Visby Medieval City in Scandinavia

Visby main
Ruins of St. Karin in Visby
Photo by: Swedish National Heritage Board’s, Creative Commons

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Visby stakes its claim to be the best preserved medieval city in Scandinavia. Located in Gotland County in Sweden, this city dates back to the 12th century.

The most notable structure of the city is the stone wall called Ringmuren. Built during the 13th century, it was built around to protect the already flourishing city. Within this perfectly preserved wall are numerous other historical sites worth visiting. These are the Visby Sweden Cathedral, medieval trading houses, 17th and 18th century wooden buildings, the Historical Museum of Gotland, Dominican Monastery of St. Nicholas, and the Botanical Gardens. It is due to the beautiful Botanical Gardens that Visby got the nickname the “City of Roses”.

However, beyond the historical attractions, the numerous events that one can do in the city makes it memorable to its countless visitors. The tourist season peaks in August. It is during this month that the Medeltidsveckan or Medieval Week is held. People, both residents and visitors alike, dress in medieval costumes and take part in events such as a medieval market, jousting tournaments, watching jesters and others.

Shopping is also a favorite activity in the city. There are several shopping districts specializing in different goods. Clothes, shoes, furniture, food and many others are abundant. After a long day of shopping and exploring, one can just pop into any of the town’s cafes for coffee and baked delicacies. Eating out is a very serious past time here as evidenced by the fact that the city has the most restaurants per capita than any other town in Sweden.

All in all, Visby can be best described as a city with a modern heart dressed in medieval attire. This is best witnessed and experienced in the summer when partygoers and merrymakers fill the streets and the many restaurants that surround the city.

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