The links between Cyprus and Sweden date back to the 12th century, when the Vikings served as part of a Byzantine guard in the coastal city of Paphos in the southwest of Cyprus.
The best known among the Swedish visitors of the time is Saint Birgitta, who was recently proclaimed Patron Saint of the European Union. During the time of Birgitta’s two voyages to Cyprus in 1372, the island was an independent kingdom governed by Peter II, under the tutelage of his mother Eleonora of Aragon. Birgitta was warmly welcomed by the queen. However, after seeing a vision, Birgitta accused the queen of immorality and put a curse on the whole population of the island. Birgitta predicted that Famagusta would be destroyed in the same way as Sodom and Gomorrah because of the sins of its inhabitants and the royal court.
After visiting Jerusalem, Birgitta saw another vision about Cyprus which she announced to the Cypriot court in Famagusta up