Culture and history

Nyköping was founded in 1187 and is one of the oldest cities in Sweden. During the 11th Century a runestone was raised to mark the larger settlements but people have been living here since the Bronze Age.

Favourable conditions for trade since the bronze age

Some time during the 11th century, Håmund and Ulv raised a runestone in memory of their father Rolv at Släbro, just northwest of present-day Nyköping. There had already been people living and working in the area since the Bronze Age. The fertile landscape was broken up in various places, then as now, by navigable lakes and rivers that abound in fish, some of these flowing into the Baltic Sea.

So it is not particularly odd that pre-historical people once settled right here. Its protected setting, located farthest in on a bay where the ocean meets the land, must have presented for trade with the fertile upland as well as along the coast.

The Middle Age in Nyköping

In the Middle Ages, kings Birger Jarl and Magnus Ladulås built a castle that became the foundation of what we today call Nyköpingshus. The great event of the Middle Ages in Nyköping was the banquet held here in 1317, when King Birger had his brothers Erik and Valdemar imprisoned after a power struggle that had lasted for years. Today, one of Sweden’s biggest summer dramatic performances take place at the castle every summer in July, in memory of this event.

The 16th Century in Nyköping

When Karl IX was king during the 16th century he thought that the castle was outdated and renovated it to one of the most luxurious castles that could be imagined at that time. The renaissance castle, which was the pride of the city, was burned down in a city fire in 1665. It was later burned down again on 25 July 1719. The whole city, with bridges and harbour moored ships, was burned to the ground by the Russian army. Only the Allhelgona church, western belfry and some small buildings survived.

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