Uppsala’s first cathedral still exists. Nowadays it is known as Old Uppsala Church.
A contract was signed early with the French master builder and architect Estienne de Bonnueill, who had a great deal of influence on the eastern half of the cathedral. The cathedral was consecrated in 1435. Unfortunately there are no pictures of the cathedral in medieval times. Every chapel and the chancel had one or more altars.
Already by the end of the 13th century there was a cathedral school close to the cathedral and in 1477 the archbishop founded the first university in Scandinavia in Uppsala.
During the reign of King Gustav I (Gustav Vasa) from 1523 to 1560 the church in Sweden left the Roman Catholic Church. At the Uppsala Synod in 1593 it was decreed that the Church of Sweden would be Evangelical Lutheran and the decorations of the Catholic era gradually disappeared. The chapels were converted into tombs. Gustav Vasa and his queens were buried in the former chapel of Our Lady.
Several famous scientists are also buried here alongside royal personages and other great women and men. Carl Linnaeus and Nils Rosén von Rosenstein are two of them. Burials in the cathedral ceased at the end of the 18th century but an exception was made in 1931 when Archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nathan Söderblom was buried in the cathedral.
Uppsala Cathedral has continued to be a place for both daily services, church festivals and synods. All of Sweden’s archbishops and the priests and deacons of Uppsala diocese are ordained here. The kings and queens of Sweden were crowned in Uppsala Cathedral until 1719.
Every year some half a million people come to Uppsala Cathedral for services, concerts and solitude or as tourists.