18km (11 miles) NE of Malmö, 302km (188 miles) S of Gothenburg, 602km (374 miles) SW of Stockholm
The second oldest town in Sweden, this mellow old place with a thousand-year history holds more appeal for us than its rival university city, Uppsala, north of Stockholm. In some respects, Lund is more comparable to Cambridge in England.
Lund was probably founded in 1020 by Canute the Great, ruler of the United Kingdom of England and Denmark, when this part of Sweden was a Danish possession. However, the city's 1,000-year anniversary was celebrated in 1990 because archaeological excavations showed that a stave church was built here in 990. The city really made its mark when its cathedral was consecrated in 1145, after which Lund quickly became a center of religion, politics, culture, and commerce for all of Scandinavia.
The town's medieval streets and its grand cathedral are compelling reasons to come and take a look, but the vibrant student life is even more persuasive. Lund University, founded in 1666, continues to play an active role in town life. The most exciting time to be in Lund, as in Uppsala, is on Walpurgis Eve, April 30, when student revelries signal the advent of spring, but a visit to Lund anytime is a pleasure.