History & Timeline of Sweden

Historical Overview & Timeline of Key Events

Updated: 5 September 2016.

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Here is a brief timeline of important events that have shaped Sweden; the focus here will be geared towards recent events (from 100 years ago or so), located towards the bottom, but we’ll begin with more ancient events first.

8000 BCE

Sweden's First Inhabitants

From around 8,000 BCE, Sweden's first humans settled the land.

800 CE

Viking Age Begins

The end of Swedish pre-history was followed both with the "Viking Age" and then the Christianization of Scandinavia.


Birger Magnusson's Reign Begins

Birger Magnusson, Jarl of Sweden, was a Swedish statesman who is today known most famously for being the founder of Stockholm, though many other notable accomplishments are attributed to him, such as the abolition of serfdom.

1397 - 1523

Kalmar Union

The Union of Kalmaris forms, uniting all of Scandinavia under one monarch. Finland is part of this, as it was a part of Sweden at the time, as well as Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and the Northern Isles, all being part of Norway.


Gustavus Vasa & Modern Sweden's Beginning

Gustavus Vasa stopped the resurrection of the Kalmar Union from succeeding, opening up Sweden's independence as a sovereign state; he becomes King Gustavus I in 1523.


The Great Northern War


Finland is lost to Russia in War


Sweden Remains Neutral During WWI


Sweden Joins League of Nations


Sweden Joins the United Nations


Powers of Monarch Removed

Sweden officially removes all powers from the monarch, transferring the rights to the people; the monarchy remains, purely ceremonial in nature.


Prime Minister Assassinated

Swedish prime minister Olof Palme is assassinated, and the killing still baffles investigators to this day; the murder stuns the country, who have been virtually free of political violence for two centuries.


Sweden Votes for EU Entry

The Swedish vote in favor of membership into the European Union, officially becoming a member on the first day of 1995.


Malmö Tunnel Opens

A new tunnel opens, connecting Sweden's Malmö to Copenhagen, Denmark.


Anna Lindh & No Euro

Anna Lindh, the Swedish Foreign Minister, dies after being stabbed. Sweden votes not to join the euro monetary union.


World's First Synthetic Organ Transplant

Surgeons at the Karolinska University Hospital perform the world's first synthetic organ transplant; this was done with an artificial windpipe created and coated in the patient's stem cells.

Sweden Flag

Key Cities & Regions

More coming soon!

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