Visby ( [ vɪsby ː ]; Swedish pronunciation [vi ː sbʏ ]; German also Wisby ) is a city on the west coast of the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. Visby is the capital of the province of Gotland County in the historical province of Gotland and capital of the municipality of Gotland as well as Bishop of the diocese of the same name. The coat of arms shows the Lamb of God.

Geography and climate


Visby was an important trading town in the Middle Ages. It participated significantly in the international trade and thus developed into an important trading center of the Hanseatic League. Sought-after merchandise such as the cod were exported all over Europe, which led to an economic boom. 1161 Henry the Lion granted a trading privilege which established the legal security in the Baltic Sea. During the centuries of proselytizing for the introduction of Christianity in Northern and Eastern Europe, starting with Ansgar, Visby was the mother city, founded in 1200 city of Riga in Livonia (now Latvia). Visby was the first capital of the Hanseatic League in the Baltic Sea and the Gotland driver enjoyed special privileges. A long time, half of the citizens of Visby German merchants. The 13th and 14th centuries were a period of prosperity of the city, which was nicknamed " Regina Maris " ( Queen of the Sea ). 1288/89 escalated a conflict with the impoverished countryside to a bloody civil war, which the Swedish king Magnus Ladulås ( king 1275-1290 ) ended. Gotland until then had separate rulers.

Visby in 1361 by the Danish king Valdemar IV Atterday ( king 1340-1375 ) was conquered ( Battle of Visby ). From 1394 to 1398 the brothers Vitali sought shelter behind Visby's city walls. Until the expulsion by an army of the Teutonic Order, the brothers Vitali obtained from Visby from the naval supremacy in the Baltic Sea. Island and the town fell already in 1408 back to Denmark. 1411 has started with the construction of Visborg.

Visby was attacked in 1525 by troops of the Hanseatic city of Lübeck. There were, among others, all churches with the exception of the German merchant, St. Mary's Church, now the Cathedral of St. Mary, destroyed.

Through the 1645 Peace of closed Brömsebro Visby Gotland was a part of Sweden.


The " Visby " has already been made ​​in 1805 under monument protection, since 1995 she has with its many medieval buildings part of the world cultural heritage by UNESCO. In addition, the whole city is a site of " national interest " under monument protection. Projecting part is the almost entirely preserved medieval city wall 3.6 km long with the ruin of Visborg. The city is one of the most remarkable cities in Sweden, in part due to the Visby Cathedral, originally St. Mary 's Church from the 13th century, as well as some of the many church ruins as Karin St. and St. Nicholas and the Museum of Gotland Fornsal.

Since 1984, every year at the beginning of August - always in the 32th calendar week - on Gotland and Visby especially in the Medeltidsveckan ( Medieval Week ) instead, arriving to the living history performers from all over Europe. The week of great historical spectacle, jousting tournaments, concerts, medieval market and other cultural events reminiscent of the conquest of the city and the island of Gotland by the Danish king Valdemar IV Atterday in 1361.

At the former harbor from the Middle Ages, which is silted today, the college is located on Gotland. A little further south was the burial ground of Kopparsvik.

About five kilometers southwest of Visby is the theme park Kneippbyn, including the original building of the Villa Sundries, known from the film adaptations of Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking books, served as a filming location and backdrop for the Visby.

5 km north of Visby, built in the early 20th century Johnny Roosval, the first Swedish professor of art history, and his wife Ellen Künstlerhaus Villa Muramaris. The villa in which there is a museum and, inter alia, concerts and exhibitions of contemporary art take place, is surrounded by a garden in the Italian Baroque style with numerous sculptures, which can be visited during the summer months.

13 kilometers north of Visby is on the way to Lummelunda the nature reserve of the Grotto of Lummelunda, which is drained by the river Lummelundaån.

Energy supply

Near Visby is located since 1999, the first converter station for HVDC connection of a wind farm.


In Visby run east-west and a north-south bus route. From Monday, there is a 15 -minute intervals during rush hour to Saturday. On Sundays and public holidays, rest of the operation.

With the Swedish mainland Visby is connected by ferry to Oskarshamn in Småland and Nynäshamn south of Stockholm. The Visby Airport is approximately five kilometers away from the city.


  • Germany Soest, 1995
  • Lübeck Germany, since 1999
  • Greece Rhodes

Sons and daughters of the town

  • Jacob Niclas Ahlström (1805-1857), composer
  • Elfrida Andrée (1841-1929), composer
  • Eric Gadd (born 1965 ), singer and songwriter
  • Alexander Gerndt ( born 1986 ), football player
  • Lars Gullin (1928-1976), jazz saxophonist (baritone )
  • Gabriel Gustafson (1853-1915), archaeologist
  • Michael Hjorth ( born 1963 ), author
  • Your Thomas (1659-1720), theologian
  • Erik af Klint (1816-1866), Swedish naval officer in the Austrian service
  • Victor Kullberg (1824-1890), clock and chronometer maker
  • Håkan Loob ( born 1960 ), former Swedish professional ice hockey player
  • Thomas Lövkvist ( born 1984 ), cyclist
  • Jacob Pleskow (around 1323-1381 ), Mayor of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck
  • Christopher Polhem (1661-1751), scientist and inventor (some sources refer to Tingstäde however, also Gotland )
  • Swerting Hermann (1280-1342), German - Gotland Hanseatic merchant and mayor in Visby
  • Simon Swerting (before 1340 - after 1388 ), Mayor of Lübeck