Top Historic Sights in Vadstena, Sweden

Explore the historic highlights of Vadstena

Vadstena Castle

Vadstena Castle was originally built by King Gustav I in 1545 as a fortress to protect Stockholm from enemies from the south. The fortress consisted of three smaller stone buildings facing the lake, Vättern, three 31 meter wide ramparts, a courtyard, a moat and four circular cannons turrets. The original ramparts were torn down in the 19th century and the present ramparts were inaugurated in 1999. The stone buildings ...
Founded: 1545 | Location: Vadstena, Sweden

Vadstena Abbey

The Abbey of Our Lady and of St. Bridget, more commonly referred to as Vadstena Abbey, was the motherhouse of the Bridgettine Order. The abbey started on one of the farms donated to it by the king, but the town of Vadstena grew up around it. The abbey was founded in 1346 by Saint Bridget with the assistance of King Magnus IV of Sweden and his Queen Blanche of Namur, who made a will donating ten farms to the abbey founded ...
Founded: 1346 | Location: Vadstena, Sweden

Vadstena Museum

Vadstena City Museum displays the history of Vadstena from the Middle Ages to present. There is also a collection of famous Vadstena laces.
Founded: 1949 | Location: Vadstena, Sweden

Vadstena Town Hall

The Town Hall of Vadstena is Sweden's oldest, dating back to the early 15th century. It was first mentioned in 1417. There were two halls in the downstairs and the actual town hall in the upstairs. The tower was erected in the 1500s.
Founded: ca. 1417 | Location: Vadstena, Sweden

Bishop’s House

Bishop’s House was built originally in the 1390s for the residence of Linköping Bishop when he was visiting Vadstena. The present house dates from the 15th century by Bishop Henrik Tidemansson. In the interior you will find fragments of wall paintings preserved from the time it was built. Both Christian II of Denmark and King Gustav Vasa of Sweden have stayed in the house. It is open to the public for special e ...
Founded: 1390s | Location: Vadstena, Sweden

Red Tower

Rödtornet (Red Tower) is the only remaining part of the medieval St. Peter's Church built in the 12th century. The tower was erected in 1464. The church was replaced with a school in 1828.
Founded: 1464 | Location: Vadstena, Sweden

Hospital Museum

Vadstena Hospital Museum covers the town's hospital tradition. The museum building is an old mental hospital built in 1757. The 16th century Mårten Skinnares House is situated next to the museum and open during guided tours of the museum.
Founded: 1757 | Location: Vadstena, Sweden

Nässja Stone Ship

Nässja Stone Ship with 24 stones is one of the largest Iron Age stone settings in Sweden. Th is 44m long and 18m wide. There is also 23 other ancient relics around.
Founded: 500 BCE - 400 AD | Location: Vadstena, Sweden

Herrestad Church

Herrestad Church is one of the oldest existing churches in Sweden. According the Radiocarbon dating of wooden parts the construction was started in 1112. Archaeologists have also found nearby an early Christian tomb from the 1000s. It is quite probable there has been a wooden church before the stone church was built. Herrestad church was made of limestone in early Romanesque style. The interior includes a medieval tripty ...
Founded: ca. 1112 | Location: Vadstena, Sweden

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Trullhalsar Burial Field

Trullhalsar is a very well-preserved and restored burial field dating back to the Roman Iron Ages (0-400 AD) and Vendel period (550-800 AD). There are over 340 different kind of graves like round stones (called judgement rings), ship settings, tumuli and a viking-age picture stone (700 AD).

There are 291 graves of this type within the Trullhalsar burial ground, which occurs there in different sizes from two to eight metres in diameter and heights between 20 and 40 centimetres. Some of them still have a rounded stone in the centre as a so-called grave ball, a special feature of Scandinavian graves from the late Iron and Viking Age.

In addition, there is a ship setting, 26 stone circles and 31 menhirs within the burial ground, which measures about 200 x 150 metres. The stone circles, also called judge's rings, have diameters between four and 15 metres. They consist partly of lying boulders and partly of vertically placed stones. About half of them have a central stone in the centre of the circle.

From 1915 to 1916, many of the graves were archaeologically examined and both graves of men and women were found. The women's graves in particular suggest that the deceased were very wealthy during their lifetime. Jewellery and weapons or food were found, and in some graves even bones of lynxes and bears. Since these animals have never been found in the wild on Gotland, it is assumed that the deceased were given the skins of these animals in their graves.