Battle of Gestilren

Battle of Gestilren memorial in Varv's parish, Västergötland


The Battle of Gestilren took place on July 17, 1210.[1] The battle was fought between the exiled King of Sweden Sverker and the ruling King Eric. Sverker had been beaten in the previous Battle of Lena, but had returned with new forces. Sverker was killed in the battle. The exact strength of the armies are unknown.

The battle was a victory for the Folkung party of local autonomies against the centralising forces of Catholic monarchy. The party would rule the country until they were defeated at the Battle of Sparrsätra in 1247.

The location where this battle took place is the subject of a very long and very heated discussion between Swedish historians. Traditionally, the location was believed to be Varvs socken, Västergötland in Västergötland, where a monument (58°11′46″N 13°49′38″E / 58.19611°N 13.82722°E / 58.19611; 13.82722) was erected in 1910 to commemorate the seven centuries since the battle.

Recently, archivist and historian Lars-Otto Berg has claimed that it was located at Gästre (59°45′N 16°57′E / 59.750°N 16.950°E / 59.750; 16.950) in Uppland, Sweden, since he found the farm name "Gestilren" fifteen times in the local church records during the years 1580-1630. This is also close to the strongholds of the Folkunge party.


  1. "July 17 in Swedish History", Retrieved April 24, 2014.

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