History of Närke


History of Närke

Närke, is a province in Central Sweden, which historically formed part of Svealand. According to the Norse sagas, it was once a petty kingdom.

Prehistory

Norse mythology mentions three kings of Närke, Nidud, Olof the Sharp-sighted and Sporsnjall. Nidud was a villainous king in the lay of Wayland the smith, Olaf aided the Norwegian king Vikar in battle, and Sporsnjall was burnt to death by Ingjald Ill-ruler together with five other petty kings.

History

*The exiled Norwegian King Olaf the Holy, stayed in Närke for some time, 1028-1029, with Sigtrygg, before departing for Russia and its ruler Yaroslav I the Wise. Olaf may have initiated the Christianization of the province (see also Culture of Närke).
*In the year 1170, Närke was incorporated into the diocese of Strängnäs.
*In around 1200 A.D., the Castle of Örebro was built to protect the bridge crossing the ford ("öre" means "sand bank" and "bro" means "bridge"), as well as the borough on the south side of the bridge. It was to withstand many sieges, and acquired a reputation for being impregnable.
*In 1316 the future Saint Birgitta of Sweden was married to Ulf Gudmarson, lord of Närke, to whom she bore eight children, one of whom was afterwards honoured as St Catherine of Sweden.
*In 1435, Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson, the leader of a popular uprising against the German sheriffs, was given the castle of Örebro as a fief. In the following year he was assassinated.
*From 1525 to 1554, it was a fiefdom belonging to Lars Siggesson Sparre. Later in belonged to Duke Charles from 1560 to 1598 and to his son Duke Charles Philip from 1611 to 1622.
*During the 16th and 17th centuries the territory was under a number of fiefs where iron bars were manufactured. As the farming activities gave very little, the iron manufacturing became even more attractive to the farmers, as well as trade with oxen. The oxen were sold in Bergslagen as well as Dalarna, where the skin of the oxen were important items in the mines.
*The surplus of oxen was also one of the reasons why the shoe-making business took shape and became a most important industry in Närke up until the middle of the 20th century.

Närke was renowned for its warlike peasants and when coat-of-arms for the province was granted for the funeral of King Gustav Vasa in 1560 two crossbow darts was the central symbol - the crossbow being the favourite weapon of the peasants.

In Närke there are also a number of ancient castles. The most important and best preserved one is located in Tarsta at Sköllersta.

See also

*Culture of Närke
*Närke and Värmland County
*Örebro County


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