An archaeological-, trade- and pilgrim path through Fryksdalen.
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The group working with Fryksdalsleden consists of participants from the Kil, Östra Ämterviks, Sunne and Lysviks folklore societies in collaboration with the Church and the municipalities. The initiative came from a couple of participants in the group.
We call Fryksdalsleden "an archaeological-, trade- and pilgrim path." Archaeological because there is reason to assume that the path has been used for at least millennia. Trade as the trail formerly has been used for trading (cf. commerce site Björke). Pilgrim because there are clear signs of pilgrims walked this road.
Christianity seems to have come to Fryksdalen during the 1100s. From that time and until the Reformation monasticism occurred here. Pilgrimages were following different paths to the holy places, to St. Olaf's grave in Nidaros, but also in other directions like Skara and Eskilstuna.
Kil was a junction, from here pilgrims went to the north via Fryksdalen and Röjdådalen to Norway, alternatively via Klarälvsdalen. To the west: Brunskog-Arvika-Eda. To the south: Hammaro or Värmlandsnäs for further journey on the lake Vänern towards Skara.
Healthcare, research and education was managed by the monasteries. Some plants were imported, such as Butterbur, Petacites officinalis, a medicinal herb as been used, antispasmodic, but also as a mean to cure the plague. Roman snail (Helix pomatia) is considered to have been introduced in Sweden by the monks because that the snails were permitted as food during Lent. Butterbur still remains at Munkebacka (Monk Hill), between Östra Ämtervik and Sunne. Helix pomatia are found in Bävik. In Smedsby 1828, a medieval gold ring was found, decorated with with names of the three wise, the pilgrims' patron saints.
The pilgrims of today perhaps primarily wants to camp or stay in hostels. Therefore, we have divided the route into six sections which should be reasonable daymarches. At the goals of the stages, there is public transport. Each wanderer of course sets up his own tour according to her/his wishes.