Östergötland (Swedish pronunciation: [²œsːtɛrˌjøːtland] (listen); English exonym: East Gothland)[2] is one of the traditional provinces of Sweden (landskap in Swedish) in the south of Sweden. It borders Småland, Västergötland, Närke, Södermanland and the Baltic Sea. In older English literature, one might also encounter the Latinized version, Ostrogothia. The corresponding administrative county, Östergötland County, covers the entire province and parts of neighbouring provinces.

Coat of arms of Östergötland

Coat of arms
Sverigekarta-Landskap Östergötland
Coordinates: 58°25′N 15°45′E / 58.417°N 15.750°ECoordinates: 58°25′N 15°45′E / 58.417°N 15.750°E
CountiesÖstergötland County
Örebro County
 • Total9,979 km2 (3,853 sq mi)
 • Total450,123
 • Density45/km2 (120/sq mi)
 • LanguageSwedish
 • DialectÖstgötska
 • FlowerCornflower
 • Animal
 • BirdMute swan
 • FishPike
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)


From 1560, Östergötland was represented with two separate coat-of-arms seals until 1884, when the current one was granted. The coat of arms is represented with a ducal coronet. Blazon: "Gules a Griffin with Dragon Wings, Tail and Tongue rampant Or armed, beaked, langued and membered Azure between four Roses Argent."


Östgötaslätten vid Ljung
Typical Östgöta plains

From west to east, in the middle parts, extends the Östgöta Plain (Östgötaslätten). It is largely agricultural. In the southern part of the province, the terrain becomes marked by the south Swedish highlands, with hills and countless lakes. The northern parts are also hilly, and are otherwise dominated by forests.

Outside the eastern shore of Östergötland lies an archipelago, the islands and islets of which cover an area of 118 square kilometres (46 sq mi). The Bråviken bay continues further into the country. Some of the more notable islands are Korsö, Gränsö, Arkö, Djursö, Yxnö, Finnö, Emtö, Fångö and Stora Ålö.

Traditionally, the region is divided into two halves, east and west of the river Stångån (Östanstång and Västanstång respectively),[3] which flows from the south into Lake Roxen at Linköping.

The eastern part of Göta Canal traverses the province from the Baltic Sea at Mem to Lake Vättern at Motala.

  • Highest mountain: Stenabohöjden, 327 meters (1,073 ft)
  • Largest lake: Vättern (second-largest lake of Sweden)


Finspångs slottspark, juli 2005
The Palace in Finspång

Cities and the year of their now defunct royal charter.

Today, the largest city in the province is Linköping, with Norrköping second. Skänninge is one of the oldest areas but small; Vadstena is also small. Additional towns without a royal charter that have emerged in the 20th century are Finspång and Åtvidaberg.


Bjalbo kyrktorn
The church tower at Bjälbo

The earliest mention of Östergötland (the Ostrogoths of Scandza) appears in the Getica by the Goth scholar Jordanes.

The traditions of Östergötland date back into the Viking age, the undocumented Iron Age, and earlier, when this region had its own laws and kings (see Geatish kings and Wulfings). It is said that the famous Viking warrior Beowulf may likely have been from what is now the Östergötland region. The region kept its own laws, the Östgötalagen, into the Middle Ages. Östergötland belonged to the Christian heartland of the late Iron Age and early medieval Sweden. The Sverker and Bjälbo dynasties played pivotal roles in the consolidation of Sweden.

The province has about 50,000 ancient remains of different kinds. Some 1,749 are, for instance, grave fields.

Industry was formerly most significant in the cities of Norrköping (industries include Ericsson), Linköping (where SAAB has aircraft factories where the Gripen fighter is produced), Finspång (metal works), and Motala (mechanical industries).

Since the 13th century, Swedish princes and princesses in some dynasties have been created dukes and duchesses of various provinces. Since 1772, these are only honorary titles. There have been several Dukes and Duchesses of Östergötland. The current duchess is Princess Estelle since her birth in 2012.


Local accents

Formerly the östgöta or dialect spectrum were considered true göta dialects, but is nowadays considered being a transition area between true göta dialects and svea dialects. The dialects are still used in rural areas, but in the cities, the Standard Swedish is spoken with a certain östgöta accent.

The accent Östgötska can be distinguished from Standard Swedish just by accent and pronunciation of vowels ad sje- and the- sounds, which makes Östgöta accent an eastern variety of the Götaland accent. In some parts bordering to Södermanland, a variety of the Svealand accent is spoken.


LA2 Ostergotlands lansmuseum Raoul Wallenbergs plats
The Provincial Museum in Linköping

In Östergötland several older churches are still standing and many castles and palaces are open to the public. Ekenäs Castle, one of the best preserved renaissance castles in Sweden, has belonged to the families Sture and Banér. Löfstad Castle has its origin in the early 17th century, having belonged to the von Fersen family. Vadstena Castle, built by the Royal Vasa dynasty 1545–1620, is a combined fortress and renaissance castle.

Vreta Abbey was the first convent to be established in Sweden, dating from the early 12th century, while Vadstena Abbey was the dominant convent in Medieval Sweden. Notable is also the ruins of the Alvastra Abbey near mountain Omberg and Lake Tåkern.

