Scandinavia; key historical events

Denmark, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden


Home Page


Colour key:


Amundsen-Scott Antarctic

Arctic exploration




Growth of Copenhagen 1850 – 1992, click for 7  maps here.


6/4/2017, An Islamist terrorist drove a lorry into crowds shopping in the centre of Stockholm; 4 people were killed.

14/2/2015, In scenes reminiscent of the Paris Charlie Hebdo shootings (7/1/2015) an Islamist terrorist, Omar el Hussein, 22, shot dead Finn Norgaard, a 55 year old film director, at a Free Speech meeting at a cafe in central Copenhagen, at 3.30pm Saturday.  The Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who portrayed the prophet Mohammed as a ‘mad dog’ in 2007, was belived to have been the main target; Hussein’s entry into the cafe was thwarted by a metal detector, prompting him to spray some 200 bullets from the entrance. Hussein then went to the Krystalgade synagogue and opened fire, killing the doorman Dan Uzan, 37, and wounding two police officers, at a Bat-Mitzvah, at 1am Sunday. Danish police identified the gunman and traced his address to an apartment in the Norrebro district; by then he was on his way to the synagogue. At 5am the next morning, 15 February, armed police shot Hussein at his apartment. Hussein had just been released from prison in Denmark two weeks earlier after serving a term for aggravated assault.

25/5/2013, A sixth night of rioting in the Swedish capital, Stockholm; many cars were burnt, mainly in poorer areas.

22/7/2011, Anders Behring Brevik shot 77 people on Utoya Island as a protest against immigration to Norway.

16/7/2009, Iceland’s Parliament voted to begin negotiations to join the European Union.

21/6/2009, Greenland took steps towards further separation from Denmark; it took control of police, law enforcement, the legal system and natural resources.

25/11/2008, Greenland held a referendum on further autonomy from Denmark, with a result 75% in favour.

22/8/2004, Edvard Munch’s famous painting, The Scream, was stolen at gunpoint from Norway’s Munch Museum, Oslo.

14/9/2003, In a referendum, Sweden rejected joining the Euro.

10/9/2003, Anna Lindh, foreign minister of Sweden, was fatally stabbed whilst shopping.

28/11/1994, Norwegians, in a referendum, rejected membership of the EU, for a second time.

13/11/1994, In a referendum, Swedish voters chose to join the European Union.

16/4/1994, In a referendum in Finland, voters decided to join the European Union.

18/5/1993. The Danes voted yes to the Maastricht Treaty.

2/6/1992, Denmark, in a referendum, rejected the Maastricht Treaty.

17/1/1991. King Olaf V of Norway died, aged 87. He was succeeded by his 53-year-old son, Harald V.

28/2/1986. The Swedish Prime Minister, Olof Palme, was assassinated, and his wife Lisbeth wounded, in an ambush in central Stockholm.

14/11/1985, Holmfriour Karlsdottir of Iceland, 22, was crowned the 35th Miss World.

23/2/1982. Greenland, a Danish territory, with home rule, voted to leave the EC.

1/5/1979, Denmark granted Greenland home rule.

30/4/1977, Red Adair successfully put out an oil rig fire in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.

1/6/1976. Britain and Iceland signed an agreement in Oslo to end the Cod War.  Up to 24 British trawlers would be permitted to fish within the 200-mile zone claimed by Iceland.

19/2/1976. Iceland broke off diplomatic relations with Britain after the two countries failed to reach agreement on fishing limits in the ‘Cod War’ dispute. Conflict began in 1958 when Iceland extended its territorial waters from 3 to 12 nautical miles; Britain finally recognised this limit in 1961. In 1972 Iceland claimed a further extension to 50 miles; Britain ignored this, and Icelandic gunboats sank two British trawlers. In January 1976 an Icelandic gunboat rammed the Royal Navy frigate Andromeda, which had been protecting British fishing boats.

10/12/1975, The first shots were fired in the Cod war between Britain and Iceland.

1/11/1975, 3 died and 6 were injured in an explosion aboard the Ekofisk A oil rig.

