Thursday, January 21, 2010

Birger Jarl Jubilee


This year Sweden is celebrating the 800th anniversary of the birth of Birger Jarl, the man attributed to uniting the kingdom of Sweden and founding its capital Stockholm. Little is known about his life and medieval times, but three regions of Sweden connected to his story are taking the opportunity during this jubilee year to find out more.

Born Birger Magnusson (c. 1210 – 21 October 1266), he was a Swedish statesman, a member of the House of Bjelbo, who played a pivotal role in the consolidation of Sweden while a jarl from 1248 until his death. In addition, he is traditionally attributed to have founded the Swedish capital, Stockholm, around 1250, and several historical structures there are still named after him — including the street Birger Jarlsgatan (on Norrmalm); the tower Birger Jarls Torn and the square Birger Jarls Torg (both on Riddarholmen).

Sverige Radio and Wikipedia; also here for interesting pictures (story in Swedish) of the reconstruction of Birger Jarl's face from his recently discovered skull.

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