History of Sweden

During your visit to Sweden and Stockholm, you will discovery many interesting stories from the past. The first humans arrived in Sweden around 8,000 BC, after the end of the ice age. The first Swedes were Stone Age hunters and fishermen who lived near the coast. Then about 500 BC iron was introduced into Sweden. The Iron Age Swedes had contact with the Romans. They sold slaves, furs and amber to Roman merchants. In return the Romans sold them Mediterranean luxuries.
In the 9th century the Norwegians and Danes turned to raiding and invading Western Europe. Improvements in ship design made long distance trade possible. The Swedes crossed the Baltic and travelled along Russian rivers as far as the Byzantine Empire.
By the 9th century Sweden had become one kingdom. In the following centuries the kings` power slowly increased. Swedish King Olof Stokonung became a Christian in 1008, but it took long time before all Swedes were converted. Nevertheless by the middle of the 12th century Sweden had become a firmly Christian country.
In 1157 King Eric led Sweden in a crusade to convert the Finns. A second crusade was launched in 1249. The Russians fought the Swedes for control of Finland. By 1323 Finland was in Swedish hands and remained a province of Sweden until 1809.
Jarl Birger founded the town of Stockholm around 1252. King Vladermar 1250-1275 passed laws which applied to all of Sweden. Finally in 1350 the Swedish king issued a code of laws for the whole country.
In 1388 the Swedish nobles rebelled against the King, Albert of Mecklenburg (1363-1389). They called in Margaret the Regent of Norway. In 1389 her army defeated Albert and captured him. She became ruler of Sweden. In 1397 Margaret's great nephew Erik was crowned king of Sweden, Norway and Denmark in Kalmar. The three countries were temporarily united into one kingdom, called the Union of Kalmar. In 1448 the Swedish nobles chose one of their own, Karl Knuttson, as king and Sweden separated from Denmark and Norway.
From 1470 to 1520 regents ruled Sweden. In 1523 the Union of Kalamar ended completely and Sweden became an independent country.
In the early 16th century the Reformation reached Sweden. In 1593 the Swedish church adopted the Protestantism. In 1544 Gustavus made the Swedish crown hereditary. He decreed that his eldest son would succeed him as king. The Danes and the Swedes went to war in 1563, which was ended by King John III in 1570.
In 1613 Gustavus II Adolphus became king of Sweden. He was known as the lion of the north Although the war with Denmark ended in 1613 Sweden was also at war with Russia and Poland. The war with Russia ended in 1617 but the war with Poland dragged on until 1629. At its end Sweden gained Riga and part of Latvia. Gustavus II Adolphus created an efficient administration and a standing army, which had some of the best artillery in the world. During the period of 1643 and 1660 the Danes and the Swedes had several wars and as a result Sweden was the dominant power in northern Europe.
In the late 17th century Sweden became an absolute monarchy. Sweden and Denmark fought another war in 1672-79. The wars pushed Sweden into debt. In the 1680s land that the crown had given or sold to the nobles was taken back by the king.  The peasants were the kings allies as they feared the nobles would introduce feudalism. Then in 1693, the Riksdag made the Declaration of Sovereignty which recognised the king`s right to rule as he wished.
In 1700 Denmark, Poland and Russia attacked Sweden, starting the Great Northern War. In 1720 Sweden made peace with Denmark, then in 1721, by the treaty of Nystad, Sweden was forced to give up the Baltic provinces and part of Finland to Russia. For Sweden the age of greatness was over.
The age of freedom began. The Riksdag drew up a new constitutional law, which severely restricted the king’s power. During the early and mid 18th century Sweden prospered. The number of peasants who owned their own land greatly increased. Sweden exported vast amounts of iron and tar. In the 1760s the situation deteriorated. Wars with Russia in 1741-43 and Prussia in 1757-62 proved to be extremely expensive for Sweden and led to inflation and financial crisis.
In February 1808 the Russians invaded Finland and quickly overran it. In September 1809 a peace was made with Russia and Finland was lost forever.
In 1810 one of Napoleon's Marshals, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, was elected the new Crown Prince. He took the name Charles John. In April 1812 Charles John formed an alliance with Russia against Napoleon. In 1813 Sweden joined the war against France. At the end of the year Charles John turned on Denmark. At that time the Danish king ruled Norway and Charles John wished to make it his own. In this he succeeded. In January 1814 the Danes surrendered Norway to Sweden.
In 1865 the king agreed to constitutional reform. In 1867 the old Riksdag, which was divided into four estates - nobility, clergy, burghers and peasants - was replaced by a parliament with two houses.
In the late 19th century and early 20th century Sweden was transformed by the industrial revolution. Production of iron and steel boomed and the Swedish engineering industry also flourished. In 1905 Norway became independent from Sweden. Sweden remained neutral during the First World War and in 1921 universal suffrage was introduced into Sweden.
The 1920s were relatively prosperous for Sweden. However in the early 1930s Sweden suffered during the depression. Sweden again remained neutral during World War II. Sweden had maintained a policy of neutrality since 1814 and this policy had served the country well.
In the late 1940s and 1950s a strong welfare state was created in Sweden. Reforms included more generous old age pensions, child allowances and health insurance. In 1974 a new constitution was introduced.  In the late 20th century the Swedish economy changed greatly and service industries became much more important. Manufacturing industry declined in importance so did agriculture.
Today Sweden is a rich country and her people have a high standard of living. Sweden joined the EU on 1 January 1995.

Stockholm City Excursion

Guiding Languages: EN, DE, RU, ES, IT, FR, TR, PT, FI Excursion price includes: guiding, transfers as per program Duration: 4 hrs (3 hrs excursion, 1 hrs free time in town) Price per person per group of: 10 pax


1
days
1
countries
10
objects
65 €
from

New Year Cruise Stockholm - Riga

Enjoy the best celebration for end of the year and beginning of the New Year on board of the ferry STOCKHOLM - RIGA in the Baltic Sea. Enjoy rich New Year dinner buffet with the drinks and amazing night show with live music, karaoke, disco and attractive games..


3
days
2
countries
17
objects
581 €
from

New Year Cruise Stockholm - Tallinn

Enjoy the fun New Year celebration on board of the ferry STOCKHOLM - TALLINN in the Baltic Sea. Enjoy rich New Year dinner buffet with the drinks and amazing night show with live music, karaoke, disco, surprises and different games..


3
days
2
countries
15
objects
601
from

Riga - Stockholm City Break

Weekend is too short period to be fully acquainted with the rich historical and cultural heritage of the Riga and Stockholm, but definitely you will leave with new impressions and experience. Riga and Stockholm truly are one of the most beautiful cities in Europe..


3
days
2
countries
25
objects
610 €
from

Baltic Sea Capital Cruise

The whole Baltic Sea is within your reach! Combine an exciting city break with an eventful cruise on board of luxurious vessels. Discover the uniqueness of the Scandinavian archipelago, the charm of Riga and Tallinn and experience the elegant and relaxed atmosphere on board..


5
days
4
countries
41
objects
734 €
from

Pearls of the Baltic Sea

First class accommodation, award-winning restaurants, world class entertainment, facilities for conferences and a variety of shops are all at your service. Enjoy the services of the cruise ships and stunning cities around the Baltic Sea..


6
days
5
countries
49
objects
1116 €
from

Royal Circle of the Baltic Sea

6 amazing cities of Baltic Sea countries in one tour will give the most colorful and expressive impression of people, culture, traditions and history of the region. Discover the beauty of the Baltic Sea region..


11
days
6
countries
66
objects
1550 €
from