Located around 70 kilometres to the north of Stockholm is Sweden’s fourth largest city, Uppsala, home to Scandinavia’s biggest cathedral and its oldest tertiary education facility. Its proximity to the Swedish capital, as well as the Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, make it an alluring place for locals to settle.
The Fyris River flows through the heart of Uppsala, with its historic cathedral, castle and university buildings situated on the western banks, while the more modern Stora Torget square, pedestrianised shopping streets and Uppsala train station lies to the east. The Uppsala University was founded in 1477 by Archbishop Jakob Ulfsson and is renowned for its 17th century anatomical theatre, set within the Gustavianum building. Today it is open to the public as home to the Museum of Nordic Antiquities, the Victoria Museum that houses Egyptian antiquities and the University's cultural history collections. Alongside stands the elaborate 18th century Archbishop’s Palace, while across the road is the undoubtedly impressive Italian Renaissance University Hall. Since the 12th century, the Uppsala Cathedral has served as Sweden’s ecclesiastical centre, with the present day structure inaugurated in 1435 after the previous one burnt down. Built in the Gothic style, it is one of the largest cathedrals in northern Europe, with its towers soaring almost 120 metres high. Overlooking the historic district is Uppsala Castle, originally built in 1549 by King Gustav Vasa and today housing a regional art museum of note, while alongside is a beautiful botanic garden which pays tribute to 18th century botanist and Uppsala resident Carl Linnaeus.
Uppsala is connected to Stockholm by rail from the main train station just to the east of the city centre, as well as to destinations across Sweden to the north, east and west. Public buses access all corners of the city and its surrounds, although many of the main sights are within an easy walking distance of one another.
Gamla Uppsala, or Old Uppsala, just to the north of the city centre, was where the city was originally founded and emerged as an important pagan centre during Sweden’s pre-Christian years. On the plains where the modern city is situated was where the Battle of Fyrisvellir took place in the late-10th century between King Eric the Victorious and his nephew Styrbjörn the Strong as they fought for the Swedish throne.