King and church – with common goals
When Sigtuna was founded by King Erik the Victorious around year 980, the intent was to seek control over people and create an empire like the European kingdoms. He already had the knowledge of building a town, but he needed the church to cooperate.
Erik was a modern Scandinavian king. The goal was a kingdom with one king and one God. He would be the king and head of Church. Sigtuna was founded to be the first Christian town in Sweden – the center of the new religion.
There was an unusual portal in the central tower of St. Per’s, which might have functioned as a coronation portal and a place where the King showed himself at feasts such as Christmas, Easter and Pentecost, in a position between God and ordinary people.
During the Middle Ages, as many as seven large stone churches were erected by merchant guilds and wealthy townspeople. Today, the ruins of three remain: St. Peter’s, St. Lawrence’s, and St. Olaf’s (S:t Per, S:t Lars, and S:t Olof).