The History of Arboga

Arboga and the surrounding area boast a number of important historical sites from events which have influenced the entire country at various times during the last 1000 years. Settlements in Arboga date from as far back as the Stone Age and there are several historical sites revealing remains from various periods in Arboga’s history in the surrounding area.

Götlunda (10km from Arboga) has remaines from the 11th Century which features a rune stone called Kung Sigges sten (King Sigge’s stone). Between Arboga and Götlunda is the ancient castle Halvardsborg, which is one of three in the parish of Götlunda. Arboga’s town centre was already developing into a busy community in the 11th Century, with the first of five churches, St Nikolai’s, being completed 100 years later.


An exciting period in Arboga’s history was when the Franciscan monks settled here during the 13th Century; Gråbröderna (the grey brotherhood), as there were called, were known for participating in communities which they thought had the potential to expand and develop. This was true of Arboga and the town owes a lot to the work of the monks, e.g. the monastery they built which later became the church of the Holy Trinity in Arboga. The monks also tended to the poor and the sick as well as teaching reading skills to children. There are many stories of an old network of underground passages in which the monks could move around the town in secret. The monks stayed in Arboga until the 16th Century, when King Gustav Vasa broke with the Roman Catholic Church, took over all the monasteries and drove the monks out of Sweden.


Arboga was an influential town during the middle ages; the Arboga River gave the town a trade route to Stockholm and the rest of the world. The iron ore trade was also an important commodity during Arboga’s history, where it was weighed and stored at Ladbron. 

Unfortunately the trade route was discontinued after construction was completed on the Hjälmarkanal (Hjälmar Canal), but then the new canal did have some positive effects on Arboga.



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