About Ladonia

After more than a decade of legal battles with the authorities in Sweden over the existence of the artworks Nimis and Arx in the Kullaberg Nature Reserve, Ladonia declared its independence and sovereignty on 2 June 1996…

Ancient History/Creation Myth

There was a legend of a garden in the very far west where the dragon Ladon guarded the golden apples of the Hesperides, apples that gave immortality. The myths tell us that Ladon was eventually slain by Hercules, and thus immortality was placed in the world and that event introduced tension between mortal and immortal time.

Recent History

Ladonia was proclaimed independent on the 2nd of June, 1996, by Lars Vilks and a group of 14 others who formed the original Cabinet of Ministers. In 1980, Vilks began building sculptures in wood (Nimis) and then in concrete (Arx) in the Kullaberg Nature Reserve in the south of Sweden. The Swedish authorities didn’t notice the sculptures until 1982-3. By that time, Nimis was 9 stories tall and comprised of at least 70 tons of driftwood. The “discovery” of Nimis by the authorities triggered more than a decade of legal battles where the county board tried to force the sculptures to be taken down or destroyed. See our Timeline

By 1996, most of the legal battles to have Nimis destroyed had been resolved one way or another — the civil complaint (building a house without a permit) went in favor of the county and the criminal complaint (obstructing a public way) went in favor of Vilks. Despite the rulings by the court, the sculptures still stood. Vilks concluded that he had achieved a permanent occupation of the land and de facto control — Sweden was unable to enforce their laws so it was no longer theirs. Based on this and to further protect the sculptures from threat of demolition, Vilks proclaimed the land on which Nimis and Arx stand as “Ladonia”, a sovereign state with an area of 1 square km. At the time, he named himself Chancellor of Ladonia and announced a government comprised of 14 ministers and a few dozen citizens.

In 1997, when the number of citizens had grown to more than 1,000, the first elections were held. The Ladonian Constitution was ratified and Ladonia became a Republican Monarchy with a tri-annually elected president and a queen who reigns for life. The first general election was held and a queen and the first president were elected at this time: Queen Ywonne I Jarl (Sweden) and President Fernando Rodrigues (Brazil).

In 2011, Queen Ywonne abdicated in absentia, and the constitution required that a new queen be elected from the female population of Ladonia. The Minister of Customizations and Gary won the most votes and was offered the crown. Queen Carolyn I was proclaimed on 2 June 2011 and reigns to this day.

In 2019, the office of the President was converted into a Prime Minister changing the position from purely popularly elected, to a role elected from within the ranks of the existing Ministers.

At the last census in January 2024, Ladonia had 29,097 registered, nomadic citizens and more than 125 ministries.

Fun Facts and National Symbols

  • The National Anthem of Ladonia is the sound of throwing a stone into water.
  • The Ladonian language consists of two words: “waaaaalll” and “ÿp”. Waaaaalll does not have a set number of a’s and l’s, but they are always an odd number of each and more a’s than l’s. Waaaaalll is used exuberantly, probably most similar in usage to “huzzah”, where as ÿp, is reserved for solemn or serious occasions.
  • The currency is Örtug, 1 Örtug is around 10 Swedish Krona or 1 Euro.
  • Ladonia has its own time zone (LST – Ladonia Standard Time) which is UTC/GMT +0:57 (Three minutes slower than neighboring Sweden)
  • The Constitution of Ladonia explicitly excludes men from the throne. There has not been, nor will ever be, a King of Ladonia. Only Queens.

See National Symbols & Currency for additional information.

See Ladonian Government for additional information about the government, elected officials and ministries.

See The Monarchy for information on the Queen, the Royal Family, and the Nobility.