THE UPPSALA TEMPLE, SWEDEN – THE SANSKRIT CONNECT

Uppsala is the capital of Uppsala County and the fourth largest city of Sweden. The ancient Temple at Uppsala was a religious center in the ancient Norse religion once.


Located at what is now Gamla Uppsala (‘gamla’ is Swedish for ‘old’), this temple is attested in Adam of Bremen’s 11th-century work ‘Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum‘ and in Heimskringla, written by Snorri Sturluson in the 13th century. 


So what is the etymology of this word.  Western scholars trace the word sala in Uppsala to German Saal, Romanian Sala, Dutch zaal, Icelandic salur, Swedish and Danish sal, Finnish sali, French salle and Italian sala – ultimately to the reconstructed language Proto-Indo-European, which of course never existed. 

Sweden Uppsala Mound


In Sanskrit ‘upasthan’ (उपस्थान) means ‘sanctuary’. Then again  ‘upa’ (उप) means ‘above’ and ‘shala’ (शाला) means ‘hall’ – literally ‘the hall above’. The suffix ‘shala’ is commonly used in Sanskrit and Hindi in words such as ‘pathshala’ (पाठशाला) ‘school’, ‘gaushala’ (गौशाला) ‘cow-shed’ etc.


To read about the Sanskrit connect to the name ‘Sweden’ click here.

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