Culture and history

Strawberries and Russian raids

Möja is mentioned as far back as the 13th century in King Valdemar’s sailing directions, and the island was probably already inhabited during this period. In the middle of the 18th century, Möja had a population of around 270 people, which steadily increased to reach a peak of 530 at the beginning of the 1940s. Möja now has around 230 permanent residents.

Access to good “outlying lands” meant that for centuries, Möja was abundant with cattle, and could thus support a large population. During the summer, the animals were transported over to a number of pastoral islands in the Möja archipelago. Fishing has also been extremely important for Möja through the years. Strawberry growing has also been a significant source of income in shorter periods. However, strawberry growing came to an end during the 1960s.

A key date in the history of Möja is 13 July, 1719. This is when Möja suffered under the Russian raids, and all buildings on the island were burned. Only the little chapel in Berg was saved. This was later pulled down and replaced by the current church, which was built in 1768. The façade is from the 19th century.

In 1903, Möja obtained its first steamboat connection with Stockholm, which ushered in a new epoch in the history of the island. Möja inhabitants no longer had to row or sail with their products to Stockholm, and summer visitors gradually started to discover the island.