For events of Cod War see also Great Britain 1970s

15/10/1975, Iceland unilaterally extended its fishing grounds to 200 miles, leading to a resumption of the Cod war with Britain.

25/7/1974, The International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled that Britain was not bound to observe Iceland’s unilateral extension of its fishing rights from 12 to 50 miles in 1972.

8/11/1973, The Cod war between Britain and Iceland ended.

15/9/1973, Gustavus VI, King of Sweden since 1950, died aged 90. He was succeeded by his 23-year-old son, Carl Gustavus XVI.

24/5/1973. The Cod War continued between Britain and Iceland. In Reykjavik several hundred protesters, in a crowd of several thousand, threw stones, eggs, and paint at the British Embassy. Reykjavik’s 150 police officers were hopelessly outnumbered.

25/10/1972. Iceland boycotted British goods as part of the Cod War.

2/10/1972. Denmark voted in a referendum to join the Common Market.

26/9/1972. Norway voted in a referendum against joining the Common Market.

1/9/1972, Iceland extended its fishing limit from 12 to 50 miles.

14/1/1972, In Denmark, Margrethe II (31) became Queen, succeeding her father King Frederick IX, who died aged 72.

17/3/1971, In Norway, Per Borten's Cabinet ended its term in government, replaced by Bratteli's First Cabinet.

30/12/1968, Trygve Lie, Norwegian ambassador and Secretary-General to the UN, 1946 to 1952, died.

1/5/1968. Legoland Family Park, the Danish toy maker’s answer to Disneyland, opened at Billund in Denmark.

25/4/1964, The head of the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen Harbour was hacked off and stolen. The statue was in honour of the children’s’ author, Hans Christian Anderson.

18/9/1961, Dag Hammarskjold, Swedish Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Prize Winner, was killed a plane crash near Ndola in Northern Rhodesia.  He had been flying from Leopoldville, Congo.

10/12/1959. US troops began to leave Iceland.

6/5/1959. The UK protested to Iceland about violence in the Cod War. Icelandic gunboats had fired live ammunition at British trawlers. Iceland said they were just warning shots, but one only missed a trawler by three metres.

1/9/1958, British trawlers defied the Icelandic 12-mile fishing limit, which came into force this day.

1/6/1958. Iceland extended its fishing limits to 12 miles.

21/9/1957, Norway’s King Haakon VII died, aged 85, after a 52-year reign.  His son, aged 54, succeeded him as King Olav V.

4/11/1955, Matti Vanhanen, Prime Minister of Finland 2003-2010, was born in Jyvaskyla.

5/6/1953, The Danish Parliament, or Riksdagen, was reformed. The upper chamber, or Landstinget, was abolished. The lower chamber, or Folketinget, now became the entire Parliament.

7/4/1953, Swedish civil servant Dag Hammarskold succeeded Trygve Lie as secretary of the United Nations.

18/9/1952, Finland paid its final war reparations to the USSR.

3/4/1952, Miina Sillanpaa, Finnish politician, died.

27/1/1951, Carl Mannerheim, Finnish soldier and politician, who as President secured his country’s independence from Russia, died aged 83.

29/10/1950, Gustav V, King of Sweden since 1907, died aged 92, after a 43-year reign. He was succeeded by his 61-year old son, Gustavus VI Adolf,  who ruled until 1973.

20/4/1947, Christian X, King of Denmark, died aged 76. He was succeeded by his son Frederick IX, aged 48.

10/2/1947. The USSR concluded a peace treaty with Finland.

26/1/1947, Prince Gustav of Sweden was killed in a air crash near Copenhagen

9/1945, The Aaland Island Assembly unsucesfully tried to join Sweden.

31/5/1945, The Norwegian Government returned to govern in Oslo, having been in exile in London.  King Haakon returned from London a week later.

17/6/1944. Iceland became an independent republic. The 25-year Union with Denmark had expired, see 1/12/1918.

