- the first city in Sweden, a rich and important trading place that could offer
the rarest goods to long-distance guests and local
Boat to Birka >
Hovgården - The Royal estate to
From here the king ruled over his town Birka on the other side
of the bay.
Birka and Hovgården became a World
Heritage Site in 1993
that the city of Birka existed between the years 750 to
970, but new finds suggest that the place may have
been active much earlier, perhaps as early as the 6th
Hovgården also predates the Viking Age; just an
arrow´s shot west of today's Hovgården is Hovgårdsberg,
with its large burial ground that can be dated to at
least the 7th century.
Birka suddenly ceased to exist at the end of the
10th century, Hovgården continues to be a royal estate
well into the Middle Ages. There, a royal runestone was
erected during the latter part of the 11th century, and
in the 13th century, Alsnöhus Castle was built at the
same site of the previous large hall buildings of the
kings of the Viking Age
and Hovgården are today a shared World Heritage site,
although located on two islands; Birka on the island of
Björkö and, on the opposite side to the north, Hovgården
on the island of Adelsö
Experience the entire World Heritage Site!
I recommend the following excursion:
1) Start on Adelsö with a visit to the ruins of
Birka's royal estate at Hovgården. Close by is also
Adelsö church from the 12th century and a cozy Café.
2) The next stop will be at the
Runestone park on
southern Adelsö where, among other things, the World
Heritage's runestones are naturally depicted. If you
have a car, you can park there.
3) Finally I
take you with me over to Birka.
I give you a short introduction to the site and let you
off with a detailed guide booklet. At Birka you stay as
long as you wish and I will pick you up when you want to
return. The sunset from the cliffs of Borg is a memory
for life (do not forget the picnic basket)!
visitor, you will experience a beautiful and rural
landscape embedded in powerful Viking-era history.
the pastures there are cows and sheep and in the forests
of Birka, among thousands of graves, you experience a
rare calm with fresh air and rich plant and animal life.