Varnhem Abbey in Varnhem, Västergötland, Sweden was founded around 1150 by monks of the Cistercian Order from Alvastra Abbey in Östergötland. The Cistercian Order used the floor plan for all its abbeys. A wooden and a church were both erected on the site before the abbey was built. The stone church was erected in the 1040s at the latest, according to radiocarbon dating, the oldest Christian man buried there died in the period 780-970. From other radiocarbon evidence, the Christian burials seem to have begun during the 10th century, a rich lady named Sigrid, probably a widow, donated the property to the cistercian monks, but the queen tried to revoke the donation and instead seize the property herself. The queens attempts failed and the established the abbey in 1150. The Varnhem Abbey was sponsored by the House of Eric which in turn was granted burial privileges there, three kings from the House of Eric lie buried in the abbey church, Canute I of Sweden, Eric X of Sweden and Eric XI of Sweden.
In 1234, the abbey was ruined by fire, the catastrophe led to a period of blooming, since Birger jarl and other mediaeval financiers rebuilt the abbey, this time more beautiful and imposing. The abbey church, which at first had been built in Romanesque style, was completed in Gothic style after the fire, in 1260 there was an opening ceremony for the church, which was the largest in Sweden at the time. The abbeys property was confiscated in 1527, and the buildings were burned by Danish forces 1566 during the Northern Seven Years War. In the middle of the 17th century, Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie received the abbey as a gift from the Swedish queen Christina, De la Gardie restored the church and established a family mausoleum in it, while the remaining abbey buildings were left to decay. The church was thoroughly restored 1911–1923, archeological excavations of the central part of the abbey were made 1921–1929, and again 1976 and 1977. In May 2002, the grave of Birger jarl was opened, only the abbey church remains standing, surrounded by ruins.
The number of tourists visiting Varnhem has grown due to Jan Guillous books about Arn
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family, usually in the context of a feudal or monarchical system but sometimes appearing in elective republics. The dynastic family or lineage may be known as a house, historians periodize the histories of many sovereign states, such as Ancient Egypt, the Carolingian Empire and Imperial China, using a framework of successive dynasties. As such, the dynasty may be used to delimit the era during which the family reigned and to describe events, trends. The word dynasty itself is often dropped from such adjectival references, until the 19th century, it was taken for granted that a legitimate function of a monarch was to aggrandize his dynasty, that is, to increase the territory and power of his family members. The longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, dynasties throughout the world have traditionally been reckoned patrilineally, such as under the Frankish Salic law. Succession through a daughter when permitted was considered to establish a new dynasty in her husbands ruling house, some states in Africa, determined descent matrilineally, while rulers have at other times adopted the name of their mothers dynasty when coming into her inheritance.
It is extended to unrelated people such as poets of the same school or various rosters of a single sports team. The word dynasty derives via Latin dynastia from Greek dynastéia, where it referred to power, dominion and it was the abstract noun of dynástēs, the agent noun of dynamis, power or ability, from dýnamai, to be able. A ruler in a dynasty is referred to as a dynast. For example, following his abdication, Edward VIII of the United Kingdom ceased to be a member of the House of Windsor. A dynastic marriage is one that complies with monarchical house law restrictions, the marriage of Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange, to Máxima Zorreguieta in 2002 was dynastic, for example, and their eldest child is expected to inherit the Dutch crown eventually. But the marriage of his younger brother Prince Friso to Mabel Wisse Smit in 2003 lacked government support, thus Friso forfeited his place in the order of succession, lost his title as a Prince of the Netherlands, and left his children without dynastic rights.
