Skåne (Scania), Sweden's most southerly province, lies between the Kattegat, the Öresund and the Baltic. It has a coastline of some 500km/300mi, fringed by sandy beaches and wooded dunes, with some stretches of rocky coast in the northwest.
The fertile plain of Skåne is Sweden's granary. The northern part of the province is a region of granite and gneiss, forests and gently rolling country.The white farmhouses of Skåne are built on an elongated ground-plan which provides protection from the strong winds blowing over the plain. The grass-covered field walls which were formerly characteristic of the province have frequently had to give way to the requirements of modern traffic; and few of the Hollander windmills and post-mills which were still common at the end of the 19th century now survive.The large Iron Age chambered tombs to be seen in Skåne are a reminder that this area was settled at a very early period. In the Bronze Age roads were constructed across the mud-flats to Denmark; and this, combined with the mild climate, led to a steady increase in the number of settlements. Many Vikings sailed from Skåne on their long voyages to Britain and France. Until the middle of the 17th century Skåne belonged to Denmark, and many towns and buildings were given their particular stamp by Danish bishops, kings, nobles and merchants. Examples of this are the town of Kristianstad and Glimmingehus, a well-preserved early 16th century castle near Simrishamn. Many fine old castles and manor houses have survived and are open to the public. Under the treaty of Roskilde in 1658 Skåne finally became part of Sweden.Towards the end of the medieval period Skåne had established a prosperous economy based on agriculture, fishing (herring), coal-mining, its resources of clay and the brickworks which they supplied.
The traditional costumes of Skåne, with their rich adornment of silver, recall the prosperity of the region in the 16th century, when the inhabitants began to wear finer clothing and jewelry. The styles of that period have largely survived in the various local costumes and in the decoration of furniture.
Birka - Viking Town
Visit the Birka museum and see how the Vikings lived in Birka. Take a guided tour with archaeologists and view the Viking Age remains that are still visible.
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