29/8/1943, The Nazis occupying Denmark dismissed the Danish Government, following extensive strike action and acts of sabotage against the Germans. In response the Danes formed the Frihedsrad (Free Council) in order to coordinate and escalate resistance activity. It commanded a Danish Resistance Army of some 43,000 men; several of its members held government positions in the post-war Danish Government from 1945.

16/4/1940, Margrethe, Queen of Denmark, was born.

10/4/1940. Sweden insisted on its neutrality.

12/3/1940. Finland signed a peace treaty with the USSR, surrendering large areas of territory on the Karelia Peninsula. See 30/11/1939.  The Finns had lost over 20% of their fighting force in 3 months.  Finland surrendered over 10,000 square miles of territory to the USSR.  In the hope of recovering these lands, Finland sided with Germany when Hitler attacked the USSR on 22/6/1941.

16/2/1940. Soviet troops pierced the Mannerheim Line of the Finnish defences.

1/2/1940. The Soviet army launched an attack in Karelia, against the Finnish Mannerheim Line.

For main European events of World War Two see France-Germany

See also Russia for more events of Finland-Russia conflict 1939-40

4/12/1939, Finland began fortifying the Aaland Islands.

30/11/1939. The USSR attacked Finland. Finland had earlier refused Soviet demands to use bases on its territory against Germany. See 12/3/1940.

28/11/1939. Stalin renounced the Finno-Soviet non-aggression pact. On 30/11/1939 the USSR bombed Helsinki and Vipuri, as it invaded Finland.

12/3/1932, Ivar Kreuger, 52, Swedish civil engineer and industrialist committed suicide.

14/5/1931, In Sweden, soldiers shot and killed striking workers at Adalen.

13/5/1930, Fridtjof Nansen, Norwegian Arctic explorer and subsequently politician, and Nobel Prize winner in 1922, died in Lysaker, Norway.

24/4/1929, Denmark elected a socialist government.

17/10/1927, Norway elected its first Labour government.

1925, Norway gained Spitsbergen.

1/1/1925. Norway’s capital, Christiana, reverted to its historic name of  Oslo.

13/12/1922, Hannes Hafstein, Prime Minister of Iceland, died.

1921, Finland gained possession of the Aaland Islands.

14/10/1920. Russia recognised the independence of Finland.  Russia ceded the port of Petsamo to Finland, giving Finland access to the Arctic Ocean.

10/7/1920, After a referendum amongst the inhabitants, northern Schleswig was returned to Denmark from Germany.

20/2/1920. Robert Peary, American Arctic explorer and first man to reach the North Pole in 1909, died in Washington DC.

9/2/1920, By a treaty signed in Paris, Norway was given sovereignty over Svalbard (Spitsbergen).

6/10/1919. Norway adopted alcohol Prohibition.

6/6/1919. Finland declared war on Russia.

1/12/1918. Denmark granted independence to Iceland; a 25-year union with Denmark was instituted.

14/4/1918, In Finland, German General Goltz captured Helsinki from the Communists.

6/4/1918. In Finland, the German General Mannerheim captured Tampere from the Communists.

See Russia for events of 1917 Revolution

6/12/1917. Finland became independent from Russia. 

29/7/1917, Taking advantage of Revolutionary chaos, the Finns declared their independence from Russia.

14/12/1916, A referendum in Denmark agreed by 64.3% for to 35.7% against to agree to the sale of the Danish West Indies to the US, for the sum of US$ 25 million. These islands became the US Virgin Islands; they were of strategic importance to the US now that the Panama Canal had opened. The islands were formally handed over on 1/4/1917, just before the US declared war on Germany.

15/5/1912, Crown Prince Christian, brother of King Haakon VII of Norway, was proclaimed as King Christian X of Denmark.

10/2/1913. The remains of Captain Scott and two of his companions, who died returning from the South Pole in January 1912, were found dead, just 11 miles from a safe camp.

See Australia, New Zealand for more on exploration of Antarctica.

14/6/1912, King Frederick VIII of Denmark died after a 6-year reign, aged 69. He was succeeded by his son, 41-year old Christian X, who reigned until 1947.

