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For the fossil crustacean, see Skara (genus).
Skara Cathedral
Coat of arms of Skara
Coat of arms
Skara is located in Sweden
Coordinates: 58°23′N 13°26′E / 58.383°N 13.433°E / 58.383; 13.433Coordinates: 58°23′N 13°26′E / 58.383°N 13.433°E / 58.383; 13.433
Country Sweden
Province Västergötland
County Västra Götaland County
Municipality Skara Municipality
Charter 988
 • Total 7.68 km2 (2.97 sq mi)
Population (31 December 2010)[1]
 • Total 10,841
 • Density 1,411/km2 (3,650/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

Skara is a locality and the seat of Skara Municipality, Västra Götaland County, Sweden with 10,841 inhabitants in 2010.[1] Despite its small size, it is one of the oldest cities in Sweden, and has a long educational and ecclesiastical history. One of Sweden's oldest high schools, Katedralskolan (cathedral school), is situated in Skara. When the new gymnasium was built in 1988, it kept the old name and the old school was named Djäkneskolan. (The word djäkne comes from diakon, meaning deacon or servant of the church.)


Skara is located by the E20 motorway, about 130 km (81 mi) northeast of Gothenburg, in the centre of Västergötland.

The name Skara comes from Skåra or Skarv, which means score. It is believed to refer to the terrain.[citation needed]


According to local legend, Skara was founded in AD 988, making it one of the oldest cities of Sweden. It was one of only two cities in what was to become Västergötland, the other being Lödöse. Skara was the location for the regional assembly, the Thing of all Geats.

With the Christianization of Sweden, around 1000 AD,[2] Skara became the seat for the bishop and a religious centre for the ensuing centuries. There have been bishops of Skara in an unbroken succession to this day.

Many important assemblies were held in Skara in medieval times. Examples include the important Swedish chancellor meeting in 1326. A meeting of Swedish, Danish and Norwegians in 1458, decided upon the later Kalmar Union.

In the ensuing medieval centuries, monasteries and other churches were completed in the town. The first monastery was for the Dominican order, called the monastery of Saint Olaf, opened in 1234; the other was of the Franciscan order, known as Saint Catherine (or Katarina in Swedish), recorded in 1259.

The foundations of the Skara Cathedral are believed to stem from around 1050. The current cathedral was inaugurated in 1150, but findings during the last 50 years show it must be at least a century older. Its current appearance, however, stems from renovations in the 1880s by Helgo Zettervall, who also renovated the Cathedral of Uppsala.

Middle ages[edit]

Medieval artifacts have been found in or near the Skara cathedral. A chalice from bishop Adalvard the Elder, dead in 1064, was found in his grave in the 18th century. For a while the Adalvardskalken was used in the Holy Communion.

Some 44 pages of a book containing texts and hymns of 11th-century Catholic rituals, the Skara Missal, is held and exhibited in Skara.[3]

Other ancient objects have been found during excavations of the monasteries and churches.


There is a branch of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet) in Skara.

Culture and attractions[edit]

There are several music and entertainment artists in Skara, giving it a notable spot among the cities. The Skara Sommarland is a popular amusement park with a reputation well known throughout the nation. Most notable is its water park with water chutes, artificial rafts, etc.

The official museum of Västergötland is in Skara.

Skara Cathedral in central Skara, 2005

Sister cities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Tätorternas landareal, folkmängd och invånare per km2 2005 och 2010" (in Swedish). Statistics Sweden. 14 December 2011. Archived from the original on 10 January 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  2. ^ Alexandra Sanmark: Power and conversion : a comparative study of Christianization in Scandinavia; Uppsala : Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University, Occasional papers in archaeology: 34; p. 85
  3. ^ "Skaramissalet daterat till 1150" (in Swedish). Radio Sweden. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "Radviliskis". Radviliskis. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 

External links[edit]