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town, Vastra Gotaland lan (county), south-central Sweden, southeast of Lake Vanern. One of Sweden's oldest towns, it was a religious centre both before and after the arrival of Christianity. In 1015 it became the seat of Sweden's first bishop. The cathedral was built in the 12th century and has been restored several times. One of Sweden's earliest secondary schools was established there in 1641. In Skara is the provincial Vastergotland Museum with the adjoining Fornbyn open-air museum. About 10 miles (16 km) east of the town is the Varnhem Abbey Church, founded about 1250. Pop. (2000) mun., 18,578.