The stone foundation of the old church of Varnhem, dated 1040 or earlier.
Coordinates: 58°23′N 13°39′E / 58.383°N 13.650°E / 58.383; 13.650Coordinates: 58°23′N 13°39′E / 58.383°N 13.650°E / 58.383; 13.650
Country Sweden
Province Västergötland
County Västra Götaland County
Municipality Skara Municipality
  Total 0.80 km2 (0.31 sq mi)
Population (31 December 2010)[1]
  Total 707
  Density 889/km2 (2,300/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Climate Dfb

Varnhem is a locality situated in Skara Municipality, Västra Götaland County, Sweden with 707 inhabitants in 2010.[1]

Varnhem is the location of the oldest known stone church in Sweden outside of Scania, erected in the 1040s at the latest. It is also the location of a Christian cemetery which was in use during the end of the ninth century.

The Cistercian Order established Varnhem Abbey around 1150, not far from the old church. A new abbey church was erected to replace the older church; the abbey church is still in use.

Varnhem and in particular its abbey has received additional attention in recent years due to it being the main location of The Knight Templar trilogy written by Jan Guillou, and subsequently filmed. Arn Magnusson, the hero character of the series is portrayed as living there.

Birger jarl and his family lie buried in Varnhem.


  1. 1 2 3 "Tätorternas landareal, folkmängd och invånare per km2 2005 och 2010" (in Swedish). Statistics Sweden. 14 December 2011. Archived from the original on 10 January 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2012.

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