Cities and regions
Uppland was one of the last Swedish provinces to rise from the Baltic Sea after the Ice Age. Still in 1,500 BC, most of today's land surface was below sea level.
Though the short age of the land itself, Uppland was the home of the Suiones, svear, who founded the Swedish nation around AD 1000. The center of power was first at Birka and Adelsö, but then Sigtuna, Uppsala, and later Stockholm literally rose to power, as Lake Mälaren transformed from a brackish bay of the Baltic Sea, to a freshwater lake. From the Middle Ages, Uppland was an international forerunner in metallurgy, with workshops renowned across Europe. Since the industrial revolution of the 19th century, Stockholm and Uppsala have grown, while the countryside has been de-populated.
In contrast to other Swedish provinces, Uppland is remarkably devoid of a unifying provincial identity. Today, the province is much characterized by the gap between the bustling capital in the south, and the quiet northern forests and coastal islands.
Mostly flat, Uppland is good for an experienced cyclist.