1800 BC | Location: Halmstad, Sweden

Örelid Standing Stones

Örelid burial ground consists of 36 standing stones and four Bronze Age mounds. There are also ancient carvings in one stone.
Founded: 1800-500 BC | Location: Laholm, Sweden

Runnevål Burial Ground

There are 95 mounds Runnevål dating from the Roman Iron Age (400-500 AD).
Founded: 400-500 AD | Location: Kil, Sweden

Fornborg

Fornborg is an ancient hill fortification built probably between 400-600 AD. There is a 310m long, well-preserved stone wall which is up to 2 meters high. The fort had five entrances and there are fragments of a house inside the wall.
Founded: 400-600 AD | Location: Pålsboda, Sweden

Torshögen

Torshögen is one of the largest mounds in Närke. The 15m wide and 3m high mound was probably built in the late Iron Ages (400 - 1050 AD). According a local legend it is a grave of King Tor or Torer.
Founded: 400-1050 AD | Location: Kumla, Sweden

Möckleryd Rock Carvings

There are 140 rock carvings in Möckleryd and it is the largest rock art site in Blekinge dating probably from the Bronze Age. There are mainly boats, horses, people and elks described in carvings.
Founded: 1700-550 BC | Location: Torhamn, Sweden

Skalundahögen

To the west the Skalunda church there is Skalundahögen, the Barrow of Skalunda which is the largest one in Västergötland and one of the larger barrows in Scandinavia. It measures 65 metres across and it is 7 metres high. Next to the barrow there is a stone circle. This suggests that Skalunda was an important village in the Iron Ages. Skalunda was one of the eight royal estates of early medieval Väster ...
Founded: 700 AD | Location: Skalunda, Sweden

Björketorp Runestone

The Björketorp Runestone is part of a grave field which includes menhirs, both solitary and formingstone circles. It is one of the world's tallest runestones measuring 4.2 metres in height, and it forms an imposing sight together with two high uninscribed menhirs. The runes were made in the 6th or the 7th century and in Proto-Norse. It is found on two sides.
Founded: 500-700 AD | Location: Ronneby, Sweden

Järrestad Rock Carvings

There are over 1200 rock carvings near the road from Järrestad to Gladsax. Carvings date from the late Stone Age and Bronze Age and depicts animals, ships, footprints and humans. There are also three mounds from the late Bronze Age.
Founded: 2000 - 1700 BC | Location: Simrishamn, Sweden

Stensätter Hill Fort

Stensättersborgen or Borgberget is a one of the best preserved ancient hill fortifications in Norrland. The 190m high hill has had a 135m long, 4m wide and 2,5m high stone wall. It has not been excavated yet.
Founded: | Location: Bollstabruk, Sweden

Stenehed Grave Field

Stenehed is an Iron Age grave field containing about 45 graves, a stone circle, a stone ship, and a row of menhirs. Originally, there were eleven or twelve menhirs at the site; today, there are nine. The tallest one is 3,3m high. They are placed in a row, according to their heights. In 1980, astronomer Curt Roslund suggested that they form an astronomical calendar, similar to Stonehenge in England.
Founded: 600-400 BC | Location: Hällevadsholm, Sweden

Torsbo Rock Carvings

There are over 100 rock carvings depicting rich and wide variation of themes in Torsbo, including the longest boat carving in Sweden (4,5m). There are also figures of a tree, and several warriors carrying swords. Many of the warriors are depicted as having enlarged calves, a feature that is typical for this area. It cannot be rulled out that several of the carvings were made by the same person. The carvings as a whole hav ...
Founded: 1800-1500 BC | Location: Tanum, Sweden

Haga Dolmen

The Haga dolmen (Hagadösen) is a megalithic dolmen, dating from the Neolithic era. It is located on the island of Orust in Bohuslän, about one kilometre to the east of Tegneby Church. Not far from the dolmen is a second, smaller one, and about 250 metres west of it a large passage grave can be found. The grave consists of four raised stone slabs, with a fifth slab placed as a roof, with an additional thres ...
Founded: 3400 BC | Location: Orust, Sweden

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hagios Demetrios

The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.

The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.

The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.

The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.

Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.

Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.