In historical and monarchist references to formerly reigning families, a dynast is a member who would have had succession rights, were the monarchys rules still in force. Even since abolition of the Austrian monarchy and his descendants have not been considered the rightful pretenders by Austrian monarchists, nor have they claimed that position. The term dynast is sometimes used only to refer to descendants of a realms monarchs. The term can therefore describe overlapping but distinct sets of people, yet he is not a male-line member of the royal family, and is therefore not a dynast of the House of Windsor. Thus, in 1999 he requested and obtained permission from Elizabeth II to marry the Roman Catholic Princess Caroline of Monaco. Yet a clause of the English Act of Settlement 1701 remained in effect at that time and that exclusion, ceased to apply on 26 March 2015, with retroactive effect for those who had been dynasts prior to triggering it by marriage to a Catholic
House of Vasa
The House of Vasa was an early modern royal house founded in 1523 in Sweden, ruling Sweden 1523–1654, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth 1587–1668 and the Tsardom of Russia 1610–1613. Its agnatic line became extinct in Poland with the death of King John II Casimir of Poland in 1672, the House of Vasa descended from a Swedish 14th century noble family, tracing agnatic kinship to Nils Kettilsson, fogde of the castle Three Crowns in Stockholm. Several members held high offices during the 15th century, in 1523, after the abolishment of the Kalmar Union, Gustav Eriksson became King Gustav I of Sweden and the royal house was founded. Yet, his son, King John III of Sweden, married a Catholic Polish Queen Catherine Jagiellon, as a result, the dynasty was split into a Protestant Swedish branch and a Catholic Polish one, which would rival for royal titles in subsequent wars. The involvement of the famous Protestant General and King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden in the Thirty Years War gave rise to the saying that he was the incarnation of the Lion of the North.
Yet, his daughter and heiress Queen Christina of Sweden abdicated from the Swedish throne in 1654 after converting to Roman Catholicism, in Poland, John II Casimir of Poland abdicated from the throne in 1668. With his death, the royal House of Vasa became extinct in 1672, Gustav Eriksson, a son of Cecilia Månsdotter Eka and Erik Johansson Vasa, was probably born in 1496. The birth most likely place in Rydboholm Castle, northeast of Stockholm. The newborn got his name, from Eriks grandfather Gustav Anundsson, since the end of the 14th century, Sweden had been a part of the Kalmar Union with Denmark and Norway. The Danish dominance in this union led to uprisings in Sweden. During Gustavs childhood, parts of the Swedish nobility tried to make Sweden independent and his father Erik supported the party of Sten Sture the Younger, regent of Sweden from 1512, and its struggle against the Danish King Christian II. Following the battle of Brännkyrka in 1518, where Sten Stures troops beat the Danish forces, it was decided that Sten Sture and King Christian would meet in Österhaninge for negotiations.
To guarantee the safety of the king, the Swedish side sent six men as hostages to be kept by the Danes for as long as the negotiations lasted. However, Christian did not show up for the negotiations, violated the deal with the Swedish side, the six members of the kidnapped hostage were Hemming Gadh, Lars Siggesson, Jöran Siggesson, Olof Ryning, Bengt Nilsson – and Gustav Eriksson. The election of Gustav Eriksson as a regent made many Swedish nobles, some noblemen, still loyal to the king, chose to leave Sweden, while others were killed. As a result, the Swedish Privy Council lost old members who were replaced by supporters of Gustav Eriksson, most fortified cities and castles were conquered by Gustavs rebels, but the strongholds with the best defences, including Stockholm, were still under Danish control. In 1522, after negotiations between Gustav Erikssons people and Lübeck, the Hanseatic city joined the war against Denmark, the winter of 1523 saw the joint forces attack the Danish and Norwegian areas of Scania, Halland and Bohuslän.
