Nelson's Scandinavia
Chicago, IL



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A Swedish Walled City?

Yes, there is one right in the middle of the Baltic Sea on the island of Gotland and it's called Visby.

Just 56 miles from the Swedish mainland and easy to reach either by regular air service from Stockholm or by ferry from Nynäshamn just south of Stockholm.

Visby is on the west coast of the island and is populated by 22,000 inhabitants and is listed on UNESCO's World Heritage List.

With a background spanning 5,000 years the city and island abounds with history having been a Viking stop off and trading port and one of the most important ports during the years of the Hanseatic League. The port is still active today hosting numerous cruise ships and ferries.

The wall (Ringmuren) surrounding Visby is 3 kilometers long and one of the best preserved in all of Europe. When walking through the town visitors are greeted with the fragrance of roses and quaint homes restored to their original form. Magnificent panoramic views of the city and sea meet your eyes as you approach the 12th century Visby Cathedral officially opened in 1225. The cathedral, was dedicated to Saint Mary and reshaped in the 13th century to its current appearance.

But there is much more to see on the island including sandy beaches, a number of unique churches and at the north end of the island another island called Fårö. This name is often misinterpreted as meaning sheep island although there are many sheep on the island the name actually comes from "far" to travel and "ö" for island or travel island. It is connected to the main island by ferries and is known for the stand rocks, quaint fishing villages and the home of the late and well known film producer and director Ingmar Bergman.

A visit to Gotland and Visby may be just the answer to add a special compliment to your Scandinavian adventure.

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