Home » Sweden » History

Sweden History

Many tourists from English-speaking countries wonder where they can see real Vikings. Unfortunately, they have not been around for a thousand years. "Viking" is not the name of a separate tribe or nation - it is simply a word meaning "sailor" or "navigator of the fjords" . Some Swedish, Norwegian and Danish men (and in a few cases women) gave up farming or fishing to join expeditions of trade, exploration and piracy, reaching as far as present-day Canada, Morocco and the Caspian Sea. As the pagan Scandinavians were christened around AD 1000, the Viking raids declined. There are still traces from the Viking age, such as runestones and burial mounds, everywhere in Sweden. Some good places to see Viking artifacts are The Museum of National Antiquities >in Stockholm, Gamla Uppsala in and Birka and Adelso just west of Stockholm.

The Viking heritage has been contorted through history - romanticized during the 19th century, abused by neo-Nazis, but more truthfully re-enacted by neo-pagans and live-action roleplayers. Most Swedes are proud of their Viking roots, though they don't take it very seriously.

Source: Wikitravel.org