Sikahällen (U 529)

Sikahällen U 529
Photo: Erik Brate, 1916. Buy a print of this beautiful photo here

The oldest The depiction of a church service in a Swedish church is found on a rune mound in Frötuna parish, Uppland, and was carved up to 1000 years ago.

Sikahällen (Upplands runinskrifter 529) is a runic and pictorial carving on a rock face at Sika in Frötuna parish, south of Norrtälje in Norrtälje municipality, Uppland, probably from the 11th or 12th century and thus roughly contemporary with the first European to discover North America (Vinland), Leif Eriksson from Iceland, and the Swedish Vikings who ravaged Russia.

Also contemporary with the ongoing reconquest of Christian Europe, La Reconquista, of Spain which has been occupied by a Muslim sovereign since the Islamic invasion and the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula in 711.

This carving may be the oldest the depiction of a service in a Swedish church, from the very first centuries of Christianity in Sweden. On the left is the priest facing the altar with one of the holy objects in his hand and on the right is the congregation. The carving in the frame has no legible meaning.

U529 runhäll
Photo: Bengt A Lundberg - 2004-09-30 (CC BY)

The carving consists of an almost square frame with runes around an image of a church and human figures, all seen in profile. The figural frame appears to depict a church service, while the runes have no legible meaning. According to Uppland's runic inscriptions, the runelike characters seem to be some kind of frame filling and probably had an ornamental function.

Buy a print of the beautiful Sikahällen here you support Allmogens independent work to preserve and bring to life our history and heritage.

Getting there

Coordinates: Latitude 59.718784947257426 | Longitude 18.702199807514262

Discover more interesting places to visit at History map.

Subscribe to YouTube:

If you appreciate Allmogens independent work to portray our fine Swedish history and Nordic culture, you are welcome to buy something nice in the shop or support us with a voluntary donation. Thank you in advance!

Support Allmogens via Swish: 123 258 97 29
Support Allmogens by becoming a member
Support Allmogens in your will