During this winter, Christian II was overthrown and replaced by Frederick I, the new king openly claimed the Swedish throne and had hopes Lübeck would abandon the Swedish rebels
House of Oldenburg
The House of Oldenburg is a European royal house of North German origin. It is one of Europes most influential royal houses with branches that rule or have ruled in Denmark, Greece, Russia, Schleswig and Oldenburg. It rose to prominence when Count Christian I of Oldenburg was elected King of Denmark in 1448, of Norway in 1450, the house has occupied the Danish throne ever since. Marriages of medieval counts of Oldenburg had paved the way for their heirs to become kings of various Scandinavian kingdoms, through marriage with a descendant of King Valdemar I of Sweden and of King Eric IV of Denmark, a claim to Sweden and Denmark was staked, since 1350. At that time, its competitors were the successors of Margaret I of Denmark. In the 15th century, the Oldenburg heir of that claim married Hedwig of Schauenburg, since descendants better situated in genealogical charts died out, their son Christian became the king of all three kingdoms of the whole Kalmar Union. The House of Mecklenburg was its chief competitor regarding the Northern thrones, different Oldenburgine branches have reigned in several countries.
EU, retrieved August 2012
Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and Finland to the east, at 450,295 square kilometres, Sweden is the third-largest country in the European Union by area, with a total population of 10.0 million. Sweden consequently has a low density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre. Approximately 85% of the lives in urban areas. Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Geats/Götar and Swedes/Svear, Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is heavily forested. Sweden is part of the area of Fennoscandia. The climate is in very mild for its northerly latitude due to significant maritime influence. Today, Sweden is a monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with a monarch as head of state. The capital city is Stockholm, which is the most populous city in the country, legislative power is vested in the 349-member unicameral Riksdag. Executive power is exercised by the government chaired by the prime minister, Sweden is a unitary state, currently divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities.
Sweden emerged as an independent and unified country during the Middle Ages, in the 17th century, it expanded its territories to form the Swedish Empire, which became one of the great powers of Europe until the early 18th century. Swedish territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were gradually lost during the 18th and 19th centuries, the last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Norway was militarily forced into personal union. Since then, Sweden has been at peace, maintaining a policy of neutrality in foreign affairs. The union with Norway was peacefully dissolved in 1905, leading to Swedens current borders, though Sweden was formally neutral through both world wars, Sweden engaged in humanitarian efforts, such as taking in refugees from German-occupied Europe. After the end of the Cold War, Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995 and it is a member of the United Nations, the Nordic Council, Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Sweden maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides health care. The modern name Sweden is derived through back-formation from Old English Swēoþēod and this word is derived from Sweon/Sweonas. The Swedish name Sverige literally means Realm of the Swedes, excluding the Geats in Götaland, the etymology of Swedes, and thus Sweden, is generally not agreed upon but may derive from Proto-Germanic Swihoniz meaning ones own, referring to ones own Germanic tribe
Charles VII of Sweden
Charles VII or Carl, Karl Sverkersson, was ruler of Götaland, and King of Sweden from c.1161 to 1167, when he was assassinated. He is the first historically known king of Sweden by the name of Karl, Charles was the son of Sverker I, who was assassinated in December 1156. A pretender from another family, Eric IX, ruled parts of Sweden in the following years. However, Charles was chosen king by the people of Östergötland in c,1158, apparently in opposition to Eric. A letter from pope Hadrianus IV knows him as ruler of regnum Gothorum although Eric is known to have power in Västergötland. It is claimed in a medieval chronicle that Erics murder by minions of their rival Magnus Henriksson in 1160 was backed by Charles. Magnus Henriksson had a brief reign after killing Eric, but was killed by Charles in 1161 in a battle in Örebro. After the fall of Magnus, Charles received general recognition in Sweden as king, in fact he is the first Swedish ruler to be expressly titled rex Sweorum et Gothorum in a papal letter from 1164.
