Vickleby, Öland, Exploring Sweden

Vickleby, Öland – Exploring Sweden

Vickleby is a small locality in Mörbylånga Municipality on the southern half of the island of Öland, the second largest island in Sweden. The population of around 450 inhabitants lives in the vicinity of the former parish church and right on the edge of Stora Alvaret, a large alvar that is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site that goes under the name of the Agricultural Landscape of Southern Öland.

Vickleby has since the early 20th century been proud of attracting artists to the small village. Smaller specialized societies and schools have been established here within the art and craft professions.

A Short History of Vickleby

Vickleby Parish has its origins in the Middle Ages and its church dates back to the 12th century. The parish was, with its church, the local government until the Swedish Municipal Reform of 1862. This was when the responsibilities of the parish were split between the church congregation and the new civic government of Vickleby Municipality. The municipality became a part of Mörbylånga Municipality in 1952 while the church congregation since 2006 is a part of the Resmo-Vickleby Congregation.

The first half of the 20th century saw many artists spending their summers in Vickleby. These artists included names such as Arthur Percy (1886-1976), William Nordling (1884-1956), Ulla Schumacher-Percy (1918-2007), Brita Ek (1898-1980), Ann-Mari Larsén (1920-2015), and Einar Petersson (1892-1968). Many of them were part of the art society known as Vickleyskolan, “The Vickleby School”. The connection with art continued in 1960 when Capellagården was established. This is a school that specializes in crafts, more specifically in the design and crafting of furniture.

Things to Do and See

Most of Vickleby is formed as a line along the main road, located parallel to Road 136 which passes through the area. To the west of the locality is farmland and eventually the Kalmar Strait. To the east is Stora Alvaret with its sparse vegetation.

Vickleby Church

The 12th-century church was for centuries the seat of the local parish. It has since its original construction seen many renovations and alterations, so only a few parts date back to its first inauguration. The church is today a part of the Resmo-Vickleby Congregation within the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden.

Stora Alvaret

Stora Alvaret is a large alvar that covers a fifth of the island’s area. An alvar is a limestone plain that is just barely covered by a thin layer of soil. This makes vegetation sparse and is usually limited to grassland.

Stora Alvaret is a part of the Agricultural Landscape of Southern Öland, a 56.000-hectare-large area that since 2000 has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a biodiverse area famous for its historical and cultural importance.

Vickleby Windmills

Vickleby has two rows of windmills with three windmills in each row. The windmill has become a symbol for the island and it is especially these windmill rows that stand out.


Capellagården is a local crafts school with pupils from around the world. The student’s art and craft creations are exhibited at the school for shorter periods and there are also other collections on display here.

How to Get to Vickleby

  • Flights: The nearest airport is Kalmar Öland Airport (KLR), which is 28 kilometers to the northwest.
  • Car: Vickleby is along Road 136 between Färjestaden and Mörbylånga.
  • Bus: Buses from Kalmar Länstrafik connect Vickleby with the surrounding area.

The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:

  • Stockholm – 433 kilometers (4 h 50 min)
  • Gothenburg – 361 kilometers (4 h 20 min)
  • Malmö – 298 kilometers (3 h 30 min)
  • Linköping – 257 kilometers (3 h 20 min)
  • Kiruna – 1663 kilometers (17 h 40 min)

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