In the early Middle Ages, Skara was a centre for both church and state. It was a "metropolis" by ancient standards, boasting some 700 inhabitants in a city surrounded by a high fence made up of posts, wooden poles and earthen walls. The low slung residences pushed up against workshops, cowstalls and food storage sheds. The difference between city and country was small back then - everyone had animals and raised vegetables on small plots.
Commerce and trade flourished alongside this cultivation. Skara was both a meeting and a market place. On market days a motley mix of merchants, farmers and craftsmen peopled the square, along with monks, nuns, ecclesiastics, children, jesters and animals. Foreign songs and new instruments could be heard, providing proof of the international trade and contact with the continent via the harbour of Lödöse on the Götaälv river.
The cathedral stood on the city's highest point. Its spires towering over the city and serving as landmark for visitors.
Almost 900 years later, during the advent season 1999, the cathedral was reconsecrated following a comprehensive restoration, designed to serve new generations and coming centuries.