29/3/1912. Captain Robert Falcon Scott died in his tent in Antarctica, returning from his expedition to the South Pole.

17/3/1912, Lawrence Oates died heroically during the return journey from the South Pole. On his 32nd birthday he left the tent, saying, ‘I am just going outside, and I may be some time’.

18/1/1912, British explorer Captain Scott reached the South Pole, with his companions Lawrence Oates, Lieutenant Bowers, Edward Wilson, and Edgar Evans, only to find that  Roald Amundsen had beaten them by 35 days, leaving a tent behind for proof. All five died on the return journey. Amundsen, with his fast dog sleds, had possessed superior equipment.

14/12/1911. The Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen beat the British team, led by Captain Scott, to the South Pole. The British relied on motorised transport, the Norwegians on dog sleds. Captain Scott arrived at the South Pole on 17/1/1912 to find the Norwegians had beaten him to it.

14/11/1911, The Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen (1872 – 1928) reached the South Pole ahead of Scott.

6/4/1909.   Commander Peary of the USA became the first person to reach the North Pole, with a Black assistant, Matthew Henson, and four Eskimos.. It was his sixth attempt in 15 years.

8/12/1907, King Oscar II of Sweden died, aged 78, after a 35-year reign; he also ruled Norway until 1905. His eldest son, Gustav V, 49, became King, and ruled until 1950.

29/1/1906, Christian IX of Denmark died, aged 87. He was succeeded by his son, Frederick VIII, aged 62, who ruled until 1912.

6/12/1905, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen landed at Fort Egbert, Alaska, after a 2 ½ year exploration of America’s Arctic coast.

18/11/1905. Prince Carl of Denmark was chosen to be King Haakon VII of Norway.

26/10/1905. Norway and Sweden ended their union. King Oscar II of Sweden formally abdicated the crown of Norway.

13/8/1905, A referendum in Norway found 80% agreed with the separation from Sweden.

29/7/1905, Dag Hammarskjold, Swedish Secretary-General of the United Nations, was born in Jonkoping.

16/7/1905. Commander Peary of the USA set out on his second expedition to the North Pole.

7/6/1905. Norway declared independence from Sweden (see 4/11/1814).  Since the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Norway had been a self-governing subject of the Swedish Crown. In 1905 the provincial parliament voted to cut off relations with Sweden, and a plebiscite backed the move by 386,208 to 184 votes. In 1397 Margaret I succeeded in uniting Denmark, Norway and Sweden. In 1527 Gustav I cancelled that union, and Norway was ruled by Denmark until 1814, when it was ceded to Sweden under the Treaty of Kiel. Calls for Norwegian independence grew, especially after the adoption of universal suffrage in 1898.

22/1/1904, The Norwegian city of Alesund burned down, leaving 12,000 homeless.

22/9/1902. Czar Nicholas II abolished the nominal independence of Finland and appointed a Russian Governor-General.

11/7/1897, The Swedish balloonist S A Andree set off from Spitsbergen with two companions to fly over the North Pole. After a few days all contact with them was lost; their remains were discovered in 1930 on White Island.

16/7/1896, Trygve Lie, Norwegian politician and Secretary General at the United Nations, was born in Oslo.

13/5/1894, Asgeir Asgeirsson, President of Iceland, was born.

7/4/1891, Ole Kirk Christiansen, Danish toymaker who invented Lego, was born.

1890, Exploitation of the great iron ore deposits at Kiruna began; see railways (Sweden) for transport development here.

1888, Fridjtof Nansen explored the interior of Greenland.

11/11/1882, Gustav VI, King of Sweden, was born the eldest son of Gustav V.

3/11/1879, The Arctic explorer, Vilhjalmur Stefansson, was born.

18/9/1872, Charles IV of Sweden died at Malmo, aged 46. He was succeeded by his 43-year-old brother, as Oscar II.

3/8/1872, King Haakon VII of Norway was born in Charlottenlund. He refused to surrender to the Germans in World War Two.

26/9/1870, King Christian X of Denmark was born.

4/6/1867, Carl Mannerheim, Finnish soldier and politician, President, was born in Vilnas.

