Along with Sigtuna, Lund is the oldest city in present-day Sweden. Lund's origins are unclear. Until the 1980s, the town was thought to have been founded around 1020 by either Sweyn I Forkbeard or his son Canute the Great of Denmark. The area was then part of the kingdom of Denmark. But, recent archaeological discoveries suggest that the first settlement dated to circa 990, possibly the relocation of settlers at Uppåkra. The Uppåkra settlement dates back to the first century B.C. and its remains are at the present site of the village of Uppåkra. King Sweyn I Forkbeard moved Loda to its present location, a distance of some five kilometres. The new location of Lund, on a hill and across a ford, gave the new site considerable defensive advantages in comparison with Uppåkra, situated on the highest point of a large plain.
The city was made a see in 1048 and united with Dalby in 1060, and in 1103 became the seat of the archbishop for Scandinavia. The diocese of nearby Dalby was absorbed in 1066. Lund Cathedral was similarly founded in or shortly after 1103. In 1152, the Norwegian archdiocese of Nidaros was founded as a separate province of the church, independent of Lund. In 1164 Sweden also acquired an archbishop of its own, although he was nominally subordinate to the archbishop of Lund. It is still, as the diocese of Lund, a diocese in the Church of Sweden.
Lund Cathedral School (Katedralskolan) was founded in 1085 by the Danish king Canute the Saint. This is the oldest school in Scandinavia and one of the oldest in Northern Europe. Many prominent people were educated there, among them the actor Max von Sydow and several high-ranking politicians.
In 1658, the Scanian lands were ceded by Denmark to Sweden by the Treaty of Roskilde. On December 4, 1676 Lund was defended in the Battle of Lund, one of the bloodiest battles fought in Scandinavia.
Lund University, established in 1666, is Sweden's largest, with 42,000 full or part-time students, although not all live in Lund. The figure includes Lund Institute of Technology, which is to some extent independent of the old university. As late as the 1940s, Lund was a relatively small city with few large-scale industries, covering only about a fourth of the current urban area, and dominated by the cathedral and the university. Since then, the student population has increased about twelvefold; many industrial companies in the chemical, medical or electronics branches and, from the 1990s within information management, have set up establishments in the city; and the town's population, architecture and energy have been transformed.
Compared with many other Swedish cities, the urban heart of Lund is well preserved. A local law requires archaeological excavation in association with any downtown property planned for demolition and redevelopment.
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