Book: Medieval Visby and Gotland
Chapter: 5. Early Visby
The chapter provides an introduction to the much disputed question of the early history of Visby. At the site of Visby, a trading port probably existed already in the ninth and tenth centuries, because graves and objects from that period have been found in the later city centre. However, a more permanent settlement, together with an early church, can only be traced from the second half of the eleventh century. From the mid twelfth century Visby radiply expanded, with a dense urban settlement of wood, two stone towers by the habour and at least three stone churches. The most important was the German church, inaugurated in 1190 as a three-aisled basilica.