Now its time for our summer event. As discussed 30th July.
We will be travelling together with colleagues to the first city of Sweden, Birka in a boat.
Birka the Viking City – managing a World Heritage
It is a UNESCO world heritage site and has rich history. The Birka archaeological site is located on the island Björkö in Lake Mälaren and was occupied in the 9th and 10th centuries. Hovgården is situated on the neighbouring island of Adelsö. Together, they make up an archaeological complex which illustrates the elaborate trading networks of Viking-Age Europe and their influence on the subsequent history of Scandinavia.
We travel by boat from the following location and timings. Note the timings and come atleast 15 minutes before departure. Please dont be late.
We will have lunch together, go through the Viking city and explore the area, talk and walk, similar to what we did during winter and come back the same day in the evening.
More about Birka:
In the mid-700’s, a city was born on Björkö in Lake Mälaren named Birka, a location, which is commonly called Sweden’s first town. It is believed that it was the Swedish King who took the initiative to form the city as part of a desire to control the trade in northern Scandinavia, both politically and economically.
The Swedish King himself was living a few kilometers away, at a place called Hovgården on Adelsö. At that time it was the King’s duty to keep order in the city and protect it from being looted.
Birka – the perfect trading area
Merchants and tradesmen came to Birka with goods from all over Europe and other parts of the world. We know this through archaeological excavations, were they found Arabic silver, beads from Eastern Europe, beautiful glass goblet, ceramics and exclusive fabrics. These goods were traded for exclusive goods that we have here, for example, iron, skins, horns and fur. In the city worked many different kinds of craftsmen like comb makers, blacksmiths, weavers and others. They lived in simple houses that were arranged in rows down towards the docks.
A flourishing Birka for 200 years
During two hundred years Birka was a thriving city and Sweden’s most important place for trade throughout northern Europe. The city had a perfect location because it was centrally located, but also well protected in the Baltic Sea. Birka had about 700-1000 inhabitants, which today can be compared to the Swedish island Visingsö in Lake Vättern.
Birka was abandoned – an era to the grave
The residents of Birka started to abandon the city to move elsewhere after two hundred years. Some may have moved to Sigtuna, Sweden’s next thriving city after Birka. No one knows exactly why Birka was abandoned, but accepted theories is based on political decisions, but also that Birka lost his strategic and easily accessible location through the land rise.