Uppsala Cathedral (Uppsala domkyrka) is the largest and tallest cathedral in the Nordic countries.
Construction on the cathedral began around 1270, with consecration taking place in 1435. The church towers were added later in the 15th century. The exterior of the medieval cathedral is unknown. The building has undergone several major restaurations. Also, the fact that the church of Sweden became Evangelical Lutheran in the 1500s has had an impact on the appearance of the cathedral.
Uppsala is the see of the Church of Sweden’s archbishop since 1164 and the place where bishops of other dioceses are consecrated and priest and deacons of Uppsala diocese are being ordained. Until 1719 many coronations took place in the cathedral. The cathedral is used for services every day all year round.
Several important persons have been buried in Uppsala Cathedral, among them King Gustav Vasa (Gustav I) and King Johan III (John III) of the 16th century and their queens. Other examples are botanist Carl Linnaeus and his wife Sara Lisa Moraea, scientist and mystic Emanuel Swedenborg and Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Nathan Söderblom.
The cathedral’s attractions include the reliquary of Saint Erik (Sweden’s patron saint), a medieval Saint Anne altarpiece and the 18th century Baroque pulpit. Mary (The Return) by Anders Widoff, the candle trees by Olof Hellström and wooden sculpture tableaux by Eva Spångberg are appreciated examples of modern art in the cathedral.
The Treasury (Skattkammaren) is situated in the cathedral’s north tower and houses one of Europe’s finest collections of medieval church fabrics. Some profane textiles are also on display: Queen Margaret’s golden dress is the world’s only preserved evening gown from the Middle Ages and the Sture garments are the only complete men’s fashion wear that survives from the Renaissance.
Just inside the main entrance, you will find the cathedral gift shop (Katedralbutiken), where you can purchase gifts and souvenirs, CD recordings and tickets for concerts. The cathedral café (Katedralkaféet) run by Uppsala City Mission is located in the building next to the main entrance.
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