Gotland is the largest island in Sweden. It’s a great place to visit for many reasons, not the least for its history and geology.
The islands largest town Visby belonged to the German Hanseatic-league during the middle ages (it was a community of traders that controlled most of northern Europe at this time). A town of great wealth back then. But after the middle ages the economy fell and that’s basically the reason that the town today is such a great place to visit if you are historically interested, since so much is preserved and not destroyed. Nothing or nobody came after and tore away the medieval town.
For this reason Visby is a haven for people who likes medieval activities. They even have a huge medieval festival and market in early August with everything you would expect to find at such an event. If you are planning a trip to Sweden, then try to fit in a trip to Gotland, you won’t regret it. The picture below shows a medieval knight standing outside the medieval town wall of Visby.
Geology vise the island of Gotland is just one big rock of Silurian limestone, primarily reef built limestone that was deposited at a time when Gotland was a giant reef near the equator. There’s not much other types of bedrock there. But who cares since Gotland is a haven of Silurian fossils.
One basically just has to pick up a rock and it will contain fossils from the Silurian period. I collected some fossils on my week long vacation trip there in August of 2007. I primarily found Anthozoa (corals) of different types. Here are three examples of the several pounds which I dragged with me home after the vacation.
The picture below shows four samples of Rugosa coral.
The picture below shows a sample of Favosites, a tabulate coral.
The picture below shows a sample of Heliosites or “Sun coral”, also a tabulate coral.
The pictures below show the strange formation knows as Rauks. They are the result of erosion that has exposed more harder reef sediments when the more brittle limestone around eroded away. It’s a quite recent event that started after the ice receded from this area after the last ice age (12000 Bp). These rauks are found in great numbers around the coast of Gotland. And yes, they are packed with fossils.
The picture below shows a closeup of the bedrock. As you can se its full of visible macro fossils.