The brief reign of Charles is important from a number of aspects and it was during his time that the Archbishop of Uppsala was established, although Sweden was still ecclesiastically subordinated to the Danish archbishop in Lund. After a request by the king, his jarl Ulf, and the Swedish bishops, the pope appointed Stefan, shortly afterwards, the people of Värend at the border to Denmark offered money to the king if he supported the installation of a particular bishop in Växjö. Charles is known to have donated land and privileges to Vreta Abbey, the donations suggest that his main interests lay in the provinces of Östergötland and Småland, while the provinces around Lake Mälaren may have been supervised by Ulf Jarl. The first known document was issued in his time, which contains the earliest known royal seal. Swedish relations with the Russian lands had been quite good up to the early 12th century, this changed into a state of intermittent hostility during the 12th century. The chronicles of Novgorod relate a sea-borne Swedish invasion in 1164, the invading forces attacked Ladoga, which however received Novgorodian relief forces after five days.
The Swedes were thoroughly beaten outside Ladoga on 28 May and lost 43 out of 55 boats, in the spring of 1167, King Charles was killed on the island of Visingsö by supporters of Knut Eriksson, head of the rival Eric dynasty. But his son Sverker was carried to Denmark in the lap, Charles was buried in Alvastra monastery. Like the other kings of the House of Sverker, he is lauded by the chronicle in the Law of Västergötland. He ruled Sweden with wisdom and goodness, Charles wife was Christina Hvide, a Danish lady, daughter of Stig Hvitaleder, a Seelander magnate, and his wife who was sister of Valdemar I of Denmark
In modern Swedish, Folkung has two meanings, which appear to be opposites, The medieval House of Bjelbo in Sweden, which produced several Swedish statesmen and kings. A group of people, who were at times in political opposition to the same House of Bjelbo and this political party fought for the ancient right of free men to elect the kings in Sweden. Until the 17th century, Folkunge was used only with the second meaning, many of these political opponents were said to have been descendants of Jarl Folke the Fat, who lived before the family became royal. Hence, in the 17th century, the family, already extinct. According to one theory, Folkungs wanted to keep the old freedom of the petty kingdoms, including the election of kings, many Folkungs came from the ancient provinces of Svealand, opposing the ruling families of the time that were mostly from Götaland. The first Folkung uprising in 1229 was successful, elevating Canute II onto the throne, developments were less promising, and the centralized system eventually suppressed their resistance.
Unification of Sweden Battle of Sparrsätra Kari, Suomalaisten keskiaika, WSOY, ISBN 951-0-28321-5
The Fairhair Dynasty is traditionally regarded as the first royal dynasty of the united kingdom of Norway. It was founded by Harald I of Norway, known as Haraldr hinn hárfagri, the first King of Norway, according to the traditional view, after Harald Fairhair first unified the kingdom, Norway was inherited by his agnatic descendants. In the 13th century, this was codified in law, unlike other Scandinavian monarchies and Anglo-Saxon England, Norway was never an elective monarchy. The first such period was from about 975 to about 995 under Haakon Sigurdsson, although Harald Fairhairs kingdom was the kernel of a unified Norway, it was still small and his power centre was in Vestfold, in the south. And when he died, the kingdom was divided between his sons, some historians put emphasis on the actual monarchical control over the country and assert that Olav II, who reigned from 1015, was the first king to have control over the entire country. He is generally held to be the force behind Norways final conversion to Christianity and was revered as Rex Perpetuum Norvegiæ.
Some provinces did not actually come under the rule of the Fairhair kings before the time of Harald III, either of these may therefore be regarded as further unifiers of Norway. And some of the rulers were nominally or actually vassals of the King of Denmark and it is undisputed that kings, until Magnus IV, were descended from Harald Hardrada, the Hardrada dynasty. Sverre Sigurdssons claim to be the son of Sigurd Munn is considered to be dubious. Scholars now consider the Fairhair dynasty at least partly the product of medieval invention, one motive would be to increase the legitimacy of rulers by giving them a clear royal ancestry dating back to the foundation of the kingdom. Another was to provide pedigrees for other people by connecting them to the royal house, Claus Krag argued that an important motive was to establish a hereditary claim to Viken, the region around Oslo, because the area had been paying taxes to the King of Denmark. - in fulfillment of prophetic dreams, according to Heimskringla, in which the genealogy reaches its full form, in this critical view, only three generations of Fairhair kings reigned, from 930 to 1030, for 40 years altogether.