1866, The Danish Heathland Society was formed; its object was the reclamation for agriculture of Jutland’s heath and marsh lands. Drainage ditches were dug, the barren sandy heaths improved with clay, and new towns such as Herning constructed. Rows of trees were planted to provide shelter from North Sea storms.

30/10/1864. By the Peace of Vienna, Denmark gave up Schleswig, Holstein, and Lauenberg.  These provinces came under Austrian and Prussian rule.

1/2/1864, Austrian and Prussian troops under the command of Friedrich von Wangle invaded Schleswig, Denmark.

16/1/1864, Denmark rejected an ultimatum, from Germany over the Danish province of Schleswig.

24/12/1863. Following the Danish annexation of the province of Schleswig on 30/3/1863, Saxon and Hanoverian forces moved into Holstein.

15/11/1863, Frederick VII, King of Denmark, died.

20/7/1863, Denmark, with no hope of intervention from England, sued for peace over the German attack over Schleswig.

10/10/1861, Fridjtof Nansen, Norwegian Polar explorer, was born near Oslo.

8/7/1859, King Oskar I of Sweden died aged 60 after a 15-year reign. He was succeeded by his 33-year-old son who reigned as Charles XV until 1872.

16/6/1858. Gustav V, King of Sweden from 1907 to 1950, was born the son of Oscar II.

6/5/1856, Robert Peary, American Arctic explorer, was born in Cresson Springs, Pennsylvania.

21/10/1853, Alfred Nobel was born in Stockholm.

26/8/1848. Denmark and Prussia signed a truce at Malmo. Both agreed to evacuate the disputed territory of Schleswig-Holstein.

20/1/1848, Christian VIII of Denmark died aged 50, after a reign of less than 9 years. He was succeeded by his 39-year-old son, Frederick VI, who ruled until 1863, and fought a war with Germany over Schleswig-Holstein.

1847, The Carlsberg brewery business began in Denmark when J C Jacobsen built a new brewery, and named it after his young son, Carl.

1/12/1844, Queen Alexandra, wife of Edward VII, was born, the eldest daughter of King Christian of Denmark.

8/3/1844, Charles XIV, King of Sweden, died aged 81, afger a 26-year reign. He was succeeded by his son, Oskar I, aged 44.

15/8/1843, In Copenhagen, the Tivoli Gardens opened. They were laid out on part of the old defensive works.

3/12/1839, Frederick VI of Denmark died, aged 71. He was succeeded by his nephew, Christian VIII, aged 53.

7/2/1837, Gustavus IV, King of Sweden, died.

1/6/1831. Sir James Clark Ross located the Magnetic North Pole on his Arctic expedition with Admiral Parry.

21/1/1829, Oscar II, King of Sweden and Norway, was born.

5/2/1818, Charles XIII of Sweden died aged 69. He was succeeded by Crown Prince Jean Bernadotte (55), who now became Charles XIV.

4/11/1814, Norway united with Sweden, see 7/6/1905.

17/5/1814, The independence of Norway was proclaimed.

14/1/1814, Britain made peace with Denmark, restoring all territories except Heligoland.  The King of Denmark ceded Norway to Sweden.

3/3/1813, Britain agreed with Sweden that it would not oppose a union of Sweden and Norway.

17/11/1810. Sweden declared war on Britain.

1/3/1810, The world’s first Ombudsman, Lars Mannerheim, was appointed in Sweden.

1809, The Diet of Porvoo (Borga). Following the Russian invasion of Finland (formerly part of the Swedish Empire), Tsar Alexander I guaranteed the Finns the rights they had enjoyed under Swedish rule. This meant Finland enjoyed considerable autonomy within the Russian Empire, and effectively marked the start of the modern State of Finland.

17/9/1809, In February 1808 Tsar Alexander invaded Finland, then part of Sweden, without a declaration of war.  On this day the Treaty of Fredrikshamn ended the war; Sweden ceded Finland and the Aland Islands to Russia.

