On an island in Lake Vänern, the largest lake in Sweden, is the small village of Otterstad. With a population of around 130 people, it covers more than 10% of the island Kållandsö’s population and has been its centre for centuries.
A Short History of Otterstad
The name Otterstad is known to have existed since the 13th century and it means Ottar’s place. Ancient remains do, however, tell us that there has been life in this area for much longer. In fact, some of the remains date back all the way to the Stone Age. Otterstad was for a long time, until 1969, the centre of the local parish and municipality.
Things to Do and See
Otterstad might not house any of the main sights of the island Kållandsö. Especially since the fishing village of Spiken and the castle of Läckö are so close by. However, there are a few things to explore while driving by.
Otterstad Church is the most prominent building in the locality and it was built in 1854. The construction saw the demolishment of the former church, but building material was also gathered from other churches and chapels in the area.
Otterstad’s Old Church
The Old Church of Otterstad was located only a short walk from the location of the current church. It was demolished during the construction of the new church in the mid-19th century. There are today only parts of the ruins left as well as the old grave yard of the church with its roots in the 12th to 13th century.
The local open-air heritage museum is also close to the church. The local heritage association was formed in 1919 and covers the heritage of the whole island and not only Otterstad. Traditional houses from the area are showcased for its visitors.
Looking for something special? There are some rocks visible on the field next to the church. These rocks don’t look like much on first sight, but once you look closer you will be able to see the rock carvings. These are called hällristningar in Swedish.
How to Get to Otterstad
- Flights: The closest larger airport is Göteborg Landvetter Airport (GOT) 140 kilometres away, with both domestic and international flights.
- Car: Otterstad is located along countryside roads outside of Lidköping.
- Train: The nearest train station is located in nearby Lidköping.
- Bus: Regional and local buses connect Otterstad with the surrounding region.
The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:
- Stockholm – 382 kilometers (4h 34min)
- Gothenburg – 153 kilometers (2h)
- Malmö – 422 kilometers (4h 52min)
- Linköping – 242 kilometers (3h 14min)
- Kiruna – 1479 kilometers (17h 49min)
Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden