A Brief History

Gotland has always been a natural hub in one of the worlds busiest water, the Baltic Sea, but the island’s journey started 400 million years ago in the Silurian Sea when the animals, corals and plants sank into the sediment that became the limestone platform of modern Gotland. All around the beaches, fossils can be found of plants and animals that thrived here millions of years ago.

People have been living on Gotland for over five thousands years, they came here by boat during the Stone age (around 6000-1800 B.C.).

All around the island you can find graves from the Bronze age (1800-500 B.C.), for example ship tumulus and different cairns.

As a memory of the Iron age (500 B.C. – 1050 B.C.) we have the beautiful picture stones.

During the 12th century Visby, a previous Viking trading station, developed to a leading commercial centre for trade across the Baltic Sea, and one hundred years later had become one of the most important cities of the Hanseatic League. This is when out great stone houses was erected and our many churches was founded, and of course, our beautiful city wall was put up to protect the citizens. Today, the city wall of Visby is one of the best preserved in all of Europe. Visby, was in the Middle Ages, bigger than our Swedish capital Stockholm.

© Region Gotland