The Birka

The Birka

The small town of Birka is 30 kilometers away from Stockholm. Birka used to be a medieval Viking city, on Bjorko island in lake Malaren. Birka was an important trading center that traded goods from Scandinavia, Central and Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. Together with Hovgarden from Adelso island, Birka represents an archeological complex that depicts the trade networks of Scandinavian Vikings and their impact on Europe’s history. In 1993, Birka was listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Birka was founded in the 8th century, and it soon became an important trading center for luxurious decorative items. Craftsmen exchanged their items for fur and steel with local traders, and they traded Arabic jewelry and cloth. It all came through the Rhine, the Baltic, and the North Sea. History says that Birka had 700 citizens, while during the trading days that number went up to 3.000.
Around the year 960, Birka became abandoned city when the city of Sigtuna took over the trading role.

Author of the article

Maja Glavaš, tour guide
Contact: [email protected]; instagram: travel_europe1

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