13/3/1809, Swedish Army officers seized King Gustavus IV of Sweden and put him under house arrest in the royal apartments. A provisional government was announced, led by the Duke of Sudermania. On 29/3/1809 Gustavus IV officially abdicated, and on 10/5/1809 the Swedish Government announced that the Gustavus family would not regain the throne.

21/2/1808. Russia occupied Finland, which was formerly under Swedish domination.

29/3/1792, King Gustavus III of Sweden died, aged 46. He was succeeded by his son, 13-year old Gustavus IV.

16/3/1792, Gustavus III, King of Sweden, was shot at a masked ball; he died on 29/3/1792.

21/6/1788, King Gustavus III of Sweden invaded Russian Finland, without declaring war first.

1/11/1778, Gustavus IV, King of Sweden, was born.

19/8/1772, Gustavus III of Sweden re-established an absolute monarchy, as he removed the Riksdag’s power to legislate. However he also liberalised, abolishing torture and proclaiming the freedom of the press and of religious worship.

10/2/1771, King Adolphus Frederick of Sweden died, aged 60, in Stockholm. He was succeeded by his 25-year old son, Gustavus III.

14/1/1766, Christian VII (1749-1808) became King of Denmark.

26/1/1763, Charles XIV, King of Sweden, was born.

9/10/1757, Charles X, King of Sweden, was born.

6/4/1746, Christian VI of Denmark died aged 47. He was succeeded by his son, 23, Frederick V.

24/1/1746, Gustavus III, King of Sweden, was born.

12/10/1730, Frederick IV of Denmark died, the day after his 59th birthday, at Odense. He had reigned for 31 years, and lost some territory in Germany He was succeeded by his 31-year old son, Christian VI, who ruled until 1746.

11/12/1718, Charles XII, King of Sweden, was killed.

24/12/1715, Swedish troops occupied Norway.

6/8/1714, Naval Battle of Gangut, in the Baltic; Russia defeated Sweden.

28/2/1710, Sweden defeated a force of 14,000 Danes at the Battle of Helsingborg.

8/7/1709, The Battle of Poltava (in modern day eastern Ukraine). Peter the Great of Russia destroyed the Swedish army. Hanover and Denmark joined with Russia in attacking the Swedish Empire.

9/10/1708, Battle of Lesnaya; Russia beat Sweden.

4/7/1708, Battle of Holovsin; Sweden beat Russia.

2/7/1708, Battle of Kliszow; Sweden beat Russia.

13/4/1703, Battle of Pultusk; Sweden beat Russia.

18/7/1702, Battle of Hummelsdorf; Russia beat Sweden.

7/1/1702, Battle of Errestfer; Russia beat Sweden.

20/11/1700, Sweden defeated the Russians at Narva.

1699, Drottingholm Palace, near Stockholm, was completed.

14/12/1697, Charles XII was crowned King of Sweden, aged 15.

7/5/1697, The Royal Castle, Tree Kronor (Three Crowns) in Sweden burnt down, destroying a large part of the Royal Library.

5/4/1697, Death of King Charles XI of Sweden, aged 40, after a 37-year reign. He was succeeded by his 14-year-old son, Charles XII, who ruled until 1718, see 14/12/1697.

19/4/1689, Queen Christina of Sweden died; she had abdicated in 1654.

29/1/1688, Emmanuel Swedenborg, Swedish mystic, was born.

30/4/1683, France, Brandenburg-Prussia, and Denmark agreed that Sweden should be expelled from German territories.

17/6/1682, Charles XII, King of Sweden, was born.

1680, The city of Karlskrona, Sweden, was founded by King Charles XI.

14/7/1677, At the Battle of Landskrona, Sweden defeated Denmark.

31/5/1677, Danish ships defeated a Swedish naval force.

4/12/1676, The Swedish town of Lund was defended in the Battle of Lund, one of the bloodiest battles fought in Scandinavia.

9/2/1670, Frederick III, King of Denmark, died.

3/5/1660, At the Peace of Oliva (near Danzig), Frederick William ceded Eastern Pomerania to Sweden.

