Historic city squares, old towns and villages in Sweden

Gamla Stan

Gamla Stan, The Old Town, consists primarily of the island Stadsholmen. The town dates back to the 13th century, and consists of medieval alleyways, cobbled streets, and archaic architecture. North German architecture has had a strong influence in the Old Town's construction. Gamla Stan is one of the best preserved old towns in Northern Europe. The center of Gamla Stan is Stortorget, the scenic large square, which is sur ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Gustav Adolf Square

Gustaf Adolf's square is a located in central Gothenburg. It was named Stortorget (the Big square) until 1854 when a statue was raised over the founding father of Gothenburg, king Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. Surrounding the square you can find Gothenburg City Hall, the law court (by Gunnar Asplund), and the main canal of Gothenburg. The City Hall is designed by Bengt Wilhelm Carlberg and completed in 1759. The former st ...
Founded: | Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

Visby Old Town

The town of Visby in Sweden was in 1995 chosen by UNESCO as one of the World Heritage Sites. The town has a city wall that is 3.4 kilometers long which was built from the 12th-14th century. It was the trading center in The Baltic sea, and a lot of mainly Germans and also people from other countries moved to Visby to be a part of this modern and wealthy and rich town. Visby had two mayors during the Medieval Times, one Got ...
Founded: 12th century to 14th century | Location: Visby, Sweden

Gamla Byn

Gamla Byn is the oldest and well-preserved neighborhood of Avesta village. There were iron forges already in the 14th century. The current industrial environment and old houses dates from the 1630s.
Founded: 1630s | Location: Avesta, Sweden

Norrboda Village

Norrboda is a small historical village. It contains of two farms with total of 30 rural buildings, oldest of them dating from the 17th century.
Founded: 17th century | Location: Rättvik, Sweden

Brunsbo Village

The Brunsbo Storäng a few kilometres from Skara is one of this country's largest medieval haying fields. Once there was a village here and the archaeologists have found traces of farming from the early Iron Age down through the Viking and Middle Ages. The ground was farmed differently in different eras, making it possible to locate cattle trails and ancient monuments. Brunnsbo country estate was acquired by the Skara bi ...
Founded: | Location: Skara, Sweden

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Gruyères Castle

The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.

In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.

The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.

A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.