Whether you’re looking for history, nature, culture, good food, or just want to relax on the beach, the town of Visby, on the island of Gotland, has it all. Located in the Baltic Sea, this fairy-tale town is a national treasure. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, characterized as having “outstanding universal value."
This well-preserved medieval Hanseatic town dates back to the 12th century and contains a number of remarkable church ruins from the period, such as St. Clemens, St. Nicolai, and Drottens ruins, or the St. Karin church ruin with its high arches. Visby boasts a number of historic churches as well, including the Sankta Maria Cathedral, built at the end of the 12th century.
Visby also has a well-preserved 3.5-kilometer-long medieval ring wall with many of its original towers from the 1200s still intact. The wall encircles the center of Visby and was originally built for protection against both foreign enemies and Swedish assailants from the countryside. More than 200 buildings and homes dating back to the 12th and 14th centuries can be found along the streets of the town. The Gotland Museum’s Fornsalen (Hall of Antiquities) contains a number of archaeological finds dating back to Viking times. A visit here will help put the town’s long and fascinating history into perspective.
Every summer, Visby celebrates Medieval Week (Medeltidsveckan) with its lively market and entertainment, including music and theatre. All in all, there are some 500 events. It’s the biggest medieval festival in northern Europe and a lively event where people dress up in costumes and recreate life in medieval times. It’s a lively experience for visitors of all ages. With its natural beauty and ancient history, Gotland is a mystical and inspiring place to live that attracts many artists. Their handicrafts are sold in the local Visby shops. Gotland is particularly known for its wonderful ceramics and woolen items. The grey, wool lambskins from local sheep, warm and decorate many Scandinavian homes.