12/2/1660, Charles X of Sweden died, aged37. He was succeeded by his 4-year old son, Charles XI. Also this day the Treaty of Copenhagen ended hostilities between Sweden and Denmark. The Danes ceded the province of Scania, southern tip of Scandinavia, to Sweden.

25/6/1656, The Treaty of Mareinburg was concluded between Sweden and Brandenburg-Prussia.  The Poles under John Casimir had expelled the Swedes, and under this Treaty Brandenburg-Prussia was promised part of the spoils should Poland be defeated by Sweden.

16/6/1654, Queen Christina of Sweden abdicated in favour of her cousin, Charles Gustavus (Charles X). There had been discontent at her luxurious lifestyle and failure to produce an heir. She had sold off large amounts of Crown Property to support the 500 nobles she had created . She fled disguised in men’s clothes as ‘Count Dohna’, to settle in Rome.

28/2/1648, Christian IV, King of Denmark, died.

16/11/1632, Gustavus II, King of Sweden from 1611, killed as his army gained victory in the Battle of Lutzen (Thirty Years War) near Leipzig. He was succeeded by his 6-year old daughter, Christina; in the interim, Sweden was governed by Count Axel Oxenstierna.

17/9/1631, During the Thirty Years War, a battle was fought between Gustavus II, King of Sweden (1594-1632) and the Holy Roman Empire forces under Tilly at Brietenfeld, Germany. (see 4/7/1630).  The Swedes overwhelmingly won. Gustavus II had extended the Kingdom of Sweden right around the eastern Baltic, turning it into a ‘Swedish lake’. Gustavus now began to conquer the wealthy lands of the rivers Main and Rhine.

4/7/1630, During the Thirty Years War, Gustavus Adolphus, Protestant King of Sweden, landed at Peenemunde with an army of 13,000 men, in an attempt to bring the entire Baltic under Swedish control.  See 17/9/1631.

8/12/1626, Queen Christina of Sweden was born.

27/2/1617, The Treaty of Stolbovo ended the Ingrian War between Sweden and Russia.  Sweden gained Ingermanland and Karelia.

1611, Jan Mayen Land, between Spitsbergen and Iceland, was discovered by the Dutch explorer Jan Mayen.

30/10/1611, Charles IX of Sweden died aged 61. He was succeeded by his 16-year old son, Gustavus II.

12/3/1610, Swedish troops under Jacob de la Gardie took Moscow.

18/3/1609, Frederick III, King of Denmark, born.

1596, Svalbard (Spitsbergen) was discovered by the Dutch explorer Willem Barents, who sighted the islands whilst searching for the Northern Sea Route.

9/12/1594, Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, was born.

4/4/1588, Frederick II, King of Denmark, died, aged 53. He was succeeded by his 10-year old son, Christian IV.

13/12/1570, The Peace of Stettin ended the war between Sweden and Denmark, recognising Swedish independence.

30/9/1568, King Eric XIV of Sweden was deposed  after several years of worsening insanity. He was succeeded by his 31-year-old brother who reiged until 1592 as John III.

29/9/1560, Gustavus Vasa, King of Sweden, died.

25/6/1560, Gustavus I of Sweden abdicated, aged 64. He was succeeded by his son, Charles IX.

1/1/1559, Christian III, King of Denmark and Norway, died aged 55 after a reign of nearly 24 years. He was succeeded by his 24-year-old son as Frederick II, who reigned for 29 years.

1/7/1534, Frederick II, King of Denmark, was born.

1533, King Frederick I of Denmark died aged 62. He was succeeded as King of Denmark and Norway by his 30-tear-old son, who ruled as King Christian III until 1559.

6/6/1523, Gustavus Vasa, aged 27, was elected King of Sweden, and finally established full independence from Denmark. End of the Kalmar Union.

4/11/1520, Christian was crowned King of Sweden.

1513, King John I of Denmark (who was also King John II of Sweden, 1497-1501), died after a 32-year reign. He was succeeded by his 32-year-old son as King Christian II of Denmark and Norway, but Sweden refused to accept his rule.