The kings Olav Tryggvason and St. Olav, their ties with the Fairhair dynasty perhaps a 12th-century invention, ruled for 18 years altogether. There may be as many as 6 dynasties altogether subsumed under the title of Fairhair dynasty, Harald Fairhairs, Olav Tryggvasons, St. Olavs, Harald Hardradas, Magnus Erlingssons and Sverres. After Olav II of Norways recognition as a saint, successors of his half-brother, Olav I is historically known to have claimed male-line descent from Harald I, as grandson of Haralds alleged son Olav in Vika. And Olav II is known to have claimed descent from Harald I. Opposing sources claim that Viken and its region of Norway, were not parts of Harald Is dominions, the reliability of these two claims depends on the credibility of the Icelandic accounts and the sources used to compile them. Much legends claim Harald IIIs father to have descended from Harald I, Harald III started the Hardrada dynasty, a putative branch of the Fairhair dynasty
Birger Jarl, or Birger Magnusson, was a Swedish statesman, Jarl of Sweden and a member of the House of Bjelbo, who played a pivotal role in the consolidation of Sweden. Birger led the Second Swedish Crusade, which established Swedish rule in Finland, additionally, he is traditionally attributed to have founded the Swedish capital, Stockholm around 1250. Birger used the Latin title of Dux Sweorum which in English equals Duke of Sweden, and it is known that Birger grew up and spent his adolescence in Bjälbo, Östergötland but the exact date of his birth remains uncertain and available historical sources are contradictory. Examinations of his mortal remains indicate that he was probably about 50 upon his death in 1266 which would indicate a birth around 1216. However, his father Magnus Minnesköld is assumed to have died no than 1210 and his brothers or half-brothers — Eskil and Bengt — were all born long before 1200, and it can therefore be assumed that they had another mother. He was a nephew of the jarl Birger Brosa from the House of Bjelbo, the combination of this background proved to be of vital importance.
During the 15 years to follow, Birger consolidated his position and was one of the most influential men years before being formally given the title jarl in 1248 by King Eric XI. Although Birger Jarl saw many battles, some have speculated that traces of a blow in Birgers cranium might have originated from this battle. However, the original 14th-century Russian version of the battle had no information on this at all, in 1247, royal troops led by Birger at the Battle of Sparrsätra fought with Folkung forces led by pretender Holmger Knutsson, son of King Canute II. The Folkungs lost the battle and were unable to resist the central government, Holmger Knutsson fled to Gästrikland and was captured there by Birger in the following year. Quickly brought to trial, he was beheaded, in 1249, Birger succeeded in ending a decades-long period of hostilities with Norway. As a part of the Treaty of Lödöse, he managed to marry off his daughter Rikissa, only 11 years old, to Haakon Haakonsson the Young. Presumably that year, Birger led an expedition to Finland, dubbed as the Second Swedish Crusade, on King Erics death in 1250, Birgers son Valdemar was elected as the new king while Birger acted as regent, holding the true power in Sweden until his death.
Birger thus combined financial support from Germany with papal political support to consolidate his own position, ingeborg died in 1254 and in 1261 Birger married the widow of King Abel of Denmark, the Danish queen dowager, Matilda of Holstein. Birger died on 21 October 1266, at Jälbolung in Västergötland and his grave in Varnhem Abbey was opened in May 2002. There is a cenotaph for him at the base of the tower of Stockholm City Hall and it was originally intended that his remains be removed there, but this was never done. Several other historical structures there are named for him including the street Birger Jarlsgatan on Norrmalm. The Hotel Birger Jarl is located in Stockholms Norrmalm neighborhood and he is the central figure of Bröllopet på Ulvåsa by Frans Hedberg