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Learned Uppsala is Sweden’s answer to English Oxbridge, a place that ebbs and flows with the coming and going of its student crowds, who flit between the lecture halls of Uppsala University (the oldest in all of Scandinavia), and its prestigious buildings like the Gustavianum, and the Carolina Redivia library.
The city is split roughly into two halves by the course of the Fyris River: one awash with gorgeous Baroque domes of the Uppsala Castle, the cobbled streets that weave their way around the striking duel-spires of the Domkyrka, and the occasional so-called ‘Nation’ bar where beer and hedonism roll on until the early hours; the other peppered with cosy coffee joints and international chain restaurants and the Linnaeus Museum and Garden in the vicinity, cut through by the lively Svartbäcksgatan shopping street.
And just north out of the modern-day town lies the trump card in any Uppsala tour guide’s deck: Gamla Uppsala—a patchwork of timber-clad cottages and undulating burial mounds that’s steeped in Pagan histories, still echoing with the ghosts of Christian monarchs and human offerings to the Nordic pantheon.