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a city in Sweden. Capital of the län (county) of Uppsala. Population, 136,000 (1974). Uppsala is an important industrial and cultural center. Its industries include machine building, printing, ceramics, and food processing. The University of Uppsala, founded in 1477, is the oldest university in Sweden. Uppsala also has a museum devoted to C. Linnaeus, who lived and is buried in the city.
Originally called Östra Aros, Uppsala existed as a settlement as early as the 12th century. In 1273 it became the residence of the archbishop. The city has been known as Uppsala since 1280. Until 1719 the most important state assemblies were held at Uppsala, and the Swedish kings were crowned in the city. From the 14th to the 18th century, the city was a center for domestic trade and the site of national trade fairs. At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, Uppsala was a stronghold of Sweden’s conservatives.
Uppsala has preserved some of its medieval layout. The city’s architectural landmarks include the largest Gothic cathedral in Scandinavia (1260–1435), the Romanesque church called the Bondkyrka (12th century), a castle (begun in 1540, architect F. Parr), the baroque Gustavianum (1620; until the 19th century the central building of the university, now a museum), and buildings in the Empire style, such as the university library (1819–26) architect C. F. Sundvall).
To the north of Uppsala lies the old town, Gamla Uppsala, which was a center of pagan worship during the first millennium A.D. At Gamla Uppsala there survive numerous barrows, as well as portions of Sweden’s most ancient cathedral (c. 1100), which were incorporated into a church built in the 13th century. Near Gamla Uppsala is an open-air museum caled the Disågarden, which is devoted to architecture.