Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Vadstena Castle


Vadstena Castle (Vadstena slott) in the county of Östergötland is a former Royal Castle, originally built by King Gustav I (Gustav Vasa) in 1545 as a fortress to protect Stockholm from enemies approaching from the south.

The reconstruction from fortress into a habitable castle began in the 1550s, when King Gustav’s son prince Magnus became Duke of Östergötland. Magnus died in 1595 and is buried in the church of Vadstena Abbey.

In 1552, King Gustav I married his third wife in Vadstena - Katarina Stenbock from Torpa in Västergötland. (I blogged about a visit to Torpa Castle back in 2012.) The marriage took place in the chapel of the Vadstena Abbey and was followed the next day by the coronation of Katarina as Queen.

By 1620, when Vadstena castle was completed, all the kings of the House of Vasa had contributed to its construction. Since then, the castle has been very well preserved, and is one of Sweden's best examples of Renaissance architecture. The original ramparts of the fortress were torn down in the 19th century, though, and the present ramparts were finished as late as in 1999.

Since 1899, the castle has housed the Provincial Archives, and nowadays also a Castle Museum. The castle is also the seat of the International Vadstena Academy, Sweden's smallest opera house. In summer, there are concerts given in the courtyard of both classical and pop music.

We did not go on a guided tour, and did not go inside the castle – only around it, and into the courtyard.



170728-07 Vadstena - slott - magasin

Harbour warehouses in old style opposite the castle.

170728-07 Vadstena - slott2




170728-07 Vadstena - slott



The little people give you an idea of how big the castle is!


Even though we didn’t join the tour, I managed to sneak a shot of this guide in period costume.

Vadstena karta

The castle (Vadstena slott) is the orange square island in the bottom left corner of the map.

Next: From there, we followed the walkway along the lake, up to the Abbey (kloster) area in the upper right corner.

Our World Tuesday


  1. you always have he best reflection photos, love these and I like that glass shop with the doors open.

  2. I'm a big fan of moated buildings and this is a beauty.

  3. Goodness, this place is amazing. and they made a moat all around it! I see there are a couple land bridges, so that must be how you got there. the huge round tower and dome is lovely, with a larger circumference than any I have seen. The inside tour must take all day, at least! How appropriate to have the opera at a castle, a total experience. The reflections are great!

  4. Another fascinating place to explore, and it is HUGE! Now I am very much looking forward to pictures of the Kloster (same word in German, as you probably know).

  5. Such a beautiful castle! I must visit one day.

  6. Thanks for your comments, everyone. I could certainly have spent another day (at least) in Vadstena - so much to see!!

  7. That is impressive. His third wife! I'm sure the church didn't approve (assuming that he wasn't twice widowed) which might have been the excuse for splitting from Papal control. ?

    1. Actually, Graham, king Gustav Vasa WAS twice widowed. His first wife died four years after their marriage. With her, he had one son. One year later, he married his 2nd wife, with whom he had ten more children (two of whom died in infancy, but the rest lived to be adults). One year after her death, in 1552, he married the much younger Katarina. They never had any children. (Gustav died in 1560 and was succeeded on the throne by his son from his first marriage, Eric XIV. (Hard to know where to stop: Eric died 1568, possibly murdered, and was in turn replaced by his brother John III, and...)


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