Flygfoto: Caroline Kindblom
Borg Village in Algutsrum Parish on Öland is a small row village with just two farms. It lies between North Möckleby and Färjestaden. The village has a large hay meadow that is managed in a traditional manner. It is especially lovely in the spring when the orchids are in bloom. Also found here are Öland’s largest prehistoric fortification – Gråborg – and the ruins of St. Canute Chapel from the medieval period.
The buildings found in the village today are from the 19th century, but there have been settlements here since prehistoric times. The buildings are arranged in the traditional Ölandian manner, with the farms built on a long, narrow lot, and the thatched-roof outbuildings arranged in a U-shape have entry slopes that close on the road. A wall separates the garden from the poultry yard. Next to the farms there is a smithy and a windmill.
When the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities acquired the area in 1945, most of the fields were overgrown. The cultivated landscape has been restored bit by bit to its earlier appearance, and the ancient crop fields have been re-opened.
Gråborg or Backa Borg was built as a defence facility during the turmoil of the Great Migration, between 400 and 550 A.D., when all of Europe was shaken by the fall of the Roman Empire and major populations were on the move. In the 12th century Gråborg began to be used as a peaceful, international trading site. Nearly all medieval finds from Gråborg indicate peaceful commercial activities, and there are few military finds. The wall was improved, made thicker and higher. Its vaulted portals were also added, one to the northwest and one to the south.
St. Canute Chapel, which was erected next to Gråborg, consists of a nave, a chancel, and an apse and may have been built in the 12th century. It was not a parish church but was run by the medieval trade guilds that were found in many towns around the Baltic Sea. They were called Guilds of Canute and were created to provide legal protection, economic aid, and social community. Trade and shipping was lively across the Baltic, and help was often needed, as pirates roamed the area.
> Bilder från besöksmål i Borgs by
Foto: Gustaf Trotzig