Visiting Skara and surroundings
Visiting Skara means visiting an important part of our Swedish heritage
We know that people came to the Skara area as early as 9 000 BC because remains and traces from hunters have been found at the nearby lake Hornborga. Many stone settings later, the medieval city of Skara flourished here. At that time it was a religious, cultural, academic and commercial centre and still is, in its own way. Today Skara is a town easy to get around in.
Welcome to culture and nature, serious history and lighthearted fun in a right proper mix. Downtown is a good place to start, beginning with a thorough look at the pride of the city, the Cathedral,with its high Gothic spires. Taking the church as a starting point you can wander in the old school district and ponder on how it was to live here around the last millennium. The surroundings giving substance to the imagination about the dramatic life and marvelous buildings of medieval Skara.
But there is more to Skara than downtown. Round the corner waits a wonderful countryside with the Vallebygden area as just one example with six different nature reserves for fishing and hiking, or lake Hornborga with more birds and artefacts than anywhere else. Young families and pleasure-seeking adventurers will be drawn to the Sommarland amusement park, while equine enthusiasts will seek out one of the largest trotting tracks in Sweden, Axevalla Travbana. On these pages we’ll tell you a little about everything in the Skara area.
Some local attractions are listed blow. Most attractions in the area are easiest to reach by car. To get more information about different attractions, accommodation, car hire etc. use this link:
Meet prehistoric and medieval times
The exhibition ”Between ice and fire” at Västergötland´s museum aims at interpreting prehistoric times from the time when people first reached our latitudes and settled here until the introduction of Christianity. The landscape provided the setting for the conditions under which they lived and their lives were ruled by cultural values and social norms. When metals were introduced the technical development changed and new opportunities were created. We tell children about this with feeling and words that they can understand. Curious adults can study facts and objects and for those who are meditative we present values and ask questions. But above all we want visitors to see some of the fantastic things that people have left behind during thousands of years and together we can create interpretations of the prehistory of the province. At the museum you can also view the 18 bronze shields which are among Sweden´s most remarkable prehistoric finds
The rejuvenated bird lake!
In the nineties lake Hornborga was comprehensively restored and the water level has been raised. Today traditional domestic animals like native cows and Gotland sheep graze the shore meadows and more than 100 bird species are at home around the lake. On the northeastern shore ”the Hornborga Naturum” presents information on the bird population and the importance the lake has had over the millennia, in part through a slide show. In March and April during the crane season the Information centre “Trandansen” on route 184 towards Falköping is also open, serving as a box seat for all wishing to see the cranes dance.
The cranes at lake Hornborga
The annual crane dance is repeated magnificently and faithfully. The cranes appear by the thousands to rest a short while at lake Hornborga before continuing north to nest. And yet the wonder of this body of water is greater than its wondrous avian choreography.
The Varnhem Monastery flourished in the early Middle Ages
The Cistercian monks came to Varnhem in 1150. The fertile site on the western slope of the Billingen plateau was ideal with its access to timber, rock and fresh water. The brothers built a small monastic town and excavations have revealed an advanced water and sewer system that probably included channels for heating and ventilation. At the end of the 13th century the monastery church was the largest sacred building in Sweden and the operations flourished for several centuries more. The reformation in the 16th century closed the monastery and the church was abandoned. A hundred years later Count Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie paid for a restoration and it is thanks to him that the edifice is in good shape today. However, the monastery was left to decay until excavations began in the 1920s. The monastic life is well documented and the museum next to the church holds a number of interesting objects from the first excavations. The beautiful Varnhem Church is the burial church for the Erik royal family (11/1200s). Stockholm’s founder, regent Birger jarl lies here, as do the ’saviour’ of the church, Count Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie and his wife, the Princess Maria Eufrosyne.
The biggest water theme park in Scandinavia
With water attractions in heated pools holding 4 million litres of water, an amusement park and a go-cart track Skara Sommarland is a place for people who don´t want the fun to end. Here it is easy to say yes to one more ice-cream, more sweets and just one more ride. And another! Come and challenge your friends and family on our newest ride ”Racer”. On this fantastic waterslide there is plenty of space for four competititors at the same time. It has a built in timekeeping device which calculates the speed of descent of the fastest person. May the wettest one win! In our amusement park there is something for adults as well as for children. There are over 1000 metres of rollercoaster rails and there are also aeroplane rides which give you butterflies in your stomach or tough lorries on rails for the smallest children. Stay at the camping ground or in one of the chalets for hire there and enjoy the pleasant atmosphere when the evening sun warms the patios and the grills are lit. There are many exciting attractions which make Skara Sommarland worth a visit! Furthermore the camping ground has its very own entrance to the amusement park.[/fusion_text]