Vadstena, Sweden: a lovely medieval lakeside town

Vadstena Castle from the Shore

Very seldom is a town of less than 7,000 people in the middle of Sweden described as a must-see destination. But Vadstena, with its mix of cultural history and natural beauty, is a town worth seeing.

Vadstena is most famous for being the home of Vadstena Castle and Vadstena kloster. Vadstena Abbey is based on the revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden. The medieval town is just about two and a half hours south of Stockholm and sits on the shores of Lake Vättern.

Vadstena from Graveyard

The large church is gray and austere. It is not so much a beautiful work of architecture as it is an imposing work of architecture. Walking inside, those interested in religious artwork and relics will not be disappointed. Medieval statues of St. Bridget meet visitors at the entrance of the church. To the right at the front of the pews, the relics of St. Bridget are encased. It is because of these relics that the town has become a place of pilgrimage.

As much as I love history, and the medieval history of Sweden, the natural beauty of the city is what truly left an impression. The castle is surrounded by a moat, like any good castle should be. The lake, the second largest in Sweden, dominates the western landscape. The medieval buildings are built tightly together. The streets are narrow. The main square bustling.

Vadstena Quiet Street

The two and a half hour drive to Vadstena makes for a beautiful day trip to Sweden’s medieval countryside. A trip that will satisfy the historian in you as well as the naturalist.

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About Marcus Cederstrom

I was born in Sweden and moved to the US just before my 6th birthday. I grew up in the United States eventually graduating from the University of Oregon. After graduation and about 17 years in the US I made the decision to move back to Sweden. I have been living in Stockholm since the summer of 2007. Since graduation I have traveled throughout eastern Australia as well as in Sweden and Europe.