THE TEMPLE AT UPPSALA

The Temple at Uppsala was once located at Gama (Old) Uppsala, Sweden as attested by Adam of Bremen in an 11th-century work Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum and by Snorri Sturluson in Heimskringla. Archaeologists still debate the existence and/or size of the temple. Other Viking-age buildings have been discovered at Uppsala, but nothing definite that would have been of the size of the temple. The most recent, and promising, discoveries were made in 2013, when two lines of large wooden poles (believed to be 7 meters long) were discovered. This work is ongoing. The large burial mounds though indicate the sacred and important nature of the location. Excavations of the mounds prove they were man-made and used as burial sites.


“At this point I shall say a few words about the religious beliefs of the Swedes. That nation has a magnificent temple, which is called Uppsala, located not far from the city of Sigtuna. In this temple, built entirely of gold, the people worship the statues of three gods.

THE TEMPLE AT UPPSALA


The mightiest of them, Thor, occupies a throne in the middle of the chamber; Wotan (Odin) and Frikko (Freyr) have places on either side. . .. Thor, they say, presides over the air and governs thunder and lightning, winds and rains, and fair weather for crops. Wotan, that is, the furious One, carries on war and gives men strength against their enemies. Frikko bestows peace and pleasure on mortals; his likeness they fashion with an immense phallus. Wotan, they sculpt armed, as the Romans represented Mars. Thor with his scepter resembles Jove, they say.”


By Adam of Bremen circa 1073


The photo shows a woodcut depicting the Temple at Uppsala as described by Adam of Bremen, including the golden chain around the temple, the well and the tree that is supposed to have stood nearby, from Olaus Magnus' Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus (1555).





16 views0 comments