One of the Sweden`s oldest settlements, Upsala, on the banks of the Fyrisan river, is also a lively university town. On the last day of April crowds of students wearing caps parade through the town for the traditional spring season celebrations.
Dominating the town`s attractive medieval centre is the Domkyrkan, Scandinavia`s largest Gothic cathedral. Its vaults, which date from 1435, contain the relics of Sweden`s patron saint, Saint Erik. The onion-domed Gustavianum, opposite the cathedral, dates from the 1620s and houses the Upsala University Museum. Among the museum`s many exhibits are a 17th-century anatomical theatre and Egyptian, Classical, and Nordic antiquities. Just a short walk away stands the Carolina Rediviva, the impressive university library.
Upsala Slott, the town`s hilltop fortress, was built in the 16th century by King Gustav Vasa, although it was later destroyed by fire. Now restored, it also houses the Upsala Art Museum.
A short bus ride north of the town center, Gamla Upsala is the site of the Kungshogarna, royal burial mounds believed to date from the 6th century. The Historiskt Centrum acquaints visitors with the history, legends, and lore surrounding the burial mounds and contains displays of local archeological finds.