In order to explain the history of the city, we need to begin roughly 5 km to the north. This was the site of Uppsala 1,500 years ago, the power centre of the land of the Swedes and an important place of worship. You could sail there via the river Fyris, or the river Sala as it was known in those days. It was an important centre for trade and ‘ting’ gatherings. You can still find the remains of the ‘ting’ site (Tingshögen) here, where the general assembly met and created laws and effected administration of justice.
It was also here that three kings were buried in individual burial mounds in the 6th century. The mounds, with their characteristic hillock shape, are now a symbol of Uppsala.
At the beginning of the 12th century, Sweden was christianized. In 1164, what was then Uppsala was made an archbishopric, and also became the religious centre of Sweden for around 100 years. In the mid 13th century, the city’s cathedral was almost destroyed in a fire. This, and the fact that the land elevation made the river Fyris practically impossible to navigate so far north, resulted in the archbishopric being transferred to the community of Östra Aros, 5 km to the south. In 1286, the new Uppsala was founded. Uppsala became Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala) and Östra Aros became Uppsala. A new cathedral was built and inaugurated in 1435.