Stora Gatan, or the large street, is a quaint little pedestrian street not unlike many others that can be found in old city centers. However, this street is special because its layout has not changed for nearly a millennium.
Sigtuna was the first true city in Sweden, established by King Erik the Victorious. He wanted to make the city the country’s capital, but this was not an easy task. However, King Erik was a masterful diplomat and excellent at making friends.
Along the Stora Gatan, he divided up the land into plots and gave them away to influential people. They would not live on the land, but would often visit and flaunt their riches. This act drew many merchants and business people to the town.
Over time, it truly became the capital of Sweden, and travelers from all over the world would arrive here with their goods. Underneath the road, archeologists have found items from the Byzantine empire, Asia, and the old Russian empire.
Over the centuries, all of the old buildings except for a few churches have been broken down or were burned during a fire. New houses were constructed and the city evolved, but unlike most places, the main street stayed very much the same.
These days, Sigtuna is no longer the capital but visitors can still experience its old glory beyond the souvenir shops and cafes along this road.
Know Before You Go
Sigtuna is about one hour from Stockholm and can be reached with normal Stockholm public transport tickets.