The cathedral in Linköping is the second largest church in Sweden and is very well preserved from the Middle Age.

The Göta Canal crosses the province East-West with several locks and the Kinda Canal connects the lakes in the southern parts of the province with the central plains.

Övralid Manor was the last home of Nobel Prize laureate Verner von Heidenstam 1925–40.

There are several museums in all parts of the province, for example the Swedish Broadcasting Museum, the open-air museum Old Linköping, Swedish Air Force Museum, Sancta Birgitta Convent Museum, Museum of Work and the Motala Motor Museum.

The Rök Runestone is one of the most famous runestones, featuring the longest known runic inscription in stone. It can now be seen by the church in Rök (between Mjölby and Ödeshög, close to the E4 and Lake Vättern). It is considered the first piece of written Swedish literature and thus it marks the beginning of the history of Swedish literature.

Ekenäs slott

Winter scene at Ekenäs Castle

Ovralid vattern

Övralid Manor, with view over  Lake Vättern

Söderköpings sluss, Göta kanal, juli 2005

The Göta Canal at Söderköping

Tidersrums kyrka

Tidersrum Church, the oldest wooden church in Sweden

Vadstena castle Vadstena Sweden

Vadstena Castle in Vadstena


The Cathedral in Linköping

Vreta kloster Church view

Vreta Abbey from the early 12th century


The Hundreds of Sweden were jurisdictional divisions in effect until the early 20th century.


Football in the province is administered by Östergötlands Fotbollförbund (ÖFF).

See also


  1. ^ "Folkmängd i landskapen den 31 december 2016" (in Swedish). Statistics Sweden. 2017-03-21. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  2. ^ Eric Linklater in The Life of Charles XII pp. 53-54 & throughout
  3. ^ Hallberg, Göran. "Östergötland/Ortnamn". Nationalencyklopedin (in Swedish). Retrieved 2017-11-19.
  • Nordisk Familjebok, see below

External links

Azech SF

Azech SF is a Swedish football club located in Norrköping. The club is named after the town of Azech in modern-day Turkey. The majority of the players are Arameans.

BK Derby

BK Derby is a Swedish sports club located in Linköping, Sweden. It now only active in football club but was previously involved in bandy and other sports. The club was formed on 15 April 1912. The bandy department has formed a club of its own, Derby/Linköping BK, but the two clubs have an alliance and share the same logo and colours.

Boxholms IF

Boxholms IF is a Swedish football club located in Boxholm.


Brávellir (Old Norse) or Bråvalla (modern Swedish) (58°35′N 16°25′E) was the name of the central plain of Östergötland (East Götaland), in Norse mythology.

It appears in several traditions, such as those of the Battle of Bråvalla (Battle of the Bravellir), and in Helgakviða Hundingsbana I, where Sinfjötli resides on this plain. Stanza 42:

Its location has been contested because a local tradition places the Battle of Bråvalla at lake Åsnen in the Swedish province of Småland. In the oldest sources, however, such as the Hervarar saga it is described as Brávelli í eystra Gautlandi (i.e. Bråvalla in Östergötland) and in Sögubrot af Nokkrum the battle is said to have taken place south of Kolmården which separated Sweden from Östergötland and where Bråviken is located: ..Kolmerkr, er skilr Svíþjóð ok Eystra-Gautland ... sem heitir Brávík.

In the legend of Blenda, the army of women assembled on the Brávellir.


Finspång is a locality and the seat of Finspång Municipality, Östergötland County, Sweden with 12,440 inhabitants in 2010.

Hjulsbro IK

Hjulsbro IK is a Swedish football club located in Linköping.

John, Duke of Östergötland

John of Sweden, Duke of Östergötland (in Swedish Johan) (18 April 1589 at Uppsala Castle – 5 March 1618 at Bråborg Castle in Östergötland) was a Swedish royal dynast. He was titular Duke of Finland 1590–1606 and reigning Duke of Östergötland 1606–18.

His father was John III of Sweden and his mother was Gunilla Bielke. John's half-brother was King Sigismund III of Poland (1566–1632, reigned in Sweden in 1592–99, and in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1587–1632). His uncle was Charles IX of Sweden, who ruled from 1599 to 1611, and his first cousin was Gustav II Adolf of Sweden (1594–1632).

Lindö FF

Lindö FF is a Swedish football club located in Norrköping.


Linköping (UK: , US: , Swedish: [²lɪnːˌɕøːpɪŋ] (listen)) is a city in southern Sweden, with 158,841 inhabitants as of 2018. It is the 7th largest city in Sweden. It is the seat of Linköping Municipality and the capital of Östergötland County. Linköping is also the episcopal see of the Diocese of Linköping (Church of Sweden) and is well known for its cathedral.

Linköping is the center of an old cultural region and celebrated its 700th anniversary in 1987. Dominating the city's skyline from afar is the steeple of the cathedral, Domkyrka.

