Mediaeval Lödöse

Mediaeval Lödöse Several hundred years ago, Lödöse was the site of one of the first and largest mediaeval towns in Sweden. Archaeologists have uncovered more than half a million objects and the Mediaeval Lödöse exhibition presents a picture of what it might have been like to live in the town of Lödöse back in the Middle Ages.

Find out all about the town’s history and the vast array of fascinating objects discovered by archaeologists. What can a preserved leather shoe tell us about its former owner? What enthralling tale lies behind a lost mitten? The displays contain a wide selection of archaeological finds that have come to light over a 100-year period.

Prominent trading centre

The name Lödöse means “estuary of the River Ljuda”. The first houses were built between the two arms of the estuary. During the Middle Ages, Lödöse was Sweden’s only port on the west coast, making it a prominent trading centre. Merchants came to Lödöse from far and wide, bringing with them exquisite fabrics and a magnificent assortment of spices. Goods were also shipped from Lödöse to other countries. The town was also the home of artisans, priests and monks. From time to time, the King himself came to visit, residing at the town’s castle, Lödösehus.

Games, combs, coins and bricks

As is still the case today, the lives of people living in the Middle Ages were a mixture of pleasure, happiness and sorrow. Rich and poor, young and old, they all had their own personal thoughts, reflections and dreams. Preserved board games and musical instruments tell us how the people kept themselves amused. Remnants from artisan crafts, such as the minting of coins, brick production and comb manufacturing, are tangible evidence of industrial activity in the town.

Apart from archaeological finds, the exhibition includes a half-model of a cog, a ship widely used from around the 12th century, a wooden model of Lödöse during the 14th century, a model of the castle, a small wooden building, and a ‘culture layer column’ several metres high. The column depicts the layers of soil that were formed by what was left behind over the centuries by humans and animals.

You can wander around the exhibition on your own, or you can book a guided tour. The written exhibition guides are available in Swedish, English, German and French.

We have great pleasure in welcoming you to Mediaeval Lödöse!