Monasteries in Sweden

Riseberga Abbey Ruins

Riseberga Abbey was a nunnery founded by the Order of Cistercians around the year 1180. The land property of the abbey was donated by Earl Birger Brosa in 1202. After his death Brosa’s wife, Queen consort Brigida Haraldsdotter, moved to Riseberga and she was one of the most famous nuns in the abbey. Brigida has also buried there. Riseberga became soon very rich and powerful abbey. In the 13th century it owned 224 f ...
Founded: ca. 1180 | Location: Fjugesta, Sweden

Gudsberga Abbey Ruins

Gudsberga Abbey (Gudsberga Kloster) was a Cistercian abbey established in 1486. It was the last Cistercian abbey in Sweden. Gudsberga owned farms, manors, foundries and mines until 1527, when it was reduced to the Crown during Reformation. In 1538 and 1544 King Gustav Vasa ordered to send silver from abbey to Stockholm. It was demolished later. Today some stone foundations remain and there is a museum exhibiting the forg ...
Founded: 1486 | Location: Hedemora, Sweden

Ramundeboda Abbey Ruins

Ramundeboda Abbey belonged to the Hospital Brothers of St. Anthony and was established in the late 1400s. This was the only Antonines monastery in Sweden. After Reformation abbey"s properties were seized in 1527. After that there was an inn until 1800s and the Ramundeboda Church between 1686-1688. The church was moved to Laxå in 1899.
Founded: c. 1475 | Location: Finnerödja, Sweden

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Eketorp Fort

Eketorp is an Iron Age fort in southeastern Öland, which was extensively reconstructed and enlarged in the Middle Ages. Throughout the ages the fortification has served a variety of somewhat differing uses: from defensive ringfort, to medieval safe haven and thence a cavalry garrison. In the 20th century it was further reconstructed to become a heavily visited tourist site and a location for re-enactment of medieval battles. Eketorp is the only one of the 19 known prehistoric fortifications on Öland that has been completely excavated, yielding a total of over 24,000 individual artifacts. The entirety of southern Öland has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Eketorp fortification is often referred to as Eketorp Castle.

The indigenous peoples of the Iron Age constructed the original fortification about 400 AD, a period known to have engendered contact between Öland natives with Romans and other Europeans. The ringfort in that era is thought to have been a gathering place for religious ceremonies and also a place of refuge for the local agricultural community when an outside enemy appeared. The circular design was believed to be chosen because the terrain is so level that attack from any side was equally likely. The original diameter of this circular stone fortification was about 57 metres. In the next century the stone was moved outward to construct a new circular structure of about 80 metres in diameter. At this juncture there were known to be about fifty individual cells or small structures within the fort as a whole. Some of these cells were in the center of the fortified ring, and some were actually built into the wall itself.

In the late 600s AD the ringfort was mysteriously abandoned, and it remained unused until the early 11th century. This 11th century work generally built upon the earlier fort, except that stone interior cells were replaced with timber structures, and a second outer defensive wall was erected.

Presently the fort is used as a tourist site for visitors to Öland to experience a medieval fortification for this region. A museum within the castle walls displays a few of the large number of artefacts retrieved by the National Heritage Board during the major decade long excavation ending in 1974. Inside the fort visitors are greeted by actors in medieval costumes who assume the roles of period artisans and merchants who might have lived there nine centuries earlier. There are also re-enactment scenes of skirmishes and other dramatic events of daily life from the Middle Ages.

Eketorp lies a few kilometers west of Route 136. There is an ample unpaved parking area situated approximately two kilometers west of the paved Öland perimeter highway. There is also a gift shop on site. During peak summer visitation, there are guided tours available. Visitors are assessed an admission charge.