Nowadays Linköping is known for its university and its high-technology industry. Linköping wants to create a sustainable development of the city and therefore plans to become a carbon neutral community by 2025. Located on the Östergötland Plain, Linköping is closely linked to Norrköping, roughly 40 kilometres (25 mi) to the east near the sea.


Mjölby (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈmjøːlbʏ]) is a city and the seat of Mjölby Municipality, Östergötland County, Sweden with 12,245 inhabitants in 2010.Mjölby is located by the rivulet Svartån. The name "Mjölby" is derived from "Mölloby", which comes from mylna or mölna—meaning "mill". Due to the rapids of Svartån and the fertile soils of the surrounding plains, Mjölby is a natural place for a mill.


Motala (Swedish pronunciation: [²muːˌtɑːla]) is a locality and the seat of Motala Municipality, Östergötland County, Sweden with 29,823 inhabitants (41,956 in the entire municipality) in 2010. It is the third largest city of Östergötland, following Linköping and Norrköping. Motala is situated on the eastern shore of Lake Vättern and is regarded as the main centre of both the Göta Canal and the surrounding lake region.


Norrköping (Swedish pronunciation: [²nɔrːˌɕøːpɪŋ]) is a city in the province of Östergötland in eastern Sweden and the seat of Norrköping Municipality, Östergötland County, about 160 km southwest of the national capital Stockholm. The city has a population of 95,618 inhabitants in 2016, out of a municipal total of 130,050, making it Sweden's tenth largest city and eighth largest municipality.

The city is situated by the mouth of the river Motala ström, at Bråviken, an inlet of the Baltic Sea. Water power from the Motala ström and the good harbour were factors that facilitated the rapid growth of this once industrial city, known for its textile industry. It has several nicknames such as: "Sweden's Manchester", "Peking" and "Surbullestan" (Surbulle [sour bun] was a local nickname for the textile workers, and stan is short for Staden, which means The City or The Town in Swedish).

Prince Frederick Adolf, Duke of Östergötland

Prince Frederick Adolf of Sweden (Swedish: Fredrik Adolf; 18 July 1750 in Drottningholm – 12 December 1803 in Montpellier, France) was a Swedish Prince, youngest son of King Adolf Frederick of Sweden and Louisa Ulrika of Prussia, a sister of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. He was given the title Duke of Östergötland.

Princess Estelle, Duchess of Östergötland

Princess Estelle of Sweden, Duchess of Östergötland (Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary; born 23 February 2012), is the elder child and only daughter of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland. She is the eldest grandchild of King Carl XVI Gustaf, and is second in line of succession to the Swedish throne.


Söderköping is a locality and the seat of Söderköping Municipality, Östergötland County, Sweden with 6,992 inhabitants in 2010. Söderköping is, despite its small population, for historical reasons normally still referred to as a city. Statistics Sweden, however, only counts localities with more than 10,000 inhabitants as cities. Söderköping is about 15 km southeast of the city of Norrköping, the capital of Östergötland County.

Varangian runestones

The Varangian runestones are runestones in Scandinavia that talk of eastward voyages such as the Gardarike runestones, Greece Runestones, Italy Runestones, and inscriptions left by the Varangian Guard. Other runestones that deal with Varangian expeditions include the Serkland Runestones (dealing with expeditions to the Middle East) and the Ingvar Runestones (erected in honor or memory of those who travelled to the Caspian Sea with Ingvar the Far-Travelled). There is also a separate article for the Baltic expeditions runestones.

In addition, there were also voyages to Western Europe mentioned on runestones that are treated in the articles Viking Runestones, England Runestones and Hakon Jarl Runestones.

Most of the runestones were raised during the Christianization of the 11th century when the making of runestones was fashionable, but notably the Kälvesten Runestone Ög 8 was made in the 9th century when the Varangians played a central role in what would become Russia and Ukraine. This vast area was a rich source of pelts, hides and people, and it was an important component in the contemporary Swedish economy.

All of the stones were engraved in Old Norse with the Younger Futhark.


Åtvidaberg is a locality and the seat of Åtvidaberg Municipality, Östergötland County, Sweden with 6,859 inhabitants in 2010. The name is a compound word which can be translated as "towards wide mountains" or, jokingly, "ate wide mountains", thanks to the homonym nature of the Swedish word "åt".

Östergötland County

Östergötland County (Östergötlands län) is a county or län in southeastern Sweden. It has land borders with the counties of Kalmar to the southeast, Jönköping to the southwest, Örebro to the northwest, and Södermanland to the northeast. It also has a sea border with Västra Götaland to the west (across lake Vättern), and borders the Baltic Sea to the east.

Östergötland County has a population of 456,550 (September 30, 2017) and the capital and biggest city is Linköping. Linköping and neighbouring twin city Norrköping together form one of Sweden's metropolitan areas; The Linköping-Norrköping Corridor is therefore sometimes marketed as The Fourth Metropolitan Region of Sweden, the other three being Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. Princess Estelle is Duchess of Östergötland.

Östergötlands Fotbollförbund

The Östergötlands Fotbollförbund (Östergötland Football Association) is one of the 24 district organisations of the Swedish Football Association. It administers lower tier football in Östergötland County.

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