Trelleborg is a town in the province of Skåne in southern Sweden. It is a town with a rich history, dating back to the Viking Age, and is known for its strategic location along the Baltic Sea. Today, with its harbor, it is an important gateway for Swedes traveling to the European continent. Trelleborg is also home to around 30.800 inhabitants and a reconstructed Viking fortress.
A Short History of Trelleborg
The first known written mention of Trelleborg dates back to 1257. There is, however, a rich Viking history in this part of Sweden. This was earlier the location of a Viking ring fortress, also known as a “Trelleborg”. It is this fortress that has given the current town its name.
Trelleborg has since the Viking Age developed into a modern town in small but consistent steps. During the Middle Ages, it was the fishing of herring that fed the development. The trading of the fish was initially done within the Hanseatic League, but its importance did also impact nearby Malmö. The internal conflict resulted in a step backward for Trelleborg when the town lost its town status in 1619. Trade did, however, continue illegally.
The railway to Lund opened in 1875 and the railway was soon going to be connected with naval routes in Trelleborg. It was at the turn of the 19th century that maritime development began in Trelleborg. The first route between Trelleborg and Sassnitz in Germany opened in 1897. The train connection, with the use of ferries, between Sweden and Germany opened in 1909. This meant that it was possible to go by train from Malmö to Berlin. Up until 2015, there were only trains to and from Berlin that included passenger traffic to and from Trelleborg.
Things to Do and See
Trelleborg has a lot to offer, also in addition to the main attractions. Maybe it is time to explore the town’s city center, where you can find shops, cafes, and restaurants. The coast also has several beaches within reach and there is always the possibility to explore more of Skåne or even Europe with Trelleborg’s well-connected network of trains and ferries.
Trelleborgen is a reconstructed Viking fortress. It was completed in 1995 and is a quarter of a former Viking fortress that was discovered in the 1980s. It is today possible to explore the fortress, visit the museum, or learn more at the reconstructed Long House. Some, but not all, of these have a cost for admission.
Trelleborgs Gamla Vattentorn
The old water tower of the town stands as a monument in the central part of town. It measures a height of 58 meters. It is a brick tower that was built with bricks from Helsingborg. The water tower was in use up until 1974.
Sankt Nicolai Kyrka
The Saint Nicolai Church in central Trelleborg was inaugurated in 1883. It replaced a smaller medieval church that had become too small for the growing town. The only part that was saved was the former church tower from 1617. The church is today a part of the Trelleborg Congregation within the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden.
This is the local museum that is preserving and showcasing the cultural and historical heritage of Trelleborg and its vicinity. Often featured exhibitions are usually related to local history, archeology, arts, and crafts.
Sjöormen, or the Sea Snake, is a fountain and bronze sculpture in the main square. The sculpture is 4 meters tall, but the length of the snake is around 50 meters. The sculpture was inaugurated in 1935. It was created by the artist Axel Ebbe.
This is the maritime museum. It tells of the maritime history of Trelleborg, including both fishing and shipping. It is housed in the old offices of the former sugar refinery.
Mudderberget is a small manmade hill next to the port of Trelleborg. This has become a viewpoint for people wanting to see the many ferries and ships arriving and departing from Trelleborg. It is from here that you can view the ferries from Stena Line, Skåne, and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, en route between Trelleborg and Rostock. Other ferries from TT-Line sail towards Travemünde, Swinoujscie, Klaipeda, as well as Rostock.
How to Get to Trelleborg
- Flights: The nearest airport is Malmö Airport (MMX) to the north, there is also Copenhagen Airport (CPH) across the Öresund Strait in Denmark.
- Car: Trelleborg is located at the intersection between Road 9 and Road 108 in southern Sweden
- Bus: Buses from Skånetrafiken connect Trelleborg with the surrounding area.
- Train: Trains from Pågatågen go to and from Trelleborg. Destinations include Helsingborg, Malmö, and Kävlinge, to mention a few.
- Ferry: There are regular ferries to and from Trelleborg operated by Stena Line and TT-Line. Destinations are Klaipeda (Lithuania), Rostock (Germany), Travemünde (Germany), and Swinoujscie (Poland).
The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:
- Stockholm – 646 kilometers (6 h 30 min)
- Gothenburg – 305 kilometers (3 h)
- Malmö – 32 kilometers (30 min)
- Linköping – 451 kilometers (4 h 30 min)
- Kiruna – 1876 kilometers (18 h 50 min)