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Type Settlement
Usage Swedish
Pronounced Pron. UYP-sah-la
  [key·IPA]
Other Forms FormsUpsala (archaic)

Meaning & History

Means "upstream from Sala", from Old Norse upp "up" and salir "halls, rooms". Sala was a village located downstream from Uppsala (it is nowadays a neighbourhood known as Sala backe). When used as a place name element, the word "upp" often refer to something being upstream or located further north along the coast.

The name was first mentioned as Upsalum (ᚢᛒ᛬ᛋᛅᛚᚢᛘ ub salum) on a 10th century runestone. This name referred to a village now known as Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala). The city now known as Uppsala was previously named Östra Aros meaning "east river mouth" (as opposed to Västerås "west river mouth"). When the cathedral of Gamla Uppsala was burnt down, the archbishop moved to Östra Aros where the new cathedral was erected and inaugurated in the 15th century. During this time, Östra Aros changed its name to Uppsala.

Uppsala is the 4th largest city in Sweden and had an important role during the nation's early history. According to the Old Norse saga Heimskringla, the city was founded by the Norse god Freyr.
Added 6/4/2020 by anonymous
Edited 7/2/2021 by Beautiful Victory and Mike C