Sigtuna[a] is a locality situated in the eponymous Sigtuna Municipality, in Stockholm County, Sweden with 9,689 inhabitants in 2020.[1] It is the namesake even though the seat of the municipality is in another locality, Märsta. Sigtuna is for historical reasons still often referred to as a stad.

Stora gatan, the old main street
Stora gatan, the old main street
Coat of arms of Sigtuna
Sigtuna is located in Stockholm
Sigtuna is located in Sweden
Sigtuna is located in European Union
Coordinates: 59°37′N 17°43′E / 59.617°N 17.717°E / 59.617; 17.717
CountyStockholm County
MunicipalitySigtuna Municipality
 • Total4.57 km2 (1.76 sq mi)
 (31 December 2020)[1]
 • Total9,689
 • Density1,849/km2 (4,790/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
WebsiteOfficial website

Sigtuna is situated at the bay Skarven, stretching around Upplands-Bro and a part of Lake Mälaren. Present-day Sigtuna, a harbour town that was established around 980, developed about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) east of Old Sigtuna, which, according to Old Norse religion, was previously the home of the widely revered god Odin.[3]



The name of Sigtuna was moved from what is presently called Signhildsberg. The meaning of Sigtuna is contested. According to one theory, it is a compound name where the second element is -tuna and the first one is either of two closely related dialectal words, viz. sig meaning "seeping water" or "swamp" or sik meaning "swamp". As a basis for this interpretation, a brook south of Signhildsberg has been mentioned, or the fact that the estate was surrounded by marshy terrain.[4]

Another theory considers the name to be an ancient prestigious "wander toponym", meaning "strong fortress", like the Celtic toponym Segodunum, [4] from Proto-Germanic *sigatūna, Old Norse Sigtún, cf. Proto-Germanic *segaz ~ *sigiz- "victory": Gothic sigis, Old Norse sigr, Old English sigor, Old Frisian sige, sīge, Old High German sigi, sigu.[5]



Sigtuna was founded on what was then the shore of Lake Mälaren just over 1,000 years ago. It took its name from an ancient royal estate (see Uppsala öd) several kilometers to the west (see Fornsigtuna). Various sources claim King Eric the Victorious as founder while others claim King Olof Skötkonung.[6]

It operated as a royal and commercial centre for some 250 years, and was one of the most important cities of Sweden. During a brief period at the end of the 10th and beginning of the 11th century, Sweden's first coins were minted here. St. Mary's Church, built in the 13th century by the Dominican order as a monastery church, still remains largely intact. The Dominican monastery played an important role in the Swedish Middle Ages and produced many important church officials, among them many Swedish archbishops. Many church and monastery ruins still stand, including St. Pers Church (S:t Pers kyrkoruin) dating the 1100s, St. Olof Church (S:t Olofs kyrkoruin) dated from around the middle of the 11th century, and St. Lars Church (S:t Lars kyrkoruin) dating from the middle of the 13th century.[7]

In 1187, Sigtuna was attacked and pillaged by raiders from across the Baltic Sea, possibly from Curonia, or Estonians from the island of Saaremaa (Oeselians),[8][9] or Karelians and Novgorodians,[10][11] Archaeological excavations have not verified the traditions of destruction of the town. Normal life in Sigtuna continued until the town started to slowly lose its importance during the 13th century due to navigability problems caused by post-glacial rebound.[9]

The current coat of arms can be traced to the town's first known seal, dating from 1311. According to a legend (possibly inspired by the town arms), Sigtuna was once the Royal seat, but this cannot be confirmed. The crown may also symbolize the large royal mint which was located in the town. Since 1971 the coat of arms has been valid for the much larger Sigtuna Municipality.

In the late 19th century Sigtuna still hosted only about 600 people, and was the smallest town in Sweden. The town remained insignificant until the second half of the 20th century. Much of the population growth can be related to Stockholm Arlanda Airport (IATA: ARN), situated some 10 km from Sigtuna. [12]

Tourist attractions


Sigtuna has a medieval-style town centre with restaurants, cafes and small shops. The old church ruins, Viking runestones and the old main street (Stora gatan) are popular attractions for tourists, especially in the summertime. The small streets with low-built wooden houses lead up to several handicrafts shops and the old tiny town hall (Sigtuna Rådhus). There are restaurants and Sigtuna Stadshotell, a hotel in the town centre.[13]




Notable people


See also



  1. ^ Swedish pronunciation: [ˈsɪ̂kːˌtʉːna][2]


  1. ^ a b c "Tätorternas landareal, folkmängd och invånare per km2 2005 och 2010" (in Swedish). Statistics Sweden. 14 December 2011. Archived from the original on 27 January 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  2. ^ Jöran Sahlgren; Gösta Bergman (1979). Svenska ortnamn med uttalsuppgifter (in Swedish). p. 21.
  3. ^ Jonas Ros. "Sigtuna och folklanden : den tidiga Sigtunamyntningen och den politiska" (PDF). Fornvännen 2002(97):3, s. [161]-175. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Entry Sigtuna in Svenskt ortnamnslexikon. Ed. Mats Wahlberg. Institutet för språk och folkminnen, Uppsala 2003.
  5. ^ Koch, John T. (2020). CELTO-GERMANIC Later Prehistory and Post-Proto-Indo-European vocabulary in the North and West.
  6. ^ Barbara Højlund & Frederik Schildt Nabe-Nielsen. "Sigtuna in Sweden". Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  7. ^ "Sigtuna". Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  8. ^ "Till frågan om Sigtunas combustering år 1187" "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2011-12-25.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ a b Enn Tarvel (2007). Sigtuna hukkumine. Archived 2017-10-11 at the Wayback Machine Haridus, 2007 (7-8), p 38–41
  10. ^ fi:Sigtunan tuho
  11. ^ Sandén, Börje. "Sigtunas förhärjning 1187". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Historisk satsning på Arlanda". Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  13. ^ "Sigtuna town". Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  • Tesch, Sten; Jacques Vincent (2003) Vyer från medeltidens Sigtuna (Sigtuna Museum) ISBN 9789197112802
  • Hjorth, Agnete; Edéus, Anne-Marie (2006) Sigtunabilder : hus och människor i gamla Sigtuna (Svartsjö: Förlag Agnete Hjorth) ISBN 9177988639