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is a traditional Swedish province or landskap in middle Swedenmarker. It borders Västergötlandmarker, Värmlandmarker, Västmanlandmarker, Södermanlandmarker and Östergötlandmarker. On Närkes 4,100 km² surface area, 187,000 people live.

The name of the province is partly derived from an old name for the people of the province, the Njarar (Njars) or Nerikjar (today Närkingar), a name that occurs in the Scandinavian version of theLay of Weyland the smith. The root nari, neri is cognate to English narrow and refers to the narrow inlets that characterized the geography in the south and the north-east. In English sometimes also Nerike (an archaic spelling of the province) and Nericia (the Latin name) is used for the province.

Riseberga Monastery Ruin in Lekeberg


The traditional provinces of Sweden serve no administrative or political purposes, but are historical and cultural entities. In the case of Närke, the province makes up the southern part of Örebro Countymarker.


Arms granted in 1560, and revised a decade or so later with the current one. The arms is represented with a ducal coronet. At the centre there are two crossbow darts was - the crossbow being the favourite weapon of the peasants. Blazon: "Gules between four Roses Argent two Arrows in saltire Or points upward pointed Argent." The Närke arms is one of the components of the coat of arms for Örebro County, granted in 1944.


The oldest city in Närke was Örebromarker, receiving its privileges around 1200. After that, Askersundmarker was chartered in 1643 and Kumlamarker in 1942. City status in Sweden was discontinued as of 1971, so these are historical titles.


Norse mythology mentions three kings of Närke, Nidud, Olof the Sharp-sighted and Sporsnjall. Nidud was a villainous king in the lay of Wayland the smith, Olaf aided the Norwegian king Vikar in battle, and Sporsnjall was burnt to death by Ingjald Ill-ruler together with five other petty kings.

  • The exiled Norwegian King Olaf the Holy, stayed in Närke for some time, 1028-1029, with Sigtrygg, before departing for Russia and its ruler Yaroslav I the Wise. Olaf may have initiated the Christianization of the province (see also Culture of Närke).
  • In the year 1170, Närke was incorporated into the diocese of Strängnäsmarker.
  • In around 1200 A.D., the Castlemarker of Örebromarker was built to protect the bridge crossing the ford (öre means "sand bank" and bro means "bridge"), as well as the borough on the south side of the bridge. It was to withstand many sieges, and acquired a reputation for being impregnable.
  • In 1316 the future Saint Birgitta of Sweden was married to Ulf Gudmarson, lord of Närke, to whom she bore eight children, one of whom was afterwards honoured as St Catherine of Sweden.
  • In 1435, Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson, the leader of a popular uprising against the Danish bailiiffs (fogdar), was given the castle of Örebro as a fief. In the following year he was assassinated.
  • From 1525 to 1554, it was a fiefdom belonging to Lars Siggesson Sparre. Later in belonged to Duke Charles from 1560 to 1598 and to his son Duke Charles Philip from 1611 to 1622.
  • During the 16th and 17th centuries iron bars were manufactured in the territory, which was under a number of fiefs. As the farming activities yielded very little, the iron manufacture became even more attractive to the farmers, as well as trade with oxen. The oxen were sold in Bergslagen as well as Dalarnamarker, where the skin of the oxen were important items in the mines.
  • 1812 It was decided in Örebro castle that Jean Baptiste Bernadotte (Karl XIV Johan) should be the next king of Sweden
  • The surplus of oxen was also one of the reasons why the shoe-making business took shape and became a most important industry in Närke up until the middle of the 20th century.

Närke was renowned for its warlike peasants and when coat-of-arms for the province was granted for the funeral of Gustav Vasa in 1560 two crossbow darts was the central symbol - the crossbow being the favourite weapon of the peasants.

In Närke there are also a number of medieval castles. The most important and best preserved one is located in Tarsta at Sköllersta.

Dukes of Närke

Since 1772, Swedish Princes have been created Dukes of various provinces. This is solely a nominal title.


The province of Närke has 5,200 ancient remains.

Historical subdivisions

The old subdivisions of provinces were the Hundreds of Sweden. In Närke, the hundreds were:

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