Vadstena Travel Guide

  • Vadstena
    by shavy
  • Vadstena
    by shavy
  • Vadstena
    by shavy

Vadstena Things to Do

  • Graves in Abbey grounds

    At the time when the church was build only the rich people could buy a burial place inside the church.The ones that couldn't afford this have been buried on the grounds around the Abbey Church and many of these old graves can be seen today on the way to the church's entrance.

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  • Alvastra and St. Birgitta

    It is said that Birgitta received the command from Jesus Christ to found a new order, a new convent while she was still living in Alvastra.She told everything to her confessor who translated all into Latin. The convent it was supposed to include both men and women, under the leadership of a mother and abbess.

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  • Alvastra Klosterruin

    Located at 25km from Vadstena, Alvastra was home of the largest monastery in Sweden.Alvastra Monastery was founded by Cistercian French monks in 1143 and was the first of this order built in Scadinavia.The core of the monastery was the church build of limestone from Omberg according to the order's simple architectural style.The monastery was...

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  • The harbor

    I've always loved the small harbors with colorful boats and blue water and Vadstena harbor is one of the most picturesque I've ever seen.It was a real delight to walk along the shore of Lake Vattern from the Abbey Church to the Castle and enjoy this wonderful view.

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  • Vadstena Castle - courtyard

    The castle was very modern for the time when it was built, with 9m high walls, ramparts and a drawbridge.The wedding of Gustav Vasa and his third wife, Katarina Stenbock in 1552 was also celebrated in a wooden house built in the courtyard and he also used this house as residents during his visits to Vadstena.

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  • The Abbey Church old altarpiece

    The old altarpiece, which can be found behind the altar, is without any doubt another treasure of the Abbey Church.This triptych is made of painted wood and, although it was badly damaged during the years, the beauty of the representations is evident. See more in my Details of Vadstena Abbey Church old Altarpiece travelogue.

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  • Lake Vattern

    Vadstena is situated on the shores of Lake Vattern, Sweden's second largest lake after Lake Vanern.With an average depth of 38m the lake is known for its rough waters and often strong winds.

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  • Vadstena Castle

    The building of the castle began in 1545 and it was not finished before 1620.Built initially as a fortress by king Gustav Vasa, it was transformed into a castle in 1555 by king Johan III, son of Gustav Vasa.During the years members of the royal family lived here but around 1716, the castle was left to decay. Since then it has been used for many...

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  • The tombs

    The tombs inside the church belong only to rich people who had enough money to buy a place. Most of them were noblemen, craftsmen or priests.Inside the church there is also the coffin of Gustav Wasa's son, Duke Magnus.

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  • The Abbey Church of Vadstena features

    Birgitta gave accurate instructions regarding the building of the church and one of these was related to the decoration. She didn't think that the abbey should be decorated. It seems that one of the few exceptions is the decorative paintings of the arches, found during the restoration 1978-1983. The church has large simple windows and pointed...

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  • The Abbey Church altarpiece

    The abbey of Vadstena had great treasures received from kings and queens. Some of these treasures are still kept in the church and one is definitely the altarpiece together with the triumphal crucifix, one of the most beautiful in Sweden.

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  • St. Birgitta statue

    According to the indications of Birgitta, the church had to be a simple humble building with no particular decoration and unadorned walls.Among the oldest elements of the church is the statue of St. Birgitta, made of oak in Northern Germany and consecrated 1435.

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  • The reliquary of the Holy Birgitta

    The most valuable piece of the Abbey Church is Saint Birgitta's shrine. Placed on the right side of the church's altar the shrine is made of wood with gilded fittings and covered by red velvet. The shrine contains the remains of Birgitta brought in Vadstena a year after she died in Rome and those of Katarina, Vadstena's first abbess, added in 1389.

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  • The Abbey Church of Vadstena

    The building of the abbey began in 1370 when the confirmation of the Pope for the Birgettine order arrived. The land was donated to Birgitta by King Magnus Eriksson and Queen Blanka in 1346 based on the promise to bury them in the church.Due to the fact that is made of blue-grey limestone from Omberg, the abbey is also called Blakyrkan or the Blue...

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  • St. Birgitta of Vadstena

    St. Birgitta of Vadstena or St. Bridget of Sweden, born in 1303, is the founder of the Bridgettine Order and also the best known northern countries saint.Birgitta was born in a rich family and married Ulf Gudmarson, lord of Nericia, giving birth to eight children.At the death of her husband in the monastery of Alvastra in 1344, Birgitta totally...

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  • Vadstena - the town

    Vadstena is part of Ostergotland County. Located on the shores of Lake Vattern, the town covers an area of 183.2 sqm and has a total population of 7,600 inhabitants.The history of Vadstena goes back in time until the 1300s when the town started to develop around Vadstena Cloister founded by Saint Birgitta, as the first monastery of the Bridgettine...

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  • Arriving to Vadstena

    Vadstena is located at around 260km south-west of Stockholm and 60km from Linkoping.From Linkoping the road no. 206, via Malmslatt, Gottlosa, Ojebro and Grandy, is going directly to Vadstena. In order to arrive to the sanctury, at the entrance to Vadstena you should turn right direction Klosteromrade and drive about 3km.

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  • Vadstena Church

    I cannot remember how old the church was, but I seem to recall that it dates from medieval times. At first glance, the church appears to be recent, but it's modern-looking Gothic appearance actually dates back several hundred years ago.

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Vadstena Hotels

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Vadstena Nightlife

  • Chibibotto's Profile Photo

    by Chibibotto Written Feb 26, 2006

    This is the place for all the students of the Folk-high school to hang out, so if you visit this place on wedensday, friday or saturday, you can be sure to find people of various age from 18 to 35 haning on that bar or in disscustion in some corner of this very small but cossy pub.

    Dress Code: anything, well except for birthsuit

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Vadstena Off The Beaten Path

  • Vadstena flowers

    Vadstena is definitely a green city. There is a lot of vegetation, trees, flowers...Almost of the houses have a little green garden and the central park is a real delight.I couldn't stop taking a lot of pictures of the flowers around the Castle and you can see come of these pictures in my Flowers of Vadstena travelogue.

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  • Vadstena catwalk

    And this is another example to confirm my theory that Vadstena is not a conventional place after all.What do you think about this beautiful lady who?s having her beauty walk around the Castle?

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  • Ready for a ride?

    It looked like a car but I was not pretty sure about it.In spite of everything, Vadstena could be a traditional place but is indubitable not that conventional.

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Vadstena Favorites

  • Birgitta as a Patron Saint

    In 1999, John Paul II appointed Saint Birgitta as one of the Patron Saints of Europe.She shares this honor with two other saints: Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint Teresia Benedicta of the Cross.The news of the proclamation was in a certain way a surprise, as Sweden is a Protestant country since the beginning of the 16th Century and has only...

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  • Mass in the Abbey Church

    Once there used to be around 60 altars in the church but during the years most of them disappeared.The groups of pilgrims accompanied by a priest coming to Vadstena sanctuary can also arrange to hold a mass in the Abbey Church.

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  • Vadstena Hotels

    3 Hotels in Vadstena

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Explore Deeper into Vadstena
A walk around
Off The Beaten Path
Stained glass windows
Off The Beaten Path
Glass religious exhibition
Off The Beaten Path
Map of Vadstena

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