12/5/1496, Gustavus Vasa, King of Sweden, was born.

30/10/1495, An explosion at Vyborg Castle deterred Russian forces who were invading Sweden through Karelia.

21/5/1481, Christian I, King of Denmark and Norway, died and was succeeded by his son John (1481-1513).

15/5/1470,  Charles VIII, King of Sweden, died

28/10/1412, Margaret, Queen of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, died.

20/6/1397. The Union of Kalmar united Denmark, Norway, and Sweden under one monarch. See 1380.

1380, Hakon, King of Norway, died. His surviving wife was Queen Margaret (born 1353, married 1363, and daughter of Waldemar III, King of Denmark). Her son Olaf died in 1387, which meant she became ruler of Denmark also. She defeated Albert, King of Sweden, thereby gaining that country too. Margaret then instituted the Union of Kalmar, 1397, to permanently unite these three countries. Margaret died in 1412.

1363, King Magnus II of Sweden was forced to abdicate at age 47 after a weak 44-year reign. He was succeeded by Albert of Mecklenburg, a puppet of the Swedish aristocracy, who ruled until 1387.

8/7/1319, Three-year-old Magnus Eriksson was elected king of Sweden, thus uniting it with Norway. His mother Ingeborg of Norway was given a place in the regency in both Sweden and Norway.

31/8/1314, King Hakon V Magnusson moved the capital of Norway from Bergen to Oslo, where he built Akershus Fortress. Norway ws ruled from this fortress the next 500 years.

1290, Sweden’s King Magnus Ladulos died aged 50 after an 11-year reign. He was succeeded by his 10-year-old son who was crowned Birger III in 1302; he ruled until his exile in 1318.

15/12/1263, Haakon IV, King of Norway, died.

1255, The city of Stockholm was founded, on an island in a fjord.

15/7/1240. Alexander Nevski defeated the Swedish army, led by General Briger Jarl, on the banks of the Neva.

1194, Spitsbergen was discovered by Norsemen.

1157, King Eric IX of Sweden conquered Finland, and forced the Finns to be baptised as Christians.

1150, King Sverker of Sweden was deposed after a 16-year reign that has amalgamated the Swedes and Goths. He was succeeded by Eric IX, who ruled until 1160.

1090, King Ingo of Sweden acceded (died 1112).

1070, Bergen, Norway, was founded by Olaf Kyrre.

1047, Magnus I died after 12 years rule as King of Norway and five years as King of Denmark. He was succeeded I Norway by Harald Haadraade, 32, who ruled until 1066 as Harald II. In Denmark he was succeeded by Sweyn Estrithson, grandson of Sweyn Forkbeard, who ruled until 1075 as Sweyn II.

1000, Iceland’s Althing chose to adopt Christianity over Odin-worship.

993, Sweden’s first Christian ruler, Olaf Skutkonung, acceded. Son of Eric the Conqueror, he ruled until his death in 1024.

Ca. 985, Erik the Red was banished from Iceland, and sailed to Greenland where he founded a new Viking colony. The name ‘Greenland’ may have been chosen to attract new colonists to an inhospitable place where farming was only possible, with a short growing season, in the extreme south-west. The Vinking colony died out in the 1400s as climatic conditiins deteriorated.

928, The Althing, the Icelandic Parliament, was founded at Thingvellir. It was reformed in 1874.

907, The city of Trondheim,Norway, was founded.

874, Norse settlement of Iceland began. Ingolfur Arnason brought in the first settlers.

866, Floki Vilgeroarson, Norseman, made an early expedition to Iceland, and named it ‘Ice-Island’ due to the quantity of ice in its fjords.

850, Gorm the Elder united Jutand and the Danish Islands, and became King of Denmark.

800, The Vikings discovered the Faeroe Islands.

517, The first documented Viking raid on Gaul. The Viking King Hygelac was killed and his fleet defeated.

500, Danes from Scania (southern Sweden) settled in Jutland (Denmark).


8,000 BCE, Start of hunter-gatherer peoples in Scandinavia, as the